Flanagan says he has given half net salary to local groups


INDEPENDENT TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan has said that he has given half his net salary to local groups as he promised to do after his election last year.

Mr Flanagan claimed to have dispersed €22,421 to eight local organisations in his Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency.

After his election to the Dáil in February last year, he pledged to live on €46,336 gross, half his TD’s salary of €92,672, and to give the money away rather than return it to the State to pay bank bondholders.

In response to questions from The Irish Times, he said the sum he had given away was half his gross salary less 41 per cent tax (€18,997.76), universal social charge (€3,243.52) and PRSI (€1,853.44).

He declined to name the organisations involved and said that when he first made the announcement he was “deluged” with requests from both individuals and organisations looking for help.

Mr Flanagan made a public commitment to give €80,000 over three years to Castlerea Swimming Pool. He said he set up to a private company to further this ambition called Castlerea Swimming Pool Ltd because he had failed to get it charitable status.

He said Roscommon County Council had sent a motion through seeking money from Minister of State Michael Ring’s department to improve the facility. “If that money comes through – I won’t be holding my breath – then I will, as promise, donate money to the project.”

Because his company failed to get charitable status, his donation would be worth €50,000 not €80,000, he claimed as the company would not be able to claim back tax paid on the monies.