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: 26th April 2023
I work full time as a councillor. The basic salary is €28,145 a year. (Prior to July 2021, the basic salary was substantially lower, at roughly €17,000.)
From before the election 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. I also received a One4All voucher as a “thank you” for being a participant in the Citizens’ Assembly on Dublin.
For retirement, I’m enrolled in pension scheme at the INMO and have previously paid in to the TUC‘s pension scheme in the UK.
You can see my previous employment history on my Linkedin page.
The system of expenses for councillors was overhauled in 2021. I claim €960 in petty cash (a set rate by the Department of Local Government), €25 per month for mobile phone expenses, and €6 per month for part of my broadband bill. I also make a claim for the costs of this website, some letterheads for local leaflets, and some printer ink for my printer.
Councillors can claim a maximum €4,200 a year for vouched expenses. In 2022, I claimed €874.14. That broke down as:
- €300 for mobile phone bills (I claim €25 per month and pay any excess above that)
- €92.89 for broadband (I claim 20% of the overall bill)
- €138.01 for website costs (higher this year as I got some cheaper multi-year packages)
- €104.85 on printer toner/ink
- €238.39 on new letterheads for local updates
Councillors are also assigned a training budget of a maximum of €1,000 a year. I have used €300 of this in 2023 to attend a Trinity College course on the economics of the property market. I haven’t used the fund beyond that.
In October 2020, I bought a house in Inchicore. This is with a mortgage 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.
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 currently chair) of the Dublin Metropolitans, a GAA rounders club. I’m also a founding member of the Irish language Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters’ Club, and have an FAI season ticket through them.
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). I was the chair of the National Executive for 2022. I am also a member of the six-person Management Committee of the party.
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. In January 2023, I left the Council’s Climate and Environment Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) to join the Transport SPC. None of the above involves any payment or expenses.
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 I know of 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, both likely with a monetary value under €5.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org