Former TD Tom McEllistrim defends his use of Oireachtas envelopes

Former North Kerry TD Tom McEllistrim has defended his decision to use pre-paid Oireachtas envelopes, to send out letters to party colleagues around the county. Mr McEllistrim says, it’s his understanding that he’s not breaking any rules, despite the fact that he is no longer a member of the Oireachtas. Dail letter Mr McEllistrim has sent in the region of one hundred letters to Fianna Fail members around Kerry in recent weeks, informing them of various forthcoming party meetings. Typed at the bottom of each letter, is a sentence acknowledging that the envelopes are courtesy of Cavan-based Fianna Fail Senator Diarmaid Wilson. In a statement to the media this week, the former TD says he’s fully entitled to use the envelopes to bring meetings to the attention of fellow Fianna Fail members. He says this practice does not breach the rules on this matter. A spokesman for the Standards in Public Office Commission, however, told Radio Kerry that TDs and Senators are not supposed to give out stationary for use by people who are not Oireachtas members. Former Minister John O’Donoghue, who is PRO for Fianna Fail’s Comhairle Dail ceantar in Kerry, says he’s not aware of Mr McEllistrim using Oireachtas envelopes, and has received no complaints about the matter. Senator Diarmaid Wilson was not available when contacted for comment.