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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Councillors resist calls to cover leaflet cost

Councillor John Lyons
Councillor John Lyons
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The taxpayer has incurred "significant costs" as a result of councillors "making excessive use of printing facilities", the country's largest local authority has confirmed.

Dublin City Council has warned that some councillors have been prevented from using facilities in City Hall due to the excessive printing activities of their fellow members.

The Irish Independent yesterday revealed that two councillors racked up combined bills of €5,500 by printing 140,000 leaflets.

The councillors in question, Tina MacVeigh and John Lyons, are now resisting calls by council management to cover the costs of their printing activities.

In documents obtained by this newspaper last night, council management warned of the seriousness of the printing activities of some members.

"The manager reported that some members were making excessive use of the printing/photocopy facilities in City Hall. This was preventing other councillors from using the machines and leading to significant costs in terms of paper, toner, and maintenance," the documents state.

Meanwhile, a third councillor has been dragged into the Dublin City 'inkgate' controversy after he was told he printed more than 24,000 pages at a cost of €500 to the taxpayer.

Independent councillor Nial Ring has insisted that the council "over-inflated" his printing estimates, and has called for management to investigate.

The council wrote to Cllr Ring stating that the pages had been printed between September and December. Mr Ring insists he only printed around 10,000 leaflets.

The council's protocol committee will now meet next week to discuss the controversy, in particular the €5,500 bill clocked up by Ms MacVeigh and Mr Lyons.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn has said both Mr Lyons and Ms MacVeigh should pay for the "exorbitant" printing as requested by council chiefs.

"When you are starting to print your propaganda from printing apparatuses, my belief is that this contravenes proper use," he added.

It also emerged yesterday that Mr Lyons was rebuked by the Courts Service over a photo taken in court without permission from the judge.

He posted an image to his Twitter feed from Thursday's court appearance of the five water charges protesters jailed for breaching barring orders keeping them away from Irish Water meter installations.

The Courts Services said this was in breach of court rules.

Irish Independent

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