Tuesday 22 October 2019

FG TDs top of the class for turning up regularly

Colm Kelpie and Michael Brennan

FINE Gael is the best in the class when it comes to Dail attendance.

Two of the party's TDs -- Derek Keating and Peter Mathews -- have a 100pc record while another two -- Ray Butler and Jerry Buttimer -- have 99pc.

Socialist TD Clare Daly is also a star pupil in the attendance category, never missing a day between January and June.

Mick Wallace, who has faced calls to resign from the Dail after admitting to a €2.1m tax settlement with Revenue, also has an excellent attendance record of 99pc.

Last night, Mr Keating, who represents the Dublin Mid West constituency, said attendance was a very important aspect of the work of a TD.

However, he suggested that perhaps it wasn't as easy for rural TDs.

"It is obviously more difficult for rural TDs because of the geographical spread of TDs," Mr Keating said.

"There is an advantage in being a Dublin TD. I apply myself to the job as best I can in all its different aspects."

Mr Butler, who represents Meath West, said TDs have enough time off and should be in the Dail when it is in session.

"I know there are valid reasons at times, with people who are sick or are not well. My philosophy is you have enough time off," he said.

"I was self-employed all my life and I never knew of long holidays, or holidays full stop at times.

"Being in the Dail, I have no problem being there when I have to be there."

Fine Gael Cork South Central TD Mr Buttimer and Labour Dublin South Central TD Eric Byrne also attended 67 out of 68 sitting days.

Irish Independent

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