City Hall puts councillors’ expenses figures online

Declan McDonnell, Michael J Crowe, and Brian Walsh received the highest expenses of all 15 city councillors according to figures released by the Galway City Council.

The council has posted on-line the details of the expenses paid to, and meetings attended by, all city councillors received between January and December 2010.

The figures can be viewed at www.galwaycity.ie/AllServices/YourCouncil/CouncilMembers/240211_01 xls

The figures show that Independent councillor Declan McDonnell received €56,390, which breaks down as €47,637 in salary and allowance payments, €4,215 in expenses, plus an additional €4,537 for expenses incurred during his time as mayor.

Fianna Fáil councillor Michael J Crowe received €53,534 ,of which €49,864 was in payments, €3,436 in expenses, and €233.61 for expenses as mayor. Fine Gael councillor, and now Galway West TD Brian Walsh received €31,874, of which €28,074 was for salary and allowances, and €3,800 was expenses for conferences.

The remaining councillors’ pay and expenses range from €29,437 to €21,114. However the reason that the money received by Mssrs McDonnell and Crowe is higher than that of their colleagues is due to the fact that both served as mayor during 2010.

As a result both were entitled to receive a mayoral allowance during their time as holders of that office. Cllr Crowe received €22,750 and Cllr McDonnell €24,000.

All councillors receive a basic pay of €16,724 and an annual allowance for attending at meetings of €4,390, although this latter allowance was €4,170 in the case of Declan McDonnell. Councillors are also entitled to a mobile phone and broadband allowance. However this was only availed of by some councillors.

Deputies Walsh and Nolan, and councillors Crowe, Connolly, Conneely, were the next highest paid largely due to the fact that as chairs of various city council’s strategic policy committees, they received an allowance of €6,000.

The figures for these councillors are: Pádraig Conneely received €29,437 (€27,114 in payment and €2,322 in expenses ); the new Labour TD for Galway West Derek Nolan received €27,736 (€27,446 in payment and €290 in expenses ); and Catherine Connolly received €27,174 (€27,114 in payment and €60 in expenses ).

The remaining figures are: Peter Keane received €27,698 (€24,739 in payment and €2,959 in expenses ); Ollie Crowe got €26,718 (€22,044 in payment and €4,674 in expenses ); Billy Cameron received €26,413 (€22,158 in payment and €4,255 in expenses ); Niall McNelis received €25,814 (€22,014 in payment and €3,800 in expenses ); Tom Costello got €25,762 (€21,962 in payment and €3,800 in expenses ); Colette Connolly received €25,567 (€21,767 in payment and €3,800 in expenses ); Terry O’Flaherty received €25,203 (€21,847 in payment and €3,355 in expenses ); Donal Lyons received €22,362 (€21,234 in payment and €1,128 in expenses ); and Hildegarde Naughton got €21,114 and made no expenses claims.

The idea to make public the figures came from a proposal by Cllr Terry O’Flaherty.

“I am pleased that the payments received from the council are now displayed on the web,” she told the Galway Advertiser. “This is a much better and more transparent system than has existed heretofore. By being up front and letting the taxpayer know that we are not hiding anything from them.”

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