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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Eight TDs get pension on top of €92,000 salary

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Eight TDs are being paid pensions on top of their €92,000 Dail salaries due to their former jobs as teachers, soldiers and health workers.

The details are revealed in the latest list of Dail declarations of property, shares and company directorships by TDs, which they are obliged to complete to prevent any accusations of a conflict of interest.

The law was changed before the last general election to prevent sitting TDs from receiving ministerial pensions, but there is nothing to prevent them receiving pensions from jobs before going into politics.

The TDs are not obliged to reveal the size of their pensions, but they have to include them if they are getting more than €2,600 per year.

Sinn Fein Sligo-Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy is receiving a pension from this previous job with the HSE West in Leitrim on top of his Dail salary. Independent Tipperary South TD Seamus Healy is also receiving a pension from the HSE.

Labour Dublin North TD Brendan Ryan has a pension from Coca Cola Bottlers. Labour chief whip Emmet Stagg is getting a pension from Trinity College, where he once worked as a medical technologist. Fine Gael Wicklow TD Billy Timmins is getting a part-pension for 19 years' service in the Army.

Fine Gael junior minister for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley is getting a teacher's pension.

Fine Gael Mayo TD John O'Mahony, who taught in St Nathy's College in Ballaghaderreen for many years, is also getting a teacher's pension, while Fine Gael Cavan-Monaghan TD Joe O'Reilly is getting a part-time teacher's pension.

Gifted

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that his teacher's pension is being gifted to the Department of Education.

The Dail declaration shows that Independent TD Clare Daly owns 17,000 Aer Lingus shares from her time as a catering worker with the airline. They are worth around €21,000 at the current stock price.

Ms Daly has publicly declared that she only takes the average industrial wage of around €33,000 from her Dail salary of €92,000.

As expected, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has not included the business class return flight to the USA provided by his party's US support group last year – or the estimated $30,000 (€23,000) payment for his surgical procedure by multi-millionaire Billy Flynn.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was given a print called 'Marigold' worth €1,500 from US President Barack Obama last year.

A spokesman confirmed that he had donated it to the state and that it now hangs in Government Buildings.

In a sign that TDs have not been exempt from the property crash, several revealed that they had properties in negative equity.

Labour Kerry North TD Arthur Spring bought his only property – an apartment on Parnell Road in Dublin – at the height of the boom in 2006.

He said it was now in negative equity and earning less in rent than the mortgage repayments.

Independent Kerry South TD Michael Healy-Rae has revealed that he is receiving income from three other jobs in his native Kilgarvan – as a postmaster, a farmer and a plant hire contractor. He also owns a Mace shop.

Independent Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath is also in the plant hire business.

Independent TD Michael Lowry was at the centre of controversy last year after he had not declared his part-ownership of land outside Wigan in England. But in his declaration for 2012, he included it.

Irish Independent

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