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Harris: €300,000 request for senators’ constituency offices is farcical

The Fine Gael TD said that it confirms that the majority of Senators would rather be in the Dáil.

Fine Gael TD Simon Harris.
Fine Gael TD Simon Harris.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL TD Simon Harris has described a request by Senators for €300,000 to cover constituency office costs as ‘farcical’.

In today’s Sunday Times, it is reported that Senators have appealed to Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin for funding to open personal offices in their homes towns, despite the fact that they don’t have geographical constituencies.

Harris said this “demonstrates how dysfunctional the second chamber is”.

We are just six weeks out from a referendum on the future of the Seanad being put to the people, making reports of this nature even harder to believe. What this move confirms to us, however, is something that most of us already know; that the majority of Senators would rather be in the Dáil.

The TD said that a consitutency office allowance might allow a senators to better ready themselves for a general election and possibly make the transition to move to the Dáil but added that this “should not be done at the expense of the taxpayer”.

Related: Fine Gael: There’s no ‘secret report’ which convinced Taoiseach to abolish Seanad>

More: Support for Seanad abolition down in latest poll>

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