SIPO investigation into O’Domhnaill expense claims cost almost €300,000

 

Brian o'domhnaill

The Standards in Public Office Commission has spent almost €300,000 in its investigation into alleged duplication of expenses by Senator Brian O'Domhnaill when he was a member of Donegal County Council.

The expenses in question were claimed by Mr O'Domhnaill between 2006 and 2007, and are thought to be in the region of €2,000.

Documents released to TheJournal.ie under the Freedom of Information Act show that just over €297,750 has been spent on legal and translation fees, as well as court costs.

The Journal is reporting that the commission met on Monday and came to a decision on the case. A report is currently being drafted by Sipo, which will have to be translated into Irish and given legal approval before it can be published.

In May of this year, a public hearing of Sipo heard Senator Ó Domhnaill claimed travel and subsistence expenses from Donegal County Council for three meetings he attended in March, April and May 2006.

The hearing was told he claimed travel and subsistence expenses from Údarás na Gaeltachta for meetings taking place in other locations on the same dates. Senator Ó Domhnaill denied any wrongdoing and said he filled out his expense claims "as honestly as he could".

The Journal.ie reports today that as of May 10th, SIPO had spent over €25,000 on translation services, €156,000 has been invoiced by SIPO's solicitors, and over €93,000 has been paid out to Law Library staff involved in the case.

High Court fees in connection with the case cost Sipo over €21,000.

The journal.ie say the commission met on Monday and came to a decision on the case. A report is currently being drafted, which will have to be translated into Irish and given legal approval before it can be published.

Full story can be read HERE