More on conferencing councillors

Last week I flagged a story about councillors in Kildare attending some unusual conferences at the expense of the taxpayer. I asked if it was something reflected nationally and suggested local journalists and bloggers check it out in their respective areas.

The Donegal Democrat gives added impetus to this suggestion with their story this morning.

Exclusive: Councillor refunds double expense claim – Donegal Democrat

Reporter Michelle Nic Phaidian details how one Fine Gael councillor – a possible candidate in the forthcoming bye-election – claimed for attending two conferences over the same three day period, one of which was held over the weekend of October 16th-18th, the other on October 17th. He claimed mileage, subsistence and fee expenses for both but it appears he didn’t show up for the one-day event, telling the Democrat simply that he “mandated” to do so by the relevant authority.

Following the Democrat‘s investigation Councillor Terence Slowey has apologised and repaid more than €1,000 to the Border Regional Authority.

So, the authorities between them initially gave him more than €2,000 for three days conferencing? Nice work if you can get it.

If you haven’t got onto your local authority about conference expenses yet…