Homeless campaigner contrasts the plight of the poor to a Cork TD who claimed €51k of expenses

Homeless campaigner contrasts the plight of the poor to a Cork TD who claimed €51k of expenses
Homeless campaigner, Father Peter McVerry; with Caitríona Twomey, Director, Cork Penny Dinners and Prof Pat Fitzpatrick and Dr Fiona Chambers Head of School of Education at UCC.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Respected homeless campaigner Father Peter McVerry has called out Cork North Central TD Dara Murphy for double-jobbing while claiming his Dáil salary and expenses.

Mr Murphy has come under fire for claiming his Dáil salary and expenses despite rarely being in the Dáil to represent his constituents. He took up a full-time role with the European People's Party in 2017 and has not often been seen in Dáil Eireann since.

Mr Murphy is set to resign his Dáil seat this month.

A Dáil committee which has been asked to investigate a complaint about Mr Murphy’s Dáil attendance record will be unable to do so once the Cork North Central deputy resigns his position.

Respected homeless campaigner Father Peter McVerry has called out Mr Murphy for double-jobbing. 

Dara Murphy TD 
Dara Murphy TD 

In a letter published in The Irish Times, Fr McVerry spoke of homeless people appearing in court on charges of theft for taking a chocolate bar, or cigarettes.

His letter states: 

"I attended court with a young homeless boy who had been charged with theft of a bottle of orange, value €1.

"Another homeless man was charged with theft of four bars of chocolate, value €3.

"Another homeless man was charged with theft of two packets of Silk Cut cigarettes.

"A TD, on his way to, or from, his full-time, very well paid job in Brussels, stops by at Dáil Éireann to sign in, so that he can collect his full €51,600 expenses for his attendance in the Dáil."

Speaking to The Echo, Cork Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer said that it was a matter for Dara Murphy to explain, but that his own position is clear. 

“In my case as an elected representative and as somebody who has diligently gone about his work, it is important that there is representations made and work carried out on behalf of people,” Senator Buttimer said.

“It’s up to him (Dara Murphy) to clarify his position. 

"I don’t have anything to say other than that in my case it’s about me looking after what I do, working for the people which I have been doing since 2007 as an Oireachtas representative. I’m sure Dara Murphy will clarify his position,” he added.

Senator Buttimer continued: “There’s an expectation that those of us elected to the Oireachtas or to local authority will serve the people, and in our case it’s a combination of being involved at the national level in terms of our legislative responsibilities and duties and parliamentary responsibilities and duties and locally making representations on behalf of people and advising."

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