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Using Convention Centre for Dáil and Seanad meetings an 'abject waste of taxpayers' money', TD claims


Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry. Photo: Tom Burke

Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry. Photo: Tom Burke

Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry. Photo: Tom Burke

USING Dublin's Convention Centre for Dáil and Seanad sittings is an "abject waste of taxpayers' money", a government TD has claimed.

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry made the remarks as the Dáil met in the facility in Dublin's north docklands today.

The cost of Oireachtas sessions in the Convention Centre - used for full gatherings of TDs and Senators four times so far during the coronavirus pandemic - has been put at €25,000-a-day.

Limits have been put on the number of TDs that can attend Dáil sessions in Leinster House whereas the Convention Centre has enough space to accommodate them all while practicing social distancing.

The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) is not charging for the use of the building but there are other costs associated with the holding of Dáil and Seanad sessions there.

Mr MacSharry said: "Having the Dáil sit here in the Convention Centre is an abject waste of taxpayers' money" adding "I think it is shameful".

He said Leinster House offices are "self-incubation" units where TDs can monitor proceedings.

"With some will and just a pinch of imagination, we could have a fully functional Oireachtas on the campus where it was intended to be rather than wasting €25,000 a day down here, needlessly."

He said: "we could all be back up on Kildare Street doing our work as people expect."

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RTÉ reported last week that Oireachtas sessions in the CCD are costing €25,000-a-day.

Around €100,000 was spent on equipping the building with technology like microphones and cameras needed for Oireachtas business.

Mr MacSharry was speaking during a Dáil debate on mirco-enterprise loans to help small businesses cope with the economic shock of the coronavirus crisis.

He called for bureaucracy to be stripped out of business supports so they can access money fast to allow them to "generate economic activity and create jobs".

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