The earnings and expenses of the 15 Galway city councillors rose by €30,000 between 2006 and 2007, with left leaning councillors enjoying the biggest sums with payments between €30,000+ and €46,000+.
Twelve out of the 15 Galway city councillors saw increases in their earnings and expenses from last year. Earnings and expenses rose by €30,889 last year, going from €438,451 in 2006 to €469,340 in 2007. The average expenses/earnings rose in the same period from €29,230 to €31,289.
The biggest earnings and expenses were for Labour Cllr Tom Costello who went from €40,483 in 2006 to €61,860 in 2007, an increase of €21,377. However it should be remembered that this was the council term in which he was the Mayor of Galway, a post in which the earnings and expenses rise naturally.
Apart from the Mayor, the largest expenses were those of Green Cllr Niall Ó Brolcháin, from €46,233 in 2006 to €46,311 last year. Labour councillors Billy Cameron and Colette Connolly saw their figures rise. Cllr Cameron went from €25,181 in 2006 to €31,975 in 2007, while Cllr Connolly went from €28,631 to €32,385 in the same period.
Along with Cllr Padraig Conneely (€37,783 in 2007 ) and Cllr Donal Lyons (€33,100 in 2007 ), these are the councillors with the largest expenses and earnings recorded. It will no doubt raise a wry smile among cynics that most of these are councillors of the Left.
Fianna Fáil councillor John Connolly went from €22,015 in 2006 to €24,454 in 2007 and Cllr Michael J Crowe from €18,955 to €22,724. Cllr Mary Leahy is only on the council since February 2007. Her total expenses were €25,954.
For the PDs, Cllr Declan McDonnell went from €25,686 to €27,806; Cllr Terry O’Flaherty from €22,788 to €25,623; and Cllr Lyons from €28,476 to €33,100. Independent Cllr Daniel Callanan went from €20,395 in 2006 to €23,118 in 2007 while fellow independent Catherine Connolly went from €22,443 to €26,496.
Fine Gael Cllr John Mulholland’s went from €24,807 in 2006 to €27,791 last year.
However the remaining two Fine Gael councillors - Brian Walsh and Padraic Conneely - were the only elected representatives whose earnings decreased in the 12 month period.
Cllr Walsh’s expenses went from €44,579 to €21,960, and Cllr Conneely’s went from €41,813 to €37,783.