Some of you may have followed the long saga on this thread about how Dun Laoghaire Rathdown paid out €10k to two councillors to help them do degree courses. The thread ended with a ruling from the Standards in Public Offices Commission telling Minister Hogan that the legislation does not cover degree courses.
In an interesting PQ response this week, Min Hogan has basically told SIPO where to go. He seems to claim that S.I. No. 668 of 2006 allows for such payments, though I can't find anything in the SI to support this.
The Minister's new Local Govt Reform programme does include further restrictions on payments to Councillors for training and education, but that won't come into being for a couple of years. In the meantime, the Minister is allowing Councils to continue to pay for degree courses for Councillors, despite the SIPO ruling.
I've never heard of a Minister ignoring a ruling from SIPO before. Have you?