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