Saturday 10 December 2016

Rules say TDs do not have to declare spouses' interests

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Published 03/11/2010 | 05:00

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore does not have to declare his wife's interests, according to Oireachtas rules. Only sitting office holders -- such as ministers -- have to declare their spouses' interests.

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The thinking behind the rule is that ministers are in a stronger position to influence decisions than normal TDs.

TDs have to declare if they hold company shares, if they have been given any gifts and if they are renting properties out to earn money, among other things.

Last year, Eamon Gilmore declared he was in receipt of an allowance from Labour for being leader of the party. He also declared his share in what was formerly his family home in Caltra, Co Galway, which he and his brother inherited in 2007 upon the death of his mother.

TDs and senators submit their declaration of interests to the Oireachtas and the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) every year.

The latest register of TDs' interests showed former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern took an increased number of paid speaking engagements abroad last year, with fees for each speech of at least €29,000.

Mr Ahern made 16 foreign trips in 2009 compared to nine the year before.

He also registered the publication of his autobiography and his column in the News of the World newspaper as new sources of income this year.

The register also showed Galway West Fianna Fail TD Frank Fahey has the most impressive property portfolio in the Dail with declared properties at 18 locations including Galway, Boston and France.

Apartment

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has again declared his ownership of an apartment in Leeds, England. He has an apartment that he is letting at Golden Lane, Dublin 7, and he is letting another property at 27 Cammock, Mount Brown, Dublin 8.

The code of conduct for TDs says they must "recognise that it is in their individual and collective interest to foster and sustain public confidence and trust in their integrity as individuals and in Dail Eireann as an institution".

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Irish Independent

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