Wallace using €41k allowance to fund research

Kevin Doyle

EMBATTLED TD Mick Wallace has defended his decision to accept €41,000 in unvouched allowances.

The builder turned politician has also insisted that his Wexford constituents still love him.

It emerged in recent days that Mr Wallace (below) is now in receipt of the 'leader's allowance' that he had previously declined.

The colourful politician said that the money is being used to research "different issues that concern the people of Ireland".

"I am availing of it, just as 100pc of the other Independents have done," he confirmed today.

Mr Wallace raised eyebrows by deciding to take the cash -- the equivalent of half a TD's salary -- just months after pledging to give 50pc of his Dail salary to help pay a €2.1m settlement he made with Revenue after defrauding the state of VAT.

Today, Mr Wallace said that he would be giving other TDs an advantage if he refused the money which is ring-fenced for research, constituency services and other functions relating to a TD's political activities.

"The money is not for my personal use but will be used mostly for research into different issues that concern people of Ireland," he said.