A FINE Gael junior minister has declared he is gifting his teacher's pension to the State – after making an election promise to give it up.
Dinny McGinley (67) served as principal in Bunbeg National School in Donegal before he was elected to the Dail in 1982.
He pledged to give up his teacher's pension during the general election campaign two years ago, saying: "If I'm re-elected, I'll be taking no teacher's pension."
When contacted by the Irish Independent, a spokeswoman for Mr McGinley said he was gifting his pension back to the State.
But for the past two years, Mr McGinley has confirmed in his official Dail declaration that he was getting his teacher's pension from the Department of Education. It was not possible to establish last night when Mr McGinley made his decision to gift back his pension to the State and whether he would resume receiving it when he retired from politics.
Mr McGinley (right) has ministerial responsibility for the Gaeltacht and receives an annual salary of €130,000. He is a native Irish speaker, born in Gweedore, Donegal, where he still lives. He has been re-elected in Donegal South West at every election since 1982.
Three years ago, he was one of the Donegal TDs who welcomed the news that his former Bunbeg national school in Gweedore had got the go-ahead for a new building with five classrooms and other facilities.
One of the school's past pupils is Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.
In his Dail declaration, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed he was gifting his pension to the Department of Finance while he is in Cabinet.
Fianna Fail TD Michael Kitt, who is entitled to a teacher's pension from his time in St Mary's National School in Menlough, Galway, also confirmed he is not receiving it.
And Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who trained as a teacher alongside Mr Kitt in St Patrick's College in Dublin, has given up his right to a teacher's pension entirely.
The Irish Independent revealed last week that seven other TDs are receiving pensions from their previous jobs on top of their Dail salaries.