Last Friday (June 29) I submitted a formal complaint to the Ceann Comhairle’s office regarding a possible abuse of expenses by Socialist Party TD Clare Daly.
I had intended submitting the complaint to the Clerk of the Dail but was informed by the Communications Unit of that office that the Ceann Comhairle’s office was the appropriate authority.
Today, as I had received no acknowledgement of my complaint, I rang the Ceann Comhairle’s office to check if they had received my email.
I was informed that they had only received my email on Friday and in any case it was not a matter for the Ceann Comhairle’s office, the Clerk of the Dail was the relevant authority for dealing with such complaints.
An official at the office of the Clerk of the Dail confirmed this morning that his office was indeed the correct authority for dealing with such matters.
So, once more:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wish to lodge a formal complaint concerning an apparent abuse of expenses by the Socialist Party.
My complaint is based on the following exchange between Socialist Party TD Clare Daly and journalist Matt Cooper on Today FM on 26 June last.
Matt Cooper: But why claim the expenses? It has been claimed that Mick Wallace doesn’t claim expenses, why not follow his example?
Clare Daly: We do accept the money and the money is used for local campaigning, supporting works in our area or community campaigns or trades union issues or whatever and we account for that.
I have checked the allowances and expenses section on the Houses of the Oireachtas website and can find no reference that allows politicians to use expenses for political campaigning or trades union activities.