Print bill for TDs and Ministers comes to almost €80,000

Documents released under FoI show those with highest spending on Oireachtas service

Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell placed the most expensive print order in the form of 50,000 colour newsletters at a cost of  €1,286.

Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell placed the most expensive print order in the form of 50,000 colour newsletters at a cost of €1,286.

 

TDs and Ministers spent nearly €80,000 using the publicly funded Oireachtas printing service in the first half of this year and in the run-up to the local and European elections.

Documents released under Freedom of Information legislation show the politicians who submitted the highest bills include Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy; Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell; Labour TD Joan Burton; Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell; and Independent TD Tommy Broughan.

The politicians requested printing jobs for newsletters, sympathy cards, visitor’s books, advice clinic posters and compliment slips.

The most expensive order placed with the facility was by Ms Mitchell for 50,000 colour newsletters at a price of €1,286. The second most expensive request was for 49,000 newsletters from Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath at a cost of €1,240. Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan placed a similar request for €1,216. For the same amount, Mr Murphy had 49,500 newsletters printed.

Independent TD Tommy Broughan placed an order for 46,800 newsletters at a cost of €1,146.

Ms Burton printed 43,000 letters for €1,053 and Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell requested 41,000 newsletters at a cost of €1,018.

Headed paper

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ordered 35,000 newsletters at a cost of €866 as well as 10,000 sheets of Oireachtas headed paper for €142.

Sinn Féin TD and former party leader Gerry Adams asked for 30,000 newsletters costing €772.

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty printed 25,000 newsletters in February at a cost of €632, the documents show.

A total of 876 orders were placed up until June of this year. Overall, approximately 3.2 million items were printed.

In April, former Independents 4 Change TD and current MEP Mick Wallace ordered 250 copies of a policy document to give to his constituents at a cost of €83. Another former Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly, also now an MEP, requested the same amount for her constituents at the same cost.

Figures also show that Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey placed two separate orders for 15,000 printed documents at a cost of €398 and 10,000 further documents for €270.

Ms Bailey was recently removed as chairwoman of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing as a result of her controversial personal injuries claim against a Dublin hotel. The move came on foot of an internal party report into the Dún Laoghaire TD’s claim against The Dean hotel on Dublin’s Harcourt Street for falling off a swing.

The documents also show that Minister for Health Simon Harris requested 19,000 newsletters at a cost of €517 in two separate orders.

Top 10 printing bills

1. Denise Mitchell, Sinn Féin, 50,000 newsletters: €1,286

2. Michael McGrath, Fianna Fáil, 49,000 newsletters: €1,240

3. Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fáil, 50,000 newsletters: €1,216

4. Eoghan Murphy, Fine Gael, 49,500 newsletters: €1,216

5. Tommy Broughan, Independent, 46,800 newsletters: €1,146

6. Joan Burton, Labour, 43,000 letters €1,053

7. Alan Farrell, Fine Gael, 41,000 newsletters : €1,018

8. Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach, Fine Gael, 35,000 newsletters and 10,000 headed pages: €1,008

9. Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin, 30,000 newsletters: €772

10. Regina Doherty, Fine Gael, 25,000 newsletters: €632