Thursday 8 December 2016

All four TDs who went for '€35k top-up a year' job lose in Dáil vote

Published 02/06/2016 | 13:51

Enda Kenny preparing to lead his new cabinet into the Dail chamber
Enda Kenny preparing to lead his new cabinet into the Dail chamber

Four candidates today vied for a prestige Dáil post worth a pay top-up of almost €35,000 per year - and all four lost in a vote of their fellow TDs.

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The bizarre outcome again points up the precarious situation of the Government with no side holding anything approaching an overall majority.

It follows a vote in the Dáil on Wednesday in which the Government was defeated for the first time since 1989 as all other parties combined against Fine Gael and the Independents who make up the minority Coalition.

At issue was the post of Leas-Cheann Comhairle, or deputy chairperson of the Dáil which has the same pay and perks as a junior minister. That is a salary top-up of €34,000 per year – on top of the TDs’ €87,000 annual salary, and the right to hire two civilian drivers to drive the new appointees' own cars.

Sinn Féin’s nominee, Seán Crowe, received 33 votes but 106 TDs voted against him.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath scored 20 votes with 117 voting against him.

Fianna Fáil’s Pat The Cope Gallagher got 52 votes but 83 TDs voted against him.

Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan got 49 votes – with 89 against.

Dáil Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl said the various political parties and groups would have to gather and discuss the situation again. The issue will be dealt with at a later stage.

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