A TOWN councillor has continued to receive a salary to represent his constituents despite living more than 15,000km away.
New Ross Fianna Fail councillor Kevin Dwyer continued to receive his representational payment for all of 2011, despite emigrating to Australia last September.
The payment, worth €4,181 a year, is on top of an allowance of €1,547 to attend meetings, expenses of €1,724 and a mobile phone allowance of €400 that he claimed for 2011.
Even though Mr Dwyer moved a year ago, he continued to receive payments for the last three months of 2011, documents obtained by the Irish Independent reveal.
And payments from the council to him have continued throughout 2012 -- despite his living outside the country for nearly 12 months.
Last September, fellow councillors gave permission for him to keep his seat on the local authority, even though he would not be able to attend meetings.
At the time, he insisted he continued to represent his constituents from halfway across the world.
He also said the €4,181 salary was deducted from his social welfare payments, meaning he was essentially working for free.
Despite several attempts over the past week to contact him, he could not be reached.
Fellow New Ross councillor John Dwyer (Ind) told the Irish Independent that his colleague was fulfilling his political duties.
"He has contacted me personally to get constituency problems resolved," he said.
"The representational payment is deducted from his welfare. It's reduced by half after six months, and then to a quarter after six months so he'd be on very little now."
He added that Mr Dwyer planned to run in the elections in 2014.