Increased pay to attract “high calibre” TDs and Senators, a room to gather and have “space”, and a confidential support service for politicians suffering abuse from the public are just some of the suggestions made in a survey of senior politicians in Leinster House.
TDs and Senators have run up an overseas travel bill of more than €120,000 during the past seven months.
Politicians jetted off to the four corners of the globe clocking up hundreds of thousands of air miles on trips to Iran, Russia, Canada, the United States, and Mozambique.
One senator Ronan Mullen made three expense claims totalling almost €1,800 on three separate one-night trips to France, according to the records, and despite the fact hotels and flights on the trip were paid directly by the Oireachtas.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl was away on separate trips to St Petersburg, Helsinki, and Washington DC. His counterpart in the Seanad, Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan, jetted off three times to Iran, Georgia, and the USA.
Just over €9,100 was spent on flights to bring five parliamentarians to Iran for a “bi-lateral” visit last October.