Just how much did Irish politicians claim in travel expenses last year? 3 months ago

Just how much did Irish politicians claim in travel expenses last year?

One Senator alone spent over €27,000 on flights and accommodation.

In new figures released online via the Oireachtas database under the Freedom of Information Act, Irish politicians travel expenses have been revealed for 2022.


The statistics obtained by the Irish Independent show that in total, over €260,000 was spent by backbench TD's and Senators as they traversed the globe for meetings and conferences.

2022 was the first year which saw the wholesale lifting of international travel restrictions since the onset of the pandemic, resulting in an appetite amongst politicians to jet off on parliamentary business.

Politicians travel expenses Politicians travelled far further afield than just the customary St. Patrick's Day Washington visit. (Credit: Rolling News)

Taxpayer money was used to send politicians to places further afield than just the customary sojourns to the States for St. Patrick's Day or the UK for trade talks though.

Destinations such as New Zealand, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and even as far-flung as Uzbekistan were journeyed to by Irish political figures in 2022, as they fulfilled their roles on Oireachtas Committees or representing international political groupings.

Whilst travelling under the guise of work, many politicians did indeed take advantage of the taxpayer footing the bill, with five-star hotels booked across European capitals and some of the globes most exclusive cities.

Sitting atop of the list of travel expenditure was Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, who racked up over €27,000 in expenses in her role as head of the Irish delegation to the Council of Europe.


Ms. O'Loughlin most frequently travelled to the French cities of Paris and Strasbourg, but there were also official visits to the likes of the Italian capital Rome, the Greek island of Crete and the Turkish seaside resort of Antalya.

During her trip to the Turkish city, the Senator stayed at the five-star Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa hotel at a cost of €690 for her stay, whilst the flights totalled over €1,000.

Politicians travel expenses Senator Fiona O'Loughlin accrued the highest amount of travel expenses, at a cost of over €27,000 to the taxpayer. (Credit: Rolling News)

However, the Kildare representative stated that all flights and hotel rooms were booked by the Oireachtas interparliamentary travel team, and not by herself.

The second highest spender in terms of travel expenses was Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly, who splashed out just shy of €20,000 on trips to Strasbourg, Paris, Madrid, Rome and Ljubljana.

Also included in Mr. O'Reilly's travel expenditure were €1,400 flights to Kigali in Rwanda, where he represented the Oireachtas and led an All Party Irish Parliamentary Delegation to the International Parliamentary Union as Leas Chathaoirleach of the Seanad.

The former TD was another who enjoyed a stay in an exclusive five-star resort during a trip to Izmir in Turkey, at a location which boasted a rooftop bar and infinity pool overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Rounding off the top 3 was Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, with visits to Paris, Strasbourg and Athens. Whilst in the Greek capital, Mr. Gavan stayed in the five-star Royal Hotel, from which guests can enjoy a view of the Acropolis.


Other notable spenders included Mr. Gavan's fellow party members Ruairí Ó Murchú and John Brady, who spent €9,378 and €9,077 respectively.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Senator Gerry Horkan spent over €10,000 on trips to Wellington and Auckland as part of of the Oireachtas Ireland-New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Group, with Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward accompanying him on the trip at a cost of €7,483.

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