Tuesday 17 September 2019

Fitness instructor to be paid €160,000 over four years to work at Dáil gym used by just one politician each day

  

Eoghan Murphy, Leo Varadkar and Maura Hopkins get ready to run the ‘Streets of Dublin’ 5km race. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Eoghan Murphy, Leo Varadkar and Maura Hopkins get ready to run the ‘Streets of Dublin’ 5km race. Photo: Gareth Chaney
The Dáil gym is underused. Stock picture

Darragh McDonagh

The Houses of the Oireachtas is to pay €160,000 for the services of a fitness instructor to put TDs and senators through their paces in the private gym.

However, an average of just one politician is using the Dáil gym each day, according to figures released earlier this year.

The parliamentary authority is seeking tenders for an on-site fitness instructor who would be available to Oireachtas members and staff at all times during opening hours.

The fitness room is open for 27.5 hours a week during "sitting weeks" for the Dáil and Seanad, and for 18.5 hours a week during "non-sitting weeks".

The successful candidate is expected to be paid €160,000 excluding VAT over a four-year period, according to the tender.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission has invested heavily in fitness for its own members and staff in recent years.

Last October, it sought tenders for new gym equipment worth €100,000 plus VAT.

The advertisement for the services of a fitness instructor notes that a further upgrade of gym equipment is likely over the course of the four-year contract period.

Between 12 and 15 people can comfortably use the gym at any one time, the tender documents state.

The average number of users monthly is 400, with mornings and lunchtimes considered peak periods.

Previous figures showed just 8pc of visits were from elected members - the rest from Leinster House staff.

Irish Independent

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