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Sunday 21 January 2018

One county spends almost €43,000 on foreign jaunts

Edel Kennedy and Fiach Kelly

GLOBE-TROTTING councillors in one county racked up a bill of €42,888 on foreign trips in 2008 and 2009.

However, Donegal County Council did not supply a breakdown of all the travel and costs involved -- nor give the reason for some of the costly travel. A total of €26,174 was spent in 2008 and €16,714 in 2009.

Significant sums were also claimed in mileage by the councillors, as they drove to catch their flights.

Cllr Gerry Crawford claimed €339.02 mileage and €83.10 subsistence allowance for a trip to a biowaste conference in Germany in September 2008.

He billed a further €1,331 for the conference fee. Mr Crawford also flew to the United States last year, as part of the St Patrick's Day festivities.

He was joined by Councillor Francis Conaghan and the trip cost a total of €12,388.43.

It included €1,000 for each of the councillors in subs, but the council was unable to explain the €3,784.52 'staff costs'. In 2008, John Boyle and Terence Slowey went to the US for St Patrick's Day -- and their accommodation bill alone came to €5,100.

This was more than twice the cost of their transatlantic flights.

Other trips included the Donegal Association of Boston's 100th Anniversary celebrations, Armistice Day in Flanders, an Udaras na Gaeltachta meeting in Brussels and an unspecified trip to Switzerland by Cllr John Boyle.

Irish Independent

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