TDs can claim expenses for CCTV and alarms at constituency offices

Move follows reports of staff being verbally abused and threats of violence against them

Funding will be made available for Oireachtas members to secure their offices. File photograph: Getty Images

Funding will be made available for Oireachtas members to secure their offices. File photograph: Getty Images

 

TDs are to be advised they can claim expenses for the installation of security in their constituency offices including the roll-out of CCTV and alarm systems.

The Oireachtas commission has notified the Dáil committee on procedure that funding will be made available for members to secure their offices.

The move follows several TDs reporting staff in their constituency offices being verbally abused and claiming threats have been issued against them.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó’Fearghaíl wrote to the commission in October last year asking it to consider making funds available to assist members in making their offices safer.

Allowable expense

In a response issued last week commission secretary Anne-Marie Fahy said it had considered the matter at its most recent meeting and had concluded “security costs for constituency offices (for example CCTV installation) and alarm monitoring are allowable expenses under category two of the Public Representation Allowance”.

In 2012 a petrol bomb was thrown into the offices of Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh while staff were working inside

Several Labour members had their offices targeted. In 2015 gardaí were called after death threats were made against former minister for the environment Alan Kelly and a suspicious package was sent to his office.

Petrol bomb

There was also an arson attack on the office of Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin that same year.

In 2012 a petrol bomb was thrown into the offices of Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh while staff were working inside.

Security scanning was introduced in Leinster House last year, following a number of attacks on parliaments worldwide.