Councillor Terence Slowey paid ‘huge political price’ for double claim

Donegal Councillor Terence Slowey has appeared before the Standards in Public Office Commission in relation to expense claims made by him in 2008.

The Fine Gael councillor admitted at the hearing in Dublin  that he had filed a double claim during the period but claimed he had done so in error, and said he had paid a huge political price for the mistake.

The case related to claims made by Cllr Slowey for attending two conferences in Co Kerry and Co Cork between October 16th and October 18th in 2008, one on behalf of Donegal County Council, the other on behalf of the Border Regional Authority.

The Commission was told Cllr Slowey claimed for travel expenses to and from Co Donegal for both conferences, gaining over €2,400 in expenses. He had immediately accepted he was paid twice, and repaid half the money.

Cllr Slowey said the day he submitted the claims was “very busy and full of meetings”, and he did not consciously break the rules but did so “in error”.

Cllr Slowey told the commission he had suffered a loss of prestige and had paid a "huge price politically" as a result of media interest in the case. He said he had missed out on being selected to run for Fine Gael in both the recent General and Seanad elections as a result of the hearing.

Commission Chairman Justice MP Smyth said the board would report its findings in three to four weeks.