Two Donegal TD’s denied full allowance over attendance

Two Donegal TD’s have been denied full allowance overattendance.

The TDs did not attend Dáil for the required minimum of days last year.

Overall eight members of the Oireachtas were denied the full amount of one of their annual allowances last year because of their attendance record at Leinster House.

An analysis of expenses paid out in 2018 by the Houses of the Oireachtas reveals six TDs and a Senator were paid less than the standard travel and accommodation allowance for not attending the Dáil or Seanad for the required minimum of 120 days.

Two of the six TD’s were from Donegal – Independents4Change TD Thomas Pringle and Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty.

Deputy Doherty was paid a Public Representative Allowance of €51,715 and was one day below the threshold meaning he had to repay €320 of his Travel and Accommodation Allowance.

Meanwhile Deputy Pringle was five days below the minimum days required meaning he had to repay €1,568 of his €51,715 allowance.

Deputy Pringle says the he was absent was because he had chosen to stay at home in Killybegs to be with his daughter while she was doing her Leaving Certificate exams.

The Travel and Accommodation Allowance is based on the distance travelled from their normal residence by Oireachtas members to Leinster House and ranges from €9,000 to members based in Dublin up to €34,065 for those in band 12 who live more than 360km away.

Deputy Pringle says it’s easier for those living near the capital to ensure they have reached the quota of days required for qualification for the allowance.