I have been blown away by the wasteful spending of certain Senators in parties other than my own who court votes from Councillors by sending frequent letters and, at Christmastime, cards and gifts.
Last year, my 'haul' included a number of diaries, a book on local elections, a box of chocolates and a tie. What a total waste of taxpayer's money and abuse of parliamentary resources!
I've already received one diary this year from a FG Senator - see left. I don't know who paid for it - but it came in a Seanad envelope.
In anticipation of receiving more, I wrote to all 60 Senators this evening as below. It will be interesting if I receive any replies from the "usual suspects."
As a County Councillor elected in June 2009, I was very surprised last year to receive all sorts of "gifts" in the posts from Senators from parties other than my own, presumably in the hope of securing my support in a future Seanad election.
I received another such "gift" today. In anticipation of receiving any more, I want to state that I do not wish to receive any further "gifts" from any Senator. In my view, they are a waste of taxpayer's money as well as a needless expense. The only impact that the receipt of such a "gift" would have on my voting intention is negative.
I would encourage any Senator intending to spend their own money on sending Christmas cards or "gifts" to every Councillor in the land to instead give the money to one of the many worthy causes which need it most, such as their local St Vincent de Paul or other local or international charity.
Is mise, le meas,
Cllr Dermot Looney
The Labour Party / Pairtí an Lucht Oibre
South Dublin County Council / Comhairle Contae Áth Cliath Theas