Ó Snódaigh was alerted to high printing bill in 2006

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snódaigh was contacted by Oireachtas authorities in May 2006 about his excessive claims for printer cartridges, but still claimed over €50,000 worth of ink in the following two years.

When controversy arose over his ink bill in February, the Dublin South Central TD insisted the problem was never brought to his attention.

“Nobody ever raised it with me in Leinster House, the cost of it or that it was excessive or anything else,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Feb 28.

Asked if his activities were beyond a limit on ink claims imposed by the Oireachtas in 2009, he said: “Nobody ever contacted me from Leinster House, the staff or anybody else.”

However, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that in May 2006, the Oireachtas told him his bill for the previous month had come to €2,700.

The information emerged after the follow-up of a complaint by Mr Ó Snódaigh about the stationary usage of TDs being recorded and itemised.

He wrote to the clerk of the committee on procedures and privileges asking for a report presented to the committee “as to the reasoning behind the recording of stationary requested by TDs offices”.

The Houses of the Oireachtas procurement officer, Rita Sexton, said a new “stock management system” had been in place since March of that year and she had “not received any other complaints”.

She attached a list of all the stationary Mr Ó Snódaigh had claimed in the previous month.

It showed €2,702.45 was spent on printer items in the previous month. His total use came to €20,357 that year.

That record was broken in 2007 when he claimed €25,969 on 215 ink cartridges, and again in 2008 when he claimed 219 cartridges from the Dáil at a cost of €24,701 to the taxpayer.

He defended the claims when the controversy arose in February, saying he was “one of the most prolific leafleters in the country” and that Sinn Féin had “a history of making sure that constituents around the country are informed”.

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