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The mystery of the Oireachtas member who ran up €95 bill on one phone call

The TD or Senator who made the most expensive phone call in the Oireachtas this year cannot be identified. Here’s why.
Dec 30th 2012, 3:14 PM 23,146 84

ONE MEMBER OF the Oireachtas ran up a bill of almost €95 euro on a single peak-time phone call this year.

The phone call, lasting just over one hour, was made to Colombia on 12 May and cost €94.79. However the person who made the phone call cannot be identified as the Oireachtas does not log phone calls made by TDs or Senators for reasons of ‘privacy and confidentiality’, the Oireachtas press office said.

The figures obtained by the Ken Foxe of the Irish Mail on Sunday in a Freedom of Information request show that of the top ten most expensive phone calls made by TDs and Senators in 2012, seven of the calls were made to Kenya, two were to Colombia and one was to Mozambique.

Bizarrely, the figures also show that one phone call made to an Irish number lasted more than 17 hours and cost €36, according to the Oireachtas records. Three other phone calls which were in the the top 100 most expensive calls by TDs and Senators lasted between 13 and 15 hours, were all  made to Irish numbers, and cost a total of €94.

In a statement, the Oireachtas press office said steps have been taken in recent years to reduce the phone bill, including the use of more than one telecoms company.

The total Oireachtas phone bill fell from €191,912 in 2010 to €146,634 in 2011. It is expected to fall again to around €137,000 for 2012.

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Christine Bohan

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