A breakdown of €674,000 in payments made through the Oireachtas’ special secretarial allowance

Ministers, TDs, and Senators spent more than €674,000 through a special allowance they can use for PR advice, consultancy, or secretarial assistance.

Among the payments since the last election were €6,154 to writer and actress Stefanie Preissner for public relations advice for Minister of State Anne Rabbitte.

A number of politicians hired family members through the allowance including Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley who paid his wife Emer €10,400 for secretarial assistance.

TD Aindrias Moynihan also paid his son, also called Aindrias, a total of €9,861 for secretarial assistance, according to records released by the Oireachtas.

The special secretarial allowance is available to Ministers, TDs, and Senators to cover the costs of consultancy, public relations, and IT support.

It can also be used to hire a secretarial assistant especially where TDs or Senators are looking for somebody to work for them temporarily.

The €674,719 in payments were made in the period between June of last year and this January.