Michael Healy-Rae breaks silence on expenses controversy

Photo: Kerry County Council

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has broken his silence regarding questions as to why he lodged expenses for attending the Dáil on a day he was at a funeral in Kerry.

Of the nation’s TDs, Michael Healy-Rae and his brother Danny had the highest number of days when they recorded their attendance at Leinster House, yet failed to vote.

TDs use an electronic fob to record their daily attendance; one swipe marks them being present for the entire day.

Michael Healy-Rae, who’s chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, wasn’t present when the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed Leinster House on June 21st last year.

He told Jerry O’Sullivan he was in Leinster House before 7am on that day but had to leave around 8am to travel to Sneem for a funeral:

 

This system of recording their Dáil attendance allows TDs to claim expenses under the Travel and Accommodation Allowance scheme.

Expenses claimed aren’t audited as long as TDs attend Leinster House at least 120 days a year; Michael Healy-Rae says he attends more than the required number.

Deputy Healy-Rae told Jerry O’Sullivan that he has no problem showing records to prove that he was in Leinster House on June 21st last year.