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 all the formal ethics and donation statements since I was elected here. However those forms are a bare minimum and aren’t updated as things change – I’ve gone into greater detail below.

Last updated: 1st December 2022

Income

I work full time as a councillor.

The income for this work comes in various parts, including €27,207 a year for the basic job and €6,000 for being chair of the Council’s Climate Action, Environment and Energy Strategic Policy Committee. (Prior to July 2021, the basic salary was substantially lower, at roughly €17,000.)

For expenses, I claim €960 in petty cash (a set rate by the Dept of Local Government), €25 per month for mobile phone expenses, and €11.60 for part of my broadband bill. There is an option to claim some expenses for things like leaflets outside of election time, but I haven’t yet done so.

Until 1st of October, 2021 I also worked as Head of Communications at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, but gave up the role to focus on council work. While I was with the INMO, I generally steered clear of health sector-related topics in my role as a councillor, to avoid conflicts of interest.

In 2022, I received a €100 fee for an article I wrote for the Irish Times, based on a blog published earlier.

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.

Assets

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 there with my partner, with whom I split the mortgage payments and bills.

Prior to October 2020, I was renting a room in an apartment, sharing with a friend, in Kilmainham. Before that, I was renting in Rialto with another friend. I previously rented in London (2015-2018), Brussels (2012-2015), and Hanoi (2010-2011).

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.

Memberships

I am a member of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, the Dublin Commuter Coalition 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 London.

I’m a founding member (and committee member) of the Dublin Metropolitans, a GAA rounders club. I’m also a founding member of the Irish language Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters’ Club.

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, and then for a two-year term in November 2021 (until late 2023). Since January 2022, I am also the chair of the National Executive.

As a councillor, I’m a member of the Kilmainham Inchicore Network, the Donore Project Consultative Forum, 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

Since the end of the election campaign in May 2019, I haven’t sought, received or been offered any donation.

In that election campaign, I spent €6,867.76, 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 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 gifts or corporate donations, and have (politely!) refused any offered. The only exceptions to the “no gift” rule have been a cup of coffee when meeting a shop/cafe owner in 2021 and a weaved key chain decoration from a community group in 2022.

Lobbying

As a councillor, I am a “designated public official” under the Lobbying Act 2015. This means that if I am lobbied by a person or organisation meeting certain criteria, they must register the interaction with the Standards in Public Office Commission.

They have a special site for this, Lobbying.ie. You can see a list of all the records relating to my work as a councillor here.

I’ve tried to be as thorough as I can, but if there is any other area you think I should declare, please do let me know on michael@pidgeon.ie