OUTSPOKEN hospital consultant Professor John Crown is donating his entire €65,600 Seanad salary to cancer research.
Prof Crown is still among the highest-earning specialists in the country, with a public salary of around €180,000 and a private practice income running into hundreds of thousands of euro.
The cancer specialist revealed to the Irish Independent that he had not taken "a cent" from his salary since being elected last April.
Instead, he is giving the money, after tax is deducted, to the Cancer Clinical Research Trust, a Dublin-based charity that aims to improve treatments for patients.
The charity helps fund research in St Vincent's Hospital, UCD and Dublin City University.
"It's a licensed charity, which started out helping run our research unit in St Vincent's but it now funds other research," he said.
Some of his salary will go towards setting up a research scholarship in memory of Tipperary-born socialite Ned Ryan, who was a close friend of Princess Margaret and a fundraiser for cancer care here.
But despite his new career in politics, Prof Crown revealed he was still managing to juggle his own cancer research, a job in St Vincent's and St Luke's hospitals in Dublin as well as his private practice.
He has switched his routine and works earlier in the morning and late at night to fit in his attendance at Leinster House and manage the schedule. Under his public contract, which was in place before he entered the Seanad, he has a special arrangement where the majority of time is spent on research.
The Health Research Board hires another doctor to look after his public patients in the hospitals.
He is still holding private clinics but has moved some to the evening to allow him attend the Seanad.