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Michelle Mulherin calls for 'Skype' in Oireachtas to avoid expensive phone bills

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Michelle Mulherin

Michelle Mulherin

Michelle Mulherin

Beleaguered TD Michelle Mulherin has called for a "Skype facility" in Leinster House to avoid future controversies over expensive telephone bills clocked up by politicians.

And after repaying €2,000 for calls made to Kenya on her Dáil phone, Ms Mulherin insisted Oireachtas authorities should alert TDs to the potentially high cost of calls.

"I'd love if there was a system in place where there was an alarm bell or system that would notify people if there are high tariffs on particular calls or even a Skype facility within Leinster House," she told the Irish Independent.

Skype is a free online phone service popular among Irish emigrants calling friends and family at home.

An investigation by Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett will establish if Ms Mulherin broke any rules by making calls to Kenya using her taxpayer-funded phone.

Meanwhile, a 39-year-old man was arrested by gardaí investigating the arson attack on Ms Mulherin's constituency office in Ballina, Co Mayo. He has since been released without charge and gardaí are continuing to investigate.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was "appalled" by the attack on his constituency colleague's office on Tuesday evening.

The Taoiseach could not say if the incident, which caused significant damage to the TD's office, related to the controversy surrounding her calls to Africa.

"Irrespective of a person's political views, we are all public representatives.

"While protest is perfectly legitimate, there is no case for fire bombing the office of any deputy irrespective of what party or any which they represent," he added.

Irish Independent