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Dempsey should be made to pay the money back – Doherty

6 August, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has condemned the Transport Minister Noel Dempsey for using the Government jet and a chauffeur driven Ministerial car to get to the MacGill Summer School in Donegal last month.

Senator Doherty said the Minister’s actions were particularly disgraceful given that he was travelling to Donegal to take part in a debate on the need to change political culture in Ireland.

Speaking today Senator Doherty who took part in the same debate as the Minister said:

“There is absolutely no reason why the Minister could not have drove to Donegal on his own and got a commercial flight to London from Derry the next day. The fact that he stayed overnight in Donegal shows that he had plenty of time to book a flight but instead the Minister made a conscious decision to waste taxpayers’ money and indulge in the type of extravagant luxuries that are out of reach of the vast majority of people in Ireland.

“Also the event finished at six in the evening so there is no reason why the Minister could not have been back in Dublin that evening. He had plenty of other options open to him.

“The fact that the Minister was travelling to Donegal to take part in a debate on the need to change political culture in Ireland makes his actions all the more disgraceful. I argued at that the debate for a step change in the culture of waste, mismanagement and corruption that is endemic in Irish politics.

“But of course Minister Dempsey is part and parcel of that culture as this whole episode proves.

“The Minister needs to be made face an investigation into this issue and ultimately should be made to pay back the money he has wasted just as his colleague Ivor Calelly must do.” ENDS

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