Taxpayers foot €300,000 bill for TD and senator newsletters this year

Fine Gael clock up highest printing bill on Oireachtas printing service

The biggest user of the free printer in Fine Gael was senator Catherine Noone while  Jack Chambers  was the biggest user in Fianna Fáil.

The biggest user of the free printer in Fine Gael was senator Catherine Noone while Jack Chambers was the biggest user in Fianna Fáil.

 

Taxpayers funded €300,000 worth of newsletters, calendars and cards for TDs and senators so far this year which were printed free of charge to them by the Oireachtas printing service.

The new figures were released on Thursday under the Freedom of Information Act.

The party which ran up the highest printing bill was Fine Gael at almost €120,000.

Fianna Fáil requested printing jobs worth more than €88,000.

Sinn Féin clocked up a bill of more than €31,000 while independents got printing done worth €23,500. The Labour Party printing bill came to over €16,000.

The biggest user of the free printer in Fine Gael was senator Catherine Noone who requested almost €9,000 worth of materials printed. Next to her was Alan Farrell TD who clocked up a bill of more than €5,600 while senator Jerry Buttimer requested materials which cost €5,600 to print. Junior minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor placed orders for newsletters and booklets which cost more than €5,500.

The Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan ran up a print bill of €5,485 while the Minister for Communications Richard Bruton placed printing orders worth just over €5,100.

The party’s TD in Dublin North West Noel Rock placed orders for just over €5,000 worth of printing while senator James Reilly, who was unsuccessful in the recent by-elections, requested material worth €4,667.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar placed printing requests worth just over €3,000.

In Fianna Fáil, the biggest user of the free service was Jack Chambers with requests for printing worth €7,400. Next to him in the party for printing costs on the free service to Oireachtas members was Niall Collins TD with requests for materials worth €3900. Mr Collins was recently caught up in the controversy over TDs voting for their colleagues while they were out of their seats.

Party senator Catherine Ardagh was in third place in Fianna Fáil for printing costs, requesting more than €3,800 worth of items through the Oireachtas printing service.

Party TDs John Lahart and Darragh O’Brien each requested materials printed worth more than €3,400. The Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan placed requests with the Oireachtas printing service for more than €3,100 worth of material.

Colour newsletters

In Sinn Féin, party president Mary Lou McDonald used the service most, requesting printed materials worth €3,130. In second place was Maurice Quinlivan TD who ordered printed material worth €2,371. Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams requested printed materials worth €2,200.

Amongst the independents, Thomas Broughan TD requested items costing €3,500. Second to him was Joan Collins TD who clocked up a bill of €1,662.

In Labour, the highest cost is attributed to former Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton with a request for materials costing more than €5000.

The highest quantity of material requested was for 59,000 colour newsletters for senator Catherine Noone. This cost approximately €1,400. Documents show she placed this order four times.

Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy requested 53,000 colour documents costing €1,300 while Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath requested 52,000 newsletters costing €1,260.

Oireachtas printing has been at the centre of controversy since it emerged last month that the cost of a new Dáil printer which did not fit into its designated room will be more than €2 million.

The Public Accounts Committee heard staff would need to use a forklift to load paper into it and were refusing to use it without training.