We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shane Cassells ran unsuccessfully for the Dáil in a 2005 bye-election. Fianna Fáil
Government Jet

Dempsey's jet under fire from constituency colleague

Meath councillor Shane Cassells criticises minister and government for being ‘out of touch’.

A FIANNA FÁIL councillor has launched a significant attack on transport minister Noel Dempsey over the €100,000 cost of a flight he took on the government jet while his driver followed him in his car.

Cllr Shane Cassells, a member of Navan Town Council and Meath County Council and a constituency colleague of Dempsey’s, said people struggling to make mortgage repayments on the back of increased interest rates could not support the government’s expensive ‘antics’.

He told the Meath Chronicle:

Last week was dominated by news of false mobile phone invoices from Ivor Callely and Noel Dempsey flying to Donegal on the government jet. But, for most people, the only news that was of concern was the fact that their mortgage cost was going to increase by over €1,000 a year.

These people then look at the paper and see Callely pocketing money he was never entitled to and the Department of Transport claiming the cost of a flight on the government jet for Noel Dempsey was €13,000 and not €100,000.

Who cares what it cost? It was still too much! This really is about as far removed from reality as it gets for most ordinary people.

He also said that Fianna Fáil’s grassroots membership was demoralised by the perception of the government’s high-flying lifestyle.

Speaking to a meeting of the party’s youth branch in Queen’s University Belfast earlier this week, Dempsey has conceded that he was “wrong” to have taken the flight but stopped short of apologising for the expenses of his travel.

The Queen’s student newspaper The Gown said that with the “wonderful benefit of hindsight”, Dempsey admitted he should have considered alternative methods of travelling from Dublin to Donegal to make an address at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.