Dáil bar bill of over €5,000 left unpaid after the summer break

Oireachtas members can pay for their drinks on account

Dáil bar bill of over €5,000 left unpaid after the summer break

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

Sixty-two politicians have apparently left an unpaid Dáil bar bill of more than €5,000 after the summer break.

One member has the largest outstanding bill, coming in at €340.

Dáil and Seanad members are able to pay for their drinks on account, however they do get monthly reminders requesting payment.

Hugh O'Connell is political correspondent with the Sunday Business Post.

He says one of the bars is open to members of the public who have been invited in to Leinster House.

"There's nothing really wrong, I don't think, with a TD entertaining people within Leinster House - particularly if they're constituents and they're looking for votes," he told Newstalk Lunchtime.

"The Dáil bar is not as raucous as it used to be...these days you have a lot of TDs spending their money on soft drinks, cups of tea, coffee, sanwiches, soup, this sort of stuff.

"But there have been notable days where the bar bill has been quite high - particularity there was Lapgate in 2013, the debates around the abortion legislation at the time which saw the Dáil bar open until the very early hours of the morning.

"The staff in Leinster House have actually found it quite hard to chase TDs - particularly those who may have lost their seat and are no longer working in Leinster House."

But the list does not name those running up the bills.

"I think as public representatives, we have a right to know this information - I don't see an issue really with naming them, but Oireachtas authorities take a different view."