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TDs who lost their seats or retired share €586,000 in payments


John Halligan (Brian Lawless/PA)

John Halligan (Brian Lawless/PA)

John Halligan (Brian Lawless/PA)

More than €586,000 was paid out in termination pay and lump sums in January and February to TDs who retired or lost their seats at the general election.

This included €28,055 in termination payments to ex-Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy, according to records released under Freedom of Information by the Oireachtas.

Mr Murphy stepped down as a Dáil deputy in December. This followed considerable controversy over his claims for travel and accommodation allowances at Leinster House despite having a full-time job in Europe.

He received a termination lump sum of €16,031.50 in January, according to the database of payments from the Oireachtas. He was also paid €6,011.81 in both January and February in termination pay.

All TDs who lost their seat or retired before the last general election were entitled to a once-off termination lump sum of between just under €15,000 and around €17,500.

Altogether, 26 former members qualified for these lump sums with a total of €421,859 shared between them following their departure from national politics.

In addition, each of them received termination pay of between €5,600 and €6,500 in February, which is calculated on the basis of 75pc of their previous salary.

That can be paid for up to six months depending on length of service, at which point the rate of pay changes to 50pc of their previous Dáil salary. The termination payments can last for up to a year depending on a TD's length of service.

In some cases, politicians may opt to move on to their pension if it's likely that it will exceed the level of termination pay they would receive.

When they choose to receive or qualify for their pension, they are paid a separate pension lump sum although none of those lump sums has yet been paid.

Ministers who lost their seat in the election but continue to serve in Government have not yet received any of these payments and remain on their departmental payroll.

According to the records, former Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams was paid his lump sum of €16,031.50 in February and also received termination pay of €6,011.81.

Maria Bailey - the Swing-gate TD who did not contest her seat at the last election - received a lump sum of €17,098 and a termination payment of €6,411.76 in February.

Former Labour leader Joan Burton was paid €16,031 in a lump sum and her termination pay for February worked out at €6,011.81, according to the Oireachtas records.

Dr Michael Harty - a former Independent TD for Clare - received the highest termination lump sum payment of €17,467.80. His monthly termination pay was listed as €6,550.43. The slightly higher rate of pay relates to his service as chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

Other names on the list include a string of former ministers such as Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Finian McGrath, Michael Noonan, John Halligan, Catherine Byrne and Jim Daly. Well-known names who received a termination lump sum and pay included Martin Ferris and John Deasy.

Irish Independent