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'State should pay for wives to join TDs on some trips'


John McGuinness with his wife Margaret

John McGuinness with his wife Margaret

John McGuinness with his wife Margaret

THE TD who oversees the Public Accounts Committee believes the wives of Government ministers should be allowed to accompany them abroad at taxpayers' expense.

John McGuinness was speaking as it emerged that he previously argued with civil servants and then senior Minister Micheal Martin during his time in the Department of Enterprise that his wife, Margaret, should accompany him to Dubai and Canada.



The Fianna Fail TD, who is chair of the Public Accounts Committee said his wife should be allowed to travel, and said he was "entitled to some comforts on State visits".

Speaking today he said: "The question was asked by me if I could take my wife on a trade mission with me. It was my first trade mission.

"I was a newly appointed minister, and I sought clarification on the matter

"I was informed by the department, that it was not the case that you could bring your wife, even though I had clearly expressed that I would pay for my wife and that no cost would be borne by the Department."

He added: "There are circumstances I am sure where ministers would like their spouses or partners to travel with them."

He said: "There may be cases and circumstances where the State might pay." He added: "That is the case, for example, in relation to St Patrick's Day."