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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Councillor denies getting €106,000 over two years

Fiach Kelly and Edel Kennedy

A TEDDY Kennedy-quoting councillor last night denied he got paid over €106,000 in wages, expenses and allowances over two years.

The Irish Independent yesterday revealed that Fine Gael's Denis Foley received a total of €106,567 for 2008 and 2009.

The Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, councillor also claimed €2.60 mileage and almost €17 subsistence to go to a dinner dance in his home town.

When asked why he claimed the sum, he said: "Big deal, big f**king deal."

Mr Foley, who served as cathaoirleach for a year between 2008 and 2009, previously insisted he wasn't paid enough expenses. He said it "couldn't be true at all" that he received €106,567 over two years-- despite the figure coming from official documents.

The documents -- supplied by Carlow County Council to the Irish Independent -- detail the councillor's spending at various conferences, seminars and community events across the two years, and prove that he received payments totalling €105,567 across the two years.


"Well, that figure. . . that couldn't be true at all," he told 'The Sue Nunn Show' on KCLR Radio yesterday. "The chairman's allowance for Carlow County Council is €32,000 a year. Your actual wages is €1,400 a month so it's about €350 a week you get normally."

He previously said any payments he got were legitimate.

"You wouldn't get anything for going to a function in Bagenalstown," he said. "It's a mile from your home, how would you get anything for that?"

But the documents show that Mr Foley went to the emigrants dinner dance in the Estoria in Bagenalstown on August 9, 2008, and claimed €19.55.

He said he lived a mile from the Estoria, which is on the main street in town. The claim was made up of €2.60 mileage and €16.95 subsistence.

He also made similar claims for other events in his home town, such as:

  • €19.55 each for the launch of the Bagenalstown festival and the unveiling of a plaque at a local national school.
  • €23.44 for the launch of the Bagenalstown swimming pool.
  • €22.15 for the opening of Bagenalstown library.
  • €20.85 for an anti-social behaviour presentation.

Mr Foley also claimed €31.17 travel and €41.55 subsistence to attend a ceremony in Carlow town to mark the beginning of construction at a Merck Sharpe and Dohme pharmaceutical facility. The total payment of €72.72 was given for an event that was 20km from his home.

At the launch, which was also attended by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Mr Foley quoted a famous speech given by Ted Kennedy to the Democratic convention. "The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on," he said.

When asked about his €2.60 mileage claim, Mr Foley said it "wouldn't pay for the diesel in the car".

"€2.60? Sure what's that anyway?" he asked. "Big deal, big f**king deal. If the council paid me €2.60 -- Jaysus, great stuff. I must look for more because I didn't get enough then."

He said he turned down trips to New York during his term as cathaoirleach because it would have sent out the wrong signal.

"Councillors get feck all. Councillors are the least paid of the public representatives in this country. We're not like (Ivor) Callely and them boys."

Irish Independent

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