Every Monday morning I head out to East Coast Radio in Bray to take part in a panel discussion on events in the news. Regular readers will know that I love radio – and would love to do more.I generally tend to steer clear of heavy political or economics topics as I have no expertise in either. But sometimes something comes to my attention that causes me to lose it – or become a “bit shouty” as producer of East Coast FM’s Morning Show, Claire Darmody would say!

Yesterday’s Sunday Independent published an article entitled ‘TDs and Senators hand us a bill of €14m for their golden handshakes’ by Daniel McConnell. This article listed in detail the kind of payments our elected representatives are being paid as they retired from public office. And yes many of them are the very ones who sat watch over the financial meltdown of this country.

The actual amounts beggar belief. 40 TD will receive over €200,000 with Batt O Keeffe topping this particular poll with a total payout of €266,228. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE HIS ANNUAL PENSION.

This is not just insane in any economic climate, but with the country on its knees financially, it is also absolutely amoral. It is proof that our politicians have no principles and are an unscrupulous lot who clearly are in politics for personal political gain. And weren’t they dead right.

So while Leo Varadker might shout up and down (correctly) about the bonus the DAA tried to award to Declan Collier but what is he and his Government doing about puitting an end immediately to this national disgrace.

I challenge any of these TDs but particularly those who have received over €200,000 to lead by example and return these ridiculous payouts. We have a health service on its knees, children with special needs being denied their special needs assistants, and ordinary working people who have taken huge hits financially. How many SNA’s could be employed for the cost of Mary Harney’s lump sum of €158,730 (and remember this is just her lump sum).

I just hope that these ‘retired’ politicians can sleep easy at night. They are a national disgrace. And boy do they illustrate more than the vast majority of people in this country the greed of the Celtic Tiger era. May history record as much.

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers.


  1. It's the same in the U.S. The Senators and Congressman pay no taxes, get huge discounts on everything and take home big pensions when they “retire.” It sickens me. I want to throw the bums out.

  2. So right Barbara, the system is so corrupt. I said goodbye to a lovely gifted SNA on Friday at my son's school, they get paid about the same as a burger joint worker for Gods sake, it is beyond maddening that so many of them are being let go. Also when you read the stories of the elderly who relied on services being left on their own to fend for themselves, because of cuts,it makes me want to emigrate.

  3. Thanks Twitter. You've summed it up very well & simply. Personal political greed still rules.

  4. Well said. A topic that most agree on – when we have so little and the vulnerable are suffering, it is amoral that these guys get such big payouts! What is most frustrating is how little we seem to be able to do about it!

  5. I was really cross about this too, particularly the suggestion elsewhere that these payments amounted to redundancy payments. I think that comparison is vile and misguided and worse; workers are generally made redundant through no fault of their own, whereas TDs are elected one term at a time, and can only expect a maximum of 5 years work from this “job”. These TDs either didn't go forward for election e.g. Bertie or didn't win back their seats. On what planet does either of those scenarios compare to a worker being let go because of a lost contract or better rates in Poland!?
    The other hugely irritating element about this is the number of former teachers – it's my understanding, though I'm prepared to be corrected – that many former teachers/TDs held their places at their schools, thus preventing a permanent position opening up for another teacher. This was done and justified with the story that these TDs would need something to fall back on. Well I'd like to know how many of these former TDs / teachers have gone back to the classroom?
    Rant over – for now!!

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