One of the most interesting questions is often “who pays?”
It’s important that we know about politicians’ private interests – to ensure they’re acting honestly. In practice, every politician I’ve met since the election is in it for the right reasons, but transparency is a useful basis for trust.
You can read my 2019 formal ethics declaration here. However that form is a bare minimum and isn’t updated as things change – I’ve gone into greater detail below.
Last updated: 28th January 2021
I have two main sources of income.
My day job is as Head of Communications at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. I am paid a basic salary, plus a flat-rate allowance for the evening/weekend on-call work that goes with the job. I generally steer clear of health-related topics in my role as a councillor, to avoid conflicts of interest.
My other source of income is from Dublin City Council. This comes in various parts, including €17,359 a year for the basic job, €1,000 for work on an area committee, a set of unvouched expenses, and €6,000 for being chair of the Council’s Climate Action, Environment and Energy Strategic Policy Committee. I also claim €25 a month for my mobile phone bill, on the basis that it gets a lot of extra use as a councillor.
For retirement, I’m enrolled in pension scheme at the INMO and have previously paid in to the TUC’s pension scheme in London.
You can see my previous employment history on my Linkedin page.
In October 2020, I bought a house in Inchicore. This is with a mortgage from Finance Ireland, which is due to be fully paid off in 2054. I live with a friend, who makes a contribution to the mortgage payments. I split most bills with him.
Prior to October 2020, I was renting a room in an apartment, sharing with a friend, in Kilmainham.
I don’t own any other land or property, don’t have any shares, and I’m not a director of any company or organisation.
I am a member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and the National Union of Journalists. I don’t hold any position in either, but was previously a union rep (“Father of the Chapel”, as they call it in the NUJ) at the TUC in the UK.
I have previously been a member of the London Cycling Campaign, and the trade unions Unison (UK) and Metallos (Belgium).
You’ll be shocked to hear that I am also a member of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas. I sit on the party’s national Executive Committee – I was elected for a one-year term in October 2020.
As a councillor, I’m a member of the Kilmainham Inchicore Network, the South Inner City Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce, and Dublin City Council’s protocol committee, along with the informal group leaders committee. None of the above involves any payment or expenses.
As chair of the of Climate Action, Environment and Energy Strategic Policy Committee, I am a member of that committee along with the city council’s Corporate Policy Group, which operates as a sort of board/policy clearing house for the council.
Donations and campaign spending
All in, I spent €6,867.76 seeking election, from September 2018 to May 2019. This went on a variety of things, including posters, leaflets, and letters. This is a minimum cost, and doesn’t cover some of the harder-to-count costs such as the odd bus fare, pints for canvassers, etc.
To cover the cost of the campaign, I fundraised €6,405.22.
The main sources of funds were a grant from the Green Party’s election fund and a table quiz/raffle in 2018, which raised €1,413.70.
I received 56 donations in addition to this, primarily via GoFundMe. The median donation was €41.58. Nearly all were from friends or family, and none exceeded €500.
I don’t accept corporate donations, and (politely!) refused one during the campaign.
Since the end of the election campaign, I haven’t sought, received or been offered any donation.
If there is any other area you think I should declare, please do let me know on email@example.com