Monday 19 March 2018

Lucinda and the joy of giving back

John Drennan

John Drennan

IT may once have been the fashion for resigned or sacked ministers and TDs to grab as many pensions as they could. However, now, in the new age of austerity, they can't turn away the money quickly enough.

Surprisingly, the fashion of ministers giving up severance entitlements was started by the Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, when, in a desperate attempt to salvage his party's fortunes in election 2011, Martin said Fianna Fail ministers would not be pocketing the payments.

The modesty, though nice, was somewhat belated. It also, alas, was none too appreciated by the electorate or by a number of colleagues, such as Billy Kelleher and Dara Calleary, who preferred to use the pay-off for research purposes, and Willie O'Dea, who bluntly told Micheal he would spend the money his way by making donations to charity.

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