30 Nov 2021

Laois councillors ran up €8,800 bill at housing meeting in Donegal

Laois County Council HQ Portlaoise

Laois County Council.

Laois county councillors ran up expenses of more than €8,800 attending a conference on housing last year, according to annual published figures.

The accounts also reveal that a total of €522,606 in pay and expenses was spread out among the 19 sitting councillors in 2017. Of the total, €58,769 was reimbursed in travel and subsistence expenses incurred by councillors on conference trips outside Laois.

The most costly conference was a Housing Assistance Payment conference in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Twelve of the council's 19 councillors attended the meeting. Between travel expenses and other costs, the total incurred was €8,828.76*. The highest single bill incurred was €834 while the lowest was nearly €590. The conference fee per councillor was €145.

The breakdown is:

Cllr James Kelly (Ind) - €826.38

Cllr Paddy Bracken (FF) - €696.25

Cllr Mary Sweeney (FG) - €700.25

Cllr Jerry Lodge (FF) - €674.74

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald (FF) €764.94

Cllr John Moran (FG) - €810.37

Cllr Ben Brennan (Ind) - €816.28

Cllr John King (FG) - €801.57

Cllr Padraig Fleming (FF) - €587.45

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley (SF) - €753.55

Cllr Seamus McDonald (FF) - €735.24

Cllr Tom Mulhall (FG) - €661.74

Conferences represented just over 10% of the cost of county councillors last year. Apart from the cost of attending conferences, each poltician got a representational payment of €16,566.06 and an allowance of €4,415.18.

Poll toppers Cllr Aidan Mullins (Sinn Féin) and Cllrs Willie Aird and David Goodwin ( Fine Gael) ran up no conference expenses in 2017 . Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Padraig Fleming said conferences were useful for training and getting the bigger picture.

*A front page story in this week's Leinster Express print edition did not include expenses claimed by Cllr Tom Mulhall.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.