All TDs have been warned about accepting “sponsored” travel and accommodation after concerns were raised about several Oireachtas members who visited the US recently as guests of a pro-life group.
The Dáil committee on members’ interests has written to TDs alerting them that accepting paid travel or accommodation may constitute a donation and possibly breach legislation.
Several anti-abortion TDs and senators who went to the US on an all expenses-paid trip said they will examine if they breached legislation and whether they must pay money back to the sponsors.
Concerns were raised last month by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) about 10 politicians and trips organised by a pro-life group, Family and Life, to US destinations.
The Irish Examiner has learnt that the committee on members’ interests has circulated a warning letter to TDs about donation guidelines. Under rules introduced in January, members must declare amounts received over €600 and cannot accept more than €1,000.
It is understood that the Oireachtas members who travelled have begun responding to queries about the trip from Sipo.
However, no responses have yet been received from senators Fidelma Healy Eames, Paul Bradford, and Brian Ó Domhnaill, or from TDs Terence Flanagan and Mattie McGrath.
All TDs warned about accepting ‘sponsored’ travel | Irish Examiner