How does Dara do it? TD work­ing in Europe and the Dáil on the same day

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Craig Hughes [email protected]­sun­day.ie

A FINE Gael TD is dou­ble job­bing in the EU hav­ing been checked in as present at Le­in­ster House, the Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day can re­veal.

Cork North-Cen­tral TD and for­mer ju­nior minister, Dara Mur­phy, is re­ceiv­ing undis­closed per-diem pay­ments for his role as cam­paign direc­tor of the Euro­pean Peo­ple’s Party (EPP) which he was ap­pointed to in Septem­ber 2017.

Deputy Mur­phy has served as the vice-pres­i­dent of the EPP, an un­paid role, since Oc­to­ber 2015. Ques­tions have been raised about his com­mit­ment to his con­stituency du­ties af­ter the MoS es­tab­lished he has spent at least 44 days abroad on EPP duty in 2018, with 14 of those co­in­cid­ing with Dáil sit­ting days. TDs need to be present in the Dáil for 120 sit­ting days, or on days in which com­mit­tees sit, to claim travel al­lowances. If they fail to do so, a de­duc­tion of 1% per day is im­posed. Mr Mur­phy is en­ti­tled to €30,685 an­nu­ally in travel ex­penses if he at­tends the re­quired num­ber of days.

Up to Septem­ber 30, he had at­tended for 90 days. The MoS has es­tab­lished, largely through Mr Mur­phy’s own tweets, that on nine days in which he has been do­ing his EPP du­ties abroad, he was recorded as clock­ing in at Le­in­ster House.

The MoS ver­i­fied the nine dates by cross-ref­er­enc­ing them with other sources. Al­though there is a process by which he could at­tempt to have these days marked – or rec­on­ciled – as him per­form­ing Dáil du­ties, an FoI of all rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ap­pli­ca­tions this year shows he has not done this. An Oireach­tas spokes­woman said EPP du­ties did

not con­sti­tute a le­git­i­mate rea­son for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. She said clock­ing in and leav­ing the coun­try on the same day didn’t breach the rules. The MoS has tried to con­tact Mr Mur­phy on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions. He did not re­ply to calls or texts. We also con­tacted the EPP, which de­clined to re­veal how much he is paid. A spokesman for FG de­fended the TD and cau­tioned against us­ing in­for­ma­tion from

En­ti­tled to over €30k in travel ex­penses

so­cial me­dia: ‘Con­tent posted to so­cial me­dia is not al­ways recorded on the same day it is up­loaded.’

dual role: Deputy Mur­phy and his wife Tanya

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