Galway City Tribune – Councillors earned more than €480,000 in salaries and expenses in 2017, according to newly-published Galway City Council figures.
This week’s Galway City Tribune publishes the full details of what each of the 18 city councillors were paid in allowances and expenses.
Fine Gael’s Pearce Flannery was the top claimant for the year with a total of €36,876 – he served as mayor for the second half of the year and expenses included trips to Chicago (a ‘sister’ city of Galway) and on to the Milwaukee Irish Festival.
The next highest earner was his party colleague, Padraig Conneely at €36,448, followed by Independent councillor Noel Larkin (who served as mayor for the first half of 2017), who was paid €34,206.
Galway’s 18 councillors cost the taxpayer a grand total of €480,591, which is over €18,000 more than the total of 2016. The comparative total for 2015 was €462,376.
The monies paid to councillors include an annual basic salary of €16,565 (which is subject to tax) and a further annual allowance of up to €4,390 depending on the number of local authority meetings which were attended by the individual councillor.
Councillors are also entitled to claim an allowance for their mobile phones, as well as for travelling expenses, overnight and subsistence expenses for travelling to conferences around the country. Councillors who serve terms as mayor can also expect to have international trips.
Those who Chair one of the City Council’s five Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) – Housing; Transportation and Infrastructure; Economic Development and Planning; Environment and Recreation, Amenity and Culture also receive an allowance of €6,000 per annum.
Cllr Padraig Conneely was the most travelled of the councillors during the year with 25 trips – four to Dublin, three to Cork, two to Mayor, Laois, Donegal, Tipperary, Meath, Wexford and Sligo and separate trips to Clare, Louth, Leitrim, Wicklow, Mayo and Cavan.
The trips were made in his capacity as a councillor and also because he was elected as a delegate to other bodies including the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) and the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) and Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees.
During his time as mayor, Cllr Noel Larkin claimed more than €1,200 for a week-long trip to Boston, St Louis and San Francisco in the United States; €1,600 for a 10-day trip to Seattle and New York around St Patrick’s Day and €225 for a visit to Germany for the city’s designation as a ‘Green Leaf’ environmental designation.
For the full breakdown on payments to all 18 city councillors, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.