Minister bids to change Oireachtas rules in wake of Dara Murphy controversy

Paschal Donohoe said Mr Murphy still has questions to answer after it was revealed that the former Cork North-Central TD claimed full Dáil expenses while also working in Brussels. However, as he is no longer a sitting TD, the Oireachtas Ethics Committee does not have any power to look into the matter.

Minister bids to change Oireachtas rules in wake of Dara Murphy controversy

The Finance Minister is working to change Oireachtas rules so that former TDs can be investigated following the Dara Murphy expenses and Dáil attendance controversy.

Paschal Donohoe said Mr Murphy still has questions to answer after it was revealed that the former Cork North-Central TD claimed full Dáil expenses while also working in Brussels. However, as he is no longer a sitting TD, the Oireachtas Ethics Committee does not have any power to look into the matter.

Mr Donohoe suggested that if he were in Mr Murphy's position he would refer himself to the committee for investigation which is an option available.

"If I was in these kind of circumstances, I would want to find a way in which these issues could be concluded," said Mr Donohoe.

The Minister added that a "new way" must be found to investigate complaints made against current and former TDs.

These issues have real limitations and constraints if the person is no longer a member of the Oireachtas. We need to change that in the future.

"I will find a way in which we can change that. But the issue that we have is in the here and now, and I'm aware of the fact that we need to come up with a way of dealing with this issue to answer what are legitimate questions the public has," Mr Donohoe said at an event in Dublin's north east inner city.

Meanwhile, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has admitted that the Dáil “has not crowned itself in glory” in relation to Mr Murphy's case.

“Dara is just one example of why politicians are not held in high esteem. We rage against this. There are loads of politicians who are hardworking people and yet we all get tarred with the same brush,” she said.

She said Mr Murphy "absolutely" has questions to answer and it will probably be left up to the Fine Gael party to address the matter.

“It's not fair, because as colleagues we're the ones left behind trying to answer for his behaviour," she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke show.

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