Council confirms councillor suspended for not submitting election spending details

Kerry County Council has confirmed one councillor was suspended for a period for not submitting election spending details on time.

An investigation in today’s Kerry’s Eye newspaper revealed that Cllr John Francis Flynn was suspended from the council for four days, as he failed to make his declaration on time.

The council is also clarifying Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae’s spending.

Spending limits were first introduced for the local elections in 2009 under the Local Elections (Disclosure of Donations and Expenditure) Act 1999.

The period for which spending was counted for this year’s local elections was the 30th of March to polling day, the 24th of May.

The limits for the six Kerry local electoral areas vary as they’re based on population; for the An Daingean and Castleisland LEAs, it was €9,750, but it was €11,500 for the Kenmare, Killarney, Listowel and Tralee areas.

Councillors had until the 22nd of August to return details of their spending to Kerry County Council.

Cllr John Francis Flynn didn’t make his declaration until the 27th of August; the council confirmed he was suspended from his post from the 23rd to 26th of August and had his pay docked.

Expenses incurred by a candidate before the start of the spending period must also be accounted for in the election expenses statement, if they relate to property, goods or services for use during the election spending period.

Kerry County Council has confirmed they have sought clarification from Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae about his election spending.