Galway City councillors rake in the expenses

Galway City councillors rake in the expenses

Galway City’s local election candidates have 150,000 incentives to get elected – that’s how much in euro they stand to ‘earn’ over the next five years of the City Council.

Analysis of city councillors’ expenses claims during this term of the Council reveals that the ‘winners’ in the May 23 local election stand to pocket on average €30,000 per year for their role as a public representative.

Those candidates who are elected and subsequently serve as mayor can expect even larger annual payments, as much as €43,000 on average.

The Galway City Tribune can reveal that a whopping €1.8 million of public monies has been spent on city councillors’ expenses in the four years 2010 to 2013.

That breaks-down as about €120,000 per each councillor over four years. That estimate does not include the last six months of 2009, following that year’s election, and nor does it include the first six months of this year in the run-up to the May election. When that 12 months is factored in, it brings the total per councillor per term to €150,000, and the total expenditure to €2.5 million.

The top five earners since 2010 were: Mike Crowe (Fianna Fáil), mayor in 2010/2011, €175,887; Pádraig Conneely (Fine Gael), the current mayor, €161,412; Terry O’Flaherty (Ind), mayor in 2012/2013, €147,653; Declan McDonnell (Ind), mayor in 2009/2010, €130,550; and Hildergarde Naughton (Fine Gael), mayor in 2011/2012, €128,982.

For further figures and analysis, see this week’s Galway City Tribune