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Ethics watchdog to hold public hearing into FF senator's council expenses

SIPO has been investigating allegations over Brian Ó Domhnaill’s expenses while on Donegal County Council since last year.

Brian Ó Domhnaill was elected to Donegal County Council in 2004, and then appointed to the Seanad in 2007.
Brian Ó Domhnaill was elected to Donegal County Council in 2004, and then appointed to the Seanad in 2007.
Image: Photocall Ireland

IRELAND’S ETHICS WATCHDOG is to hold public hearings next month into allegations over expenses claimed by a member of the Seanad while he was a county councillor.

The hearings into the claims of Fianna Fáil’s Brían Ó Domhnaill will be held at the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) premises on Leeson Street in Dublin next month.

The claims relate to travel and subsistence expenses paid to Ó Domhnaill in 2006 and 2007, before he was appointed to the Seanad by then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Ó Domhnaill has denied any wrongdoing, and a previous internal Fianna Fáil inquiry found no basis for the allegations.

The senator, who contested both the 2010 by-election and 2011 general election in Donegal South-West, has previously told DonegalDaily.com he is “on dry ground in this matter”.

SIPO’s investigation follow anonymous allegations made to Donegal County Council last year, which were later passed on to SIPO.

The ethics watchdog appointed an inquiry officer to investigate the allegations last year, and will now hold a public hearing on Monday 10 June.

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Gavan Reilly

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