Councillorsâ€™ expenses and entitlements for 2012/13 have been released and here in Longford a total of â‚¬603,558 was paid out to local area representatives last year.
In 2012, â‚¬621,456 was allocated, and Newtowncashelâ€™s Cllr SÃ©an Farrell, who was County Mayor, was the highest paid councillor in the county with â‚¬83,354 paid to him for both years including â‚¬41,934 in 2012 and â‚¬41,419 last year.
Close behind him is Ballinaleeâ€™s Cllr MicheÃ¡l Carrigy (FG) who received â‚¬83,006 - â‚¬45,954 in 2012 and â‚¬37,051 in 2013, while in third position is the current county mayor, Cllr Larry Bannon (FG) on â‚¬76,527. Cllr Bannon received â‚¬29,779 in 2012 and â‚¬46,748 last year.
â€œI was mayor of the county from 2012-2013 and there is a specific allocation for that,â€ Cllr Farrell told the Leader, adding there was also a public representative allocation of â‚¬16,565 as well. â€œI attended the Longford Association gathering in New York as mayor and one conference on water which was held by Irish Water back in 2012. I have no problem with the figures, there was also tax paid and I was chair of Longford VEC which was an unpaid role,.â€
Meanwhile, Cllr Larry Bannon who is retiring from politics said he spent a lot of time of the road over the past year in his capacity as mayor of the county. He said he also attended a number of conferences and had to employ another person to operate his farm in his absence. â€œIâ€™m not in this for the money,â€ said Cllr Bannon. â€œ I had a lot of expenses as mayor and was on the road a lot of the time. I did the work on the ground and had 10 very good years on the council; I feel I achieved a lot and did as much as I could for the people that I represent.â€