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Sinn Finn hit by new probe for taking slice of TDs' pay

THE State's ethics watchdog has extended its probe into Sinn Fein's controversial practice of stripping its TDs of almost two-thirds of their salaries, the Herald can reveal.

The Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO) is seeking "further clarification" from the party after one of its new TDs made a number of extraordinary comments about the party's cash flow.

The body launched a full-scale probe after a member of the public complained about remarks made by Cork East TD Sandra McLellan in relation to the handing over of most of her wages to the "party coffers".

The Herald has learned that the investigation -- which was launched in June -- has now been extended by the watchdog.

The probe was initiated after a formal complaint was lodged by two individuals, including Fianna Fail activist Stephen Kearon.

Having discussed the matter at their September meeting, it's emerged SIPO officials have sought more information from both Ms McLellan and Sinn Fein itself. Sinn Fein did not respond for comment.