AS CLARE TDs prepare to take their summer holidays that will last until September, it has been revealed they have hoovered up over €500,000 in expenses since being elected to the 31st Dáil.
The Clare People can reveal the extent to which the Banner County’s four members of Dáil Éireann have netted over €500,000 in less than two and a half years, which means that if the Government lasts its full term of five years they will break the €1m barrier in expenses takings.
The latest breakdown of expenses reveals that all four deputes – Pat Breen (Fine Gael), Joe Carey (Fine Gael), Timmy Dooley (Fianna Fáil) and Michael McNamara (Labour) have claimed over €130,000 each in expenses for being members of Dáil Éireann.
Topping the league table of expenses in Clare is the county’s longest serving sitting TD, Deputy Pat Breen, who since the February 2011 election has netted €133,277.21 in expenses. His highest year since winning a third term in Dáil Éireann and topping the poll in the county for the first time came in 2012 when he claimed €60,550.08, while so far for the first five months of this year the Ballynacally man has claimed €21,547.08 in expenses.
Deputy Breen is followed by his Fine Gael colleague, Deputy Joe Carey, who was first elected to Dáil Éireann in the 2007 election. Deputy Carey has netted €132,300.74 since the 2011 election, a figure that’s broken down to €21,264.55 for March to December 2011, €59,857.08 for 2012 and €51,179.23 for the first five months of this year.
Fianna Fáil’s lone deputy, Timmy Dooley has netted €131,587.86 since he was elected in 2011, €21,264.55 has been garnered this year, €59,794.08 in 2012 and €50,529.23 in 2011.
Propping up the league table in Clare, but by less than €1000 is Deputy Michael McNamara, who has netted €130,799.88 in the last two and a half years. He claimed expenses of €21,125 so far this year, €59,422.08 in 2012 and €50,252.80 in 2011.
These figures claimed by Clare’s four TDs are all vouched for expenses and separate from their annual salary of over €90,000.

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Joe Ó Muircheartaigh graduated from University College Dublin in 1989 with a degree in history and politics. After completing a Diploma in Journalism at The College of Commerce, Rathmines in 1991, he embarked on a career in journalism. Joe spent four years with Clare FM from 1992 and was with The Clare Champion from 1996 to 2005. He has won two McNamee Awards for GAA journalism and has published two books. Contact Joe on [email protected]

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