Dara Murphy says will co-operate with ‘independent’ inquiry

‘It remains my intention to establish that I have not broken any rules’ - ex-Fine Gael TD

Former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy did not participate in Dáil votes on more than a third of the sitting and voting days he fobbed in electronically in Leinster House during 2018 and 2019.

Former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy did not participate in Dáil votes on more than a third of the sitting and voting days he fobbed in electronically in Leinster House during 2018 and 2019.

 

Former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy has said he will co-operate with any Oireachtas inquiry into his attendance record.

“It remains my intention to establish that I have not broken any rules with respect to my attendance or related expenses paid to me during me time as a TD and vice president and campaign director of the EPP (European People’s Party). I believe it will be possible to find an independent person or process to facilitate this ,” he said in a statement on Monday evening.

“Secondly I would like to reiterate and clarify that I have had, from the very beginning of my time in the role of leading the campaign for Europe’s largest political grouping, the full and unqualified support of Fine Gael.

“I am also happy to provide evidence of this to the agreed appropriate body. I will contact the Ceann Comhairle and Clerk of the Dáil to see how best to progress this very early in the new year.”

Mr Murphy was commenting after the The Irish Times reported on Monday that Mr Murphy had refused repeated approaches to take part in an inquiry concerning his attendance and work record.

Mr Murphy did not participate in Dáil votes on more than a third of the sitting and voting days he fobbed in electronically in Leinster House during 2018 and 2019.

The Cork North-Central TD attended Leinster House on 24 sitting days out of 70 in the first nine months of 2019, and 42 of the 104 sitting days during the whole of 2018. It is the lowest attendance record by a considerable margin.

An examination of his voting record shows that he cast votes on nine days up to September 30th, 2019.

He did not cast votes on seven other days when votes were taken in the Dáil, even though he had fobbed in electronically in Leinster House. This means he was not in the chamber when the votes were taken and suggests he either arrived too late for the votes, or left the complex before the votes were taken.

In 2018, Mr Murphy cast votes on 18 days in total but did not vote on nine other days when votes were taken, even though he was recorded as present in the Dáil that day. Some of these days were the weekly “division day” where a multiple of votes are taken.

The former minister of state has been based in Brussels since September 2017 where he held a full-time paid position as director of elections for the EPP for most of that time. It is the centre-right political grouping in the EU, of which Fine Gael is a member.

There were 53 days in 2018 when votes were taken in the Dáil, the latest year for which full records are available. Mr Murphy was present and voted for 18 of those voting days and was present but did not vote on a further nine days, suggesting that, on some days at least, he arrived in from Europe too late to vote, or departed for Europe before the divisions were called.