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Dublin: 10°C Friday 12 August 2022
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FFers have to pay for stay during party think-in

As Fianna Fáil members meet to discuss the social impact of the recession, they feel the pinch themselves after being asked to pay for their own accommodation.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THERE’S NO SUCH thing as a free lunch – or a free think-in, as Fianna Fáil members have been asked to pay for their accommodation while attending the party conference, which begins today.

Members of the party received a letter in August informing them that there was no alternative but to ask members to pay directly for their hotel bed and breakfast when they attend the two-day conference.

However a Fianna Fáil press spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that not all of the 35 TDs, senators and MEPs who attend will need accommodation as some already have homes in or near Dublin.

The party’s debt currently stands at €2.4 million.

The spokesperson said that people were “certainly happy” to pay for accommodation as they understand the party’s financial situation.

The conference will take place at the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, in Dublin.

As expected, a number of financial issues will be on the agenda at the think-in, which takes place ahead of the Autumn Dáil session.

Party leader Micheál Martin said:

There is a significant focus on the social impact of the recession at this year’s Parliamentary Party meeting. Issues such as fairness, debt sustainability for families and the personal and social impact of unemployment will all be discussed in detail.
The first session will focus on the economy, examining ways to safeguard the progress that we made in stabilising the public finances and reducing the deficit while continuing to protect key areas of social spending.  The work from the Parliamentary Party meeting will feed into the policy renewal process that is being launched around the country.

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The think-in will include a number of workshops, including one on Coping with Recession – A Social Perspective, chaired by Barry Cowen TD, and The Economy – Safeguarding Progress, chaired by Michael McGrath TD.

Willie O’Dea TD will lead the group through a session on jobs and competitiveness.

Meanwhile, it is a year to the week since former Taoiseach Brian Cowen had to deny being hungover during an early-morning radio interview following the conference in Galway.

Read: Cowen denies being hungover on morning radio interview>

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