TDs from NW among those not voting despite clocking in

TDs from the north west are among those who have recorded their attendances at Leinster House for expense purposes but have not taken part in Dail votes.

That’s according to an investigation by RTE which found that some TDs failed to take part in any votes on almost 50% of days when they recorded their attendance in Leinster House.

TDs must record their attendance in Leinster House to claim expenses under the Travel and Accommodation Allowance Scheme.

The scheme costs taxpayers almost three million euro per year.

Expenses are based on the distance a TD has to travel from their residence to Leinster House.

The allowance is given to TDs on the basis that they attend Leinster House on at least 120 days per year.

The TDs use an electronic fob system on just one occasion daily to record their attendance

RTE Investigates looked at the total number of days between March 2016 and July 2019 when TDs recorded their attendance but did not attend any votes.

It also looked at the expenses they claimed between March 2016 and the end of 2018.

Among the TDs who signed in and missed votes on a HIGHER than average number of days were Sligo/Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry who claimed €86,672 and did not vote on 34 days.

Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue claimed €89,228 and did not vote on 33 days.

Donegal Independent Deputy Thomas Pringle claimed €87,660 and missed votes on 26 days.

RTE also looked at the TDs who signed in and missed votes on a SMALLER than average number of days.

These included Sligo/Leitrim TD Eamon Scanlon who claimed €86,341 and missed votes on 21 days; Donegal Sinn Fein Pearse Doherty, €90,493 and missed votes on 16 days; Sligo/Leitrim Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny who claimed €85,388 and missed votes on 15 days; and Sligo/Leitrim Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin who claimed €87,294 and missed votes on five days.

In response, TDs have said they may be at other meetings in Leinster House or may have ‘pairing’ arrangements with Dail colleagues in relation to absences for voting.