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Donegal senators claim €319,000 02.09.09

INISHOWEN-based Senator Cecilia Keaveney has claimed the highest expenses among Donegal's three Seanad members who, between them, received nearly €319,000 over the last two years.
New figures show Senator Keaveney took home €122,748 in expenses over two years on top of her basic Seanad salary of around €70,000 per year.
Her Fianna Fαil colleague, Senator Brian O'Domhnaill took home €109,428 in expenses since the last Seanad was formed in July 2007 while Sinn Fιin's Senator Pearse Doherty claimed €86,639 in the same period.

Some of the expenses, released under an FOI request to the Irish Independent, can be accounted for as a result of the senators' membership of Oireachtas committees.
Senator Keaveney is a member of the Council of Europe, the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee and the Joint Oireachtas Education and Science Committee.
Senator O Domhnaill is a member of the Oireachtas Education and Science committee while Senator Doherty is a member of the Joint Committee on European Affairs.
Senators living within 15 miles of the Seanad receive an untaxed daily allowance of €55. This was reduced from €61 earlier this month.
Senators living outside Dublin get an overnight accommodation allowance of €126 a night. This was cut back from €139. Senators also get a telephone allowance of €3,750 and receive an annual miscellaneous expenditure allowance of €4,112 for which receipts need not be submitted. All three senators were contacted yesterday by email for a statement. Senator Keaveney declined to comment while no reply has, as yet, been received from Senators O Domhnaill or Doherty.
Senator Cecilia Keaveney, Senator Brian O'Domhnaill, middle and Senator Pearse Doherty.
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