Healy-Rae bullish over expenses - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
Healy-Rae bullish over expenses
TD is reimbursed for train trips at €72 a time -- when he's entitled to free JACKIE Healy-Rae has admitted that up until recently he has been driving to the Dail from his south Kerry constituency in the company of another Oireachtas member -- but he cannot say if they both claimed mileage expenses for their journey.
The 69-year-old politician -- who regularly travels to the capital by train for Dail sittings, claiming €72 for his ticket on each occasion, despite being entitled to free travel by virtue of his age -- similarly refused to identify the politician with whom he had been car pooling.
Mr Healy-Rae said: "A very short while ago, I never travelled by train. I drove all the time and there was a fellah, which I'm not prepared to name, we used drive half the way, each of us."
Asked if both of them had claimed mileage for the trips they took together in the same car, he responded mischievously, saying: "Oh, I couldn't tell you what we were doing. I don't know."
Turning to ongoing expenses he racks up through his €72 trips to Dublin by train, the Kerry TD, who was first elected to the Dail in 1997, explained his need for them on the basis that he had never had the benefit of free travel in his life.
"I've never had free travel in all my life. I never got free travel and I paid for my ticket, a dear ticket.
"I don't book for €10 like a lot of other fellows do. I buy my ticket at €72 a ticket. Are you satisfied with that?"
Asked if he might at least consider the purchase of a €10 train ticket, as opposed to the more expensive option of €72, so saving the taxpayer €62 in the process, he responded by asking what concern his travel arrangements were to the Sunday Independent.
A defiant Mr Healy-Rae added that he was under no obligation to secure his free travel pass, saying: "No, I'm under no obligation to do any of that kind of stuff.
"I know my own business and I won't be declaring it to you or anybody else.
"And when I feel like driving, I can go and get into the car and take the road from Kilgarvan and on to Rathmore, then on to Mallow and Mitchelstown and straight up to Abbeyleix and into Dublin."
Asked if he was also claiming mileage, he said: "I'm not prepared to answer that question. I had my car the week before last and I parked it up in the Dail. They open the gates for me and I go in fine."
Clearly annoyed at being questioned on the matter of his expenses claims, Deputy Healy-Rae ended the conversation, saying: "Do you think that I'm really going to answer these questions to you?
"Why don't you go after Ivor Callely and the Dublin fellahs? Look, I have something else to do.
"In actual fact, I'm very busy. That's all I'm going to say to you -- and good luck.
FFS i GIVE UP