Tag Archives: Oireachtas

Senator David Norris looked for bigger office in Leinster House because he was longest serving politician there

A BIGGER space for the “father of the House”, a Senator’s files and personal belongings packed up and moved to reception, and a dispute between Fine Gael and the President’s daughter over vacating a room … just some of the teething problems in Leinster House after the general election. Details of the moves were released […]

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The scourge of politicians and their “private papers”

ONE of the most common criticisms politicians have of journalists is that they are obsessed with TD’s expenses and government waste. Quite aside from the fact that this obsession is in the public interest, there is actually another much more practical aspect to it. Ireland’s Freedom of Information law is severely limited, containing a raft of […]

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Ending the secrecy that surrounds political expenses in Ireland – the battle resumes

Some of you will recall my efforts to get access to the invoices and receipts submitted by TDs and Senators as part of their expense claims. I’ve written previously on this, and how these invoices and receipts are now being classified as the “private papers” of politicians, and therefore exempt from Freedom of Information legislation. […]

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Ex-Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett approved €11k in overnight expenses for driver to travel to Dublin to bring him on short commute from Killiney to Leinster House

A personal driver for Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett ended up being paid more than €10,000 in overnight expenses last year because he travelled from his home in the South East to bring the Ceann Comhairle on a nine-mile journey to Leinster House. Dominic Hearns, a former garda, was able to claim the overnight expenses as he […]

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Political Expenses and Data Journalism

This is a presentation I gave in RTÉ late last year to the Hacks/Hackers group about building databases of political expenses and the challenges of trying to put all of that material together in one place for the first time. You can see the slides here These were the key challenges faced with such a […]

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New FOI Act added “significant protection” from scrutiny for expense claims by TDs and Senators

Over a year ago now, I submitted an FOI request to the Houses of the Oireachtas as part of a project I was working on in the RTÉ Investigations Unit called No Expenses Spared. This FOI request was very specific, looking for copies of invoices and receipts submitted by the small group of TDs and […]

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Political Expenses, Pay and Pension Databases

With the election coming up, these databases of political pay, expenses, pensions, and allowances may all again prove of interest. First up was the database of the €100 million paid out in salaries, expenses and allowances to TDs and Senators in the period between March 2011 and the end of July 2014: http://www.rte.ie/news/investigations-unit/2015/0120/674364-no-expenses-spared/ Next came […]

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