WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCILLORS were paid almost €600,000 in expenses last year.
A total of 21 councillors received €598,567.46 in allowances and expenses for 2012.
The two highest earners were Cllr. Oliver Walsh who was paid a total of €43,955.21 and Cllr. Kathleen Codd Nolan who received €41,920.03 for the year.
Their payments were boosted by a special chairman's allowance.
Cllr. Walsh who served as County Council chairperson for 12 months during 2011 and 2012 received an allowance of €18,256.74 while current chair Cllr. Codd Nolan has been paid €17,965.41.
Two Council vice-chairmen Denis Kennedy and Bobby Ireton were paid extra for their service.
Cllr. Kennedy was paid a total of €34,662.21 last year, including an allowance of €6,159.30 as vice-chairman.
Cllr. Ireton claimed a total of €30,928.49 including €6,061.01 for the vice-chair position.
Cllr. John Hegarty claimed a total of €30,721.72 for €2012, including €8,497.68 in travel and other expenses and €5,500 as chairman of a Strategic Policy Committee.
Cllr. Hegarty lives in Ballyfad in North Wexford and has the longest distance to travel to Council meetings in Wexford town.
Cllr. Pat Codd was paid €31,072.73 for the year including €6,000 as chairman of a Strategic Policy Committee.
Cllr. Larry O'Brien received €30,325.12 for the year including a €6,000 allowance for chairing an SPC.
Another councillor who received an extra €6,000 allowance as an SPC chairman was Cllr. George Lawlor who claimed a total of €28,028.08.
Cllr. Tony Dempsey received a total of €27,036.90, including a €3,000 allowance as an SPC chair.
An SPC allowance of €2,500 was paid to Cllr. Martin Murphy who received a total of €28,576 for the year.
Cllr. Michael Kinsella was paid a total of €29,582.87 including €8,246 in travel and other expenses.
Other county councillors who received expenses were Anna Fenlon (22,581.16; Declan McPartlin ( €24,255.83; Jim Moore (€24,896); Keith Doyle (€23,156.76); Malcolm Byrne (€24,771.17); Michael Sheehan ( €26,787.49); Paddy Kavanagh (€23,957.02); Padge Reck ( €25,478.34); Pat Cody (€23,,846.97); Ted Howlin (€22,028.08).