Tuesday 20 August 2019

Clare Daly hires son of Mick Wallace as her assistant in EU office

Close colleagues: MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace are both members of the Independents 4Change party. Photo: Tom Burke
Close colleagues: MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace are both members of the Independents 4Change party. Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Clare Daly has hired the son of her close political ally Mick Wallace as a taxpayer-funded European Parliament assistant.

Strict EU anti-nepotism rules prohibit MEPs from hiring close relatives meaning Mr Wallace could not employ his own son Fionn.

However, his party colleague Ms Daly has listed Fionn A Wallace as one of her three parliamentary assistants - roles which can command up to €8,519 a month.

Mr Wallace's own Brussels office yesterday confirmed the MEP's son had been hired by Ms Daly.

Mr Wallace's son is now set to earn thousands of euro in taxpayers' money working for his father's party colleague. Mr Wallace previously used his Dáil parliamentary allowance to pay the same son €20,000 for what was described as research and policy formulation work.

Mr Wallace and Ms Daly are both members of the Independents4Change party and jointly announced plans to run for the European Parliament ahead of last May's election.

The two political allies now earn €105,092 each a year while also being entitled to the controversial and much-criticised EU expenses system.

MEPs are reimbursed for business-class flights to Brussels, get €320 a night for accommodation and are also entitled to €4,513 a month for general expenses such as the cost of phone bills, computer equipment or office rental.

MEPs are also given a massive €25,000 a month to spend on staff salaries and at least 25pc or €6,250 must be used to pay parliament-based accredited assistants.

However, there is no cap on how much can be spent hiring parliamentary assistants.

This means the entire €25,000 monthly pay budget could be used to pay Mr Wallace's son and the two other assistants employed by Ms Daly. Parliamentary assistants are paid on pay ranging from €1,849 to €8,519 a month.

The pay scale at which an assistant is paid is entirely at the discretion of the elected member of parliament.

Fionn Wallace was listed as a director of his father's now-­liquidated construction company M & J Wallace Ltd.

Last year, he resigned from Wallace Calcio Ltd - the company that once operated his father's Italian wine bars and restaurants business.

Mr Wallace and Ms Daly did not respond to queries from the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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