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TD says she'll pay €12,000 in rent arrears to charity

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Violet-Anne Wynne, centre, with family and friends at the election count. Photo: Eamon Ward

Violet-Anne Wynne, centre, with family and friends at the election count. Photo: Eamon Ward

Violet-Anne Wynne, centre, with family and friends at the election count. Photo: Eamon Ward

Controversial Sinn Féin TD Violet-Anne Wynne has said she is "more than willing" to pay €12,000 in rent arrears she racked up to a charity.

The Clare TD came under pressure to make a donation of the arrears she owed Rural Resettlement Ireland (RRI) as she assumed her job as a TD, which comes with a salary of €96,000. She blamed the non-payment of rent at the house in Kilrush, Co Clare, on family health issues.

RRI has closed down, but its founder Jim Connolly suggested Ms Wynne could make a donation to a homeless charity.

Last night, Ms Wynne issued a statement saying she was "more than willing to pay back the arrears".

She said: "Doing so is made more complicated as Rural Resettlement Ireland is no longer in existence. But if paying back the RRI isn't possible, I will instead pay the money back to a charity such as a mental health charity as those services are under-funded in the region."

Ms Wynne said that "obviously" her circumstances had now changed. She said that "at the time of the arrears, my partner was very ill with hemiplegic migraine, which leads to symptoms like those suffered by people having a stroke. He was out of work as a result and we also had a sick child too.

"We were travelling back and forth to Limerick every day with him to the hospital.

"It was a very difficult time for us, but thankfully our circumstances have changed."

Since her election, Ms Wynne has backtracked on remarks she made criticising the HPV vaccine. She said her 2017 Facebook comments did not reflect her "current views or Sinn Féin policy".

Irish Independent