Over €1 million paid to South Dublin County Council councillors in 2015

By Laura Lyne

OVER €1 million was paid to the elected members of South Dublin County Council in 2015, according to annual figures recently released by the council.

An average of €25,090 was paid to councillors, covering their salary (tax deductible), their expenses accrued through attendance at meetings and seminars and an annual mobile phone allowance.

Mayor Elections 2015 web-8

Additional allowances were also granted to the mayor and deputy mayor and the chairs of strategic policy committees and county development board to cover all expenses that occur as a result of the roles.

The highest payments were granted to Sinn Féin Mayor Sarah Holland (€38,426.91) and former Sinn Féin Mayor (now Senator) Fintan Warfield (€35,676.93) whose roles as Mayor both fell within the 2015 calendar year.

PBP councillor Ruth Nolan’s payment (€22,414.81) had the lowest of all payments to councillors, with her attendance at meetings also the lowest of all councillors, with 25 meetings attended throughout the year.

Details of councillors’ attendance at meetings was also released under the S142 register, which included monthly council meetings, committee meetings, budget meetings and development plan meetings.

An average attendance at 35.2 meetings was collected by councillors throughout 2015 – only Fine Gael councillor Vicki Casserly, who attended 27 meetings in 2015, had an exemption during the year due to maternity leave in the month of June.

The highest attendance at meetings was Fianna Fáil’s Paul Foley, who attended 45 meetings within the calendar year.

Cllr Foley’s attendance included full attendance at all required meetings, including 11 county council meetings, 10 area committee meetings, six strategic policy committees, five organisation, procedure and finance committees, a special organisation, procedure and finance committee, an annual meeting, five development plan meetings, four joint policing committee meetings, one joint strategic policy meeting and an annual budget meeting.

Independent Cllr Dermot Looney attended all his required meetings (37), along with Fianna Fáil Cllr Charlie O’Connor (39) and Independent Cllr Deirdre O’Donovan (41).

Further details on councillors expenses and attendance during the year 2015 can be found on the S142 register at www.sdcc.ie.

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