Over €586,000 paid out to retired and former TDs who lost their seats in general election

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Over €586,000 paid out to retired and former TDs who lost their seats in general election
Over €586,000 paid out to retired and former TDs who lost their seats in general election

MORE than €586,000 was paid out in termination pay and lump sums in January and February to TDs who retired or lost their seats at the general election.

his included €28,055 in termination payments to ex-Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy, according to records released under Freedom of Information by the Oireachtas.

Mr Murphy had stepped down as a Dáil deputy in December; this followed considerable controversy over his claims for travel and accommodation allowances at Leinster House while having a full-time job in Europe.

The former Fine Gael TD received a termination lump sum of €16,031.50 in January, according to the database of payments from the Oireachtas.

He was also paid €6,011.81 in both January and February in termination pay.

All TDs who lost their seat or retired before the last general election were entitled to a termination lump sum of between just under €15,000 and around €17,500.

Altogether, 26 former members qualified for these lump sums with a total of €421,859 shared between them following their departure from national politics.

In addition, each of them received termination pay of between €5,600 and €6,500 in February, which is calculated on the basis of 75pc of their previous salary.

That can be paid for up to six months depending on length of service, at which point the rate of pay changes to 50pc of their previous Dáil salary.

In some cases, politicians may opt to move on to their pension if it’s likely that it will exceed the level of termination pay they would receive.

When they choose to receive or qualify for their pension, they are paid a separate pension lump sum although none of those lump sums have yet been paid.

Ministers who lost their seat in the election but continue to serve in government have not yet received any of these payments and remain on their departmental pay roll.

According to the records, former Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams was paid his lump sum of €16,031.50 in February and also received termination pay of €6,011.81.

Maria Bailey – the Swing-gate TD who did not contest her seat at the last election – received a lump sum of €17,098 and a monthly payment of €6,411.76.

Former Labour leader Joan Burton was paid €16,031 in a lump sum and her termination pay for February worked out at €6,011.81, according to the Oireachtas records.

Dr Michael Harty – a former independent TD for Clare – received the highest termination lump sum payment of €17,467.80, the records showed.

His monthly termination pay was listed as €6,550.43. The slightly higher rate of pay relates to his service as chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

The smallest lump sum listed was the €14,972 paid to ex-Labour TD Brendan Ryan, who received €5,614.85 in his termination pay for February.

Other names on the list include a string of former ministers like Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Finian McGrath, Michael Noonan, John Halligan, Catherine Byrne, and Jim Daly.

Well-known names who were also in receipt of the termination lump sums and pay included Martin Ferris, John Deasy, and Maureen O’Sullivan.

It is open to all members to gift either some or all of their termination pay or lump sums back to the state. The Oireachtas does not, however, provide details of such payments as it is considered personal information.

Separately, the Oireachtas paid out €838,710 in pensions to former TDs and Senators in February, according to the latest figures.

Pension payments to former members can be more than €4,500 a month for the highest earners, which excludes separate ministerial pensions that are paid by the Department of Finance.

At the other end of the scale, some of the pensions are worth just a few hundred euro-per-month for short-serving TDs and Senators.

Online Editors

Source: Irish