Aengus O Snodaigh has once again made a mockery of Sinn Féin’s public face of public purse frugality. Watching the various Sinn Féin spokespeople speak in the Dáil one would be forgiven for thinking that you’d get a stern talking to for not eating the skin off the spuds if invited to dine with them. Remember when Gerry Adams was frothing at the mouth like a rabies infected dog about TD’s expenses? While he claimed over €1 million euro in expenses from Westminster, he didn’t even take his seat. Imagine the cost if he had taken his seat. Sure, of course, you can afford to take the average industrial wage if you have claimed that amount in expenses. Tiocfaidh Armani indeed.
O’Snodaigh, a Dublin South Central TD, claimed three cartridges for every sitting day of the Dail in 2007. That works out at 215 cartridges for the 76 days that the Dáil sat. In just over two years his level of cartridge use came to a ball strangling, eye watering €50,671. He could have sent over 3.25million letters for that amount of ink according to some estimates. O’Snodaigh says this was because there were lot of colored high-resolution photos. What was he printing, porn? Reprinting Northern Bank notes maybe? Adams maintains O Snodaigh was “informing his constituents”. We all know Sinn Féin and the IRA were great at the auld “informing,” sure didn’t most of them work for MI5 during the troubles. Informing on each other with such gay abandon…this takes informing to a whole new level though…
The alleged leader of the opposition, Fianna Fáil TD, Mehole Martin reckons that’s about 1,000 letters for every one of his constituents over the two-year period. While Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has said – every one of the 80,203 voters would have received at least 37 letters over the 2 year period. I have no idea how they came to those conclusions, but the numbers game was never Fianna Fáil’s strong point. I am inclined to cut them some slack this time because the story has spawned much mirth the last few days. Which makes a change from the bad news that infects our airwaves these days like rats carrying bubonic plague from Europe.
Such was Mary Lou’s embarrassment she went so far as to describe his cartridge use as “excessive” – even blushing profusely through her perm-tanned cheeks. Gerry Adams has said his party will investigate. If I was O’Snodaigh I’d be worried. When someone like Gerry Adams says he’s going to investigate… he might send these boys around.
Odd that all these Freedom of Information expenses scandals are coming up, last weekend it was Ho Chi Quinn and his mileage expenses, who’s next… and which party has most to gain from these scandals?