FF tells Mac to pay for stationery



FORMER Fianna Fáil TD for north Kerry Thomas McEllistrim (right) will be urged to compensate the Oireachtas for envelopes he used to write to party members locally.

The former TD, who lost his seat at the last general election, used official Oireachtas Eireann envelopes in recent weeks to notify party members of upcoming Fianna Fáil cumann meetings in the north Kerry area, The Kerryman revealed last week.

Mr McEllistrim, however, said he believed he was not in breach of any rules or regulations regarding the use of the taxpayer-funded stationery. He said the use of the Oireachtas envelopes was legitimate for the purposes of informing party members of cumann meetings.

However, Fianna Fáil party headquarters told The Kerryman this week that they believe it was a misuse of public resources and say they will urge Mr McEllistrim to compensate the Oireachtas 'immediately'.

Mr McEllistrim wrote on the stationery that the envelopes were 'compliments' of Senator Diarmuid Wilson; a Cavan politician and the Fianna Fáil whip in the Seanad. The Kerryman was unable to contact Senator Wilson for comment on this.

"The guidlines from the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) commission on the use of Oireachtas envelopes are clear and, based on the facts available to the party, this would appear to be a breach of those guidelines," a FF spokesperson said. "The Party will be writing to Mr McEllistrim to ask that the Oireachtas be immediately compensated for the envelopes that were misused."

The party's views on the matter were echoed by the SIPO last week. A spokesperson for said Oireachtas members are not supposed to give material out for others' use: "These are funded by the taxpayer and solely for the use of TDs and senators."

Mr McEllistrim's use of the material came amid mounting anger from some quarters in the party in north Kerry who believe the practice would tarnish the party's 'modern' image.

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