Transparency is an important tool to ensure that you, the voter, can have trust in the people you choose to elect. In 2019, I was elected as a Green Party MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for the Dublin constituency for the term 2019-2024. In the interests of transparency, I am sharing the following information regarding my salary, travel, allowances, lobbying and other issues.

Thank you for your patience while I update this page with the latest information.

Working Conditions

I work from an office in my home in Dublin, and from offices provided by the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg. I rent an apartment in Brussels and pay this from my salary as an MEP. In non-COVID times, the European Parliament holds a Plenary session in Strasbourg, France, one week out of every month. During this week I pay for my hotel accommodation from a subsistence allowance that I receive from the European Parliament for days spent away from home. The European Parliament pays for the international travel costs incurred for my travel between Dublin and Brussels/Strasbourg. An overview of European Parliament allowances may be viewed here.

Salary and Staff

My monthly gross European Parliament salary as an MEP is €8,995.39 (as of 1 July 2020). On this I pay EU tax and insurance contributions, after which the salary is €7,011.74 which is then subject to Irish tax. From my staff budget I employ four Accredited Parliamentary Assistants and one Intern based in Brussels, and one Local Assistant based in Dublin. More information on MEP salary and staffing arrangements is available here and here. The names of my staff are available here. I am obliged by the rules of the Parliament to employ an Irish ‘Paying Agent’ for my Irish staff, currently Armstrong Admin Services Ltd.

Calendar & Meetings

As an MEP, my calendar is mostly dictated by the European Parliament's yearly layout. A normal month usually consists of one plenary week in Strasbourg, one constituency week in Dublin and two weeks of Committee and Group meetings in Brussels. For MEP Grace O’Sullivan and I, ‘Group’ meetings are meetings of the Greens/EFA political group. On the European Parliament website you can find the colour-coded yearly calendar for 2023. As part of my work, my team and I regularly meet with civil society, interest groups and lobbyists who want to influence the direction of EU policy-making. For transparency purposes, I record these meetings with interest representatives publicly here on the same website, and also in a more searchable format on my website here. I also ensure that the interest representatives that meet with my office are signed up to the EU Transparency Register.

You can view my yearly calendar since 2019 here.

You can view my yearly record of meetings since 2019 here.

Travel

MEPs are refunded the actual cost of their travel tickets between Dublin, Brussels and Strasbourg on presentation of receipts and boarding passes. They also cover the costs of travelling to conferences which have direct relevance to my Parliamentary work. In 2019/2020 I spoke on road safety at conferences in Sweden, climate action in Austria, placemaking in Spain, and the future of cities in Portugal.

I try to reduce my carbon footprint by not flying over and back from Ireland every week that the Parliament sits, and instead travelling by ferry and train through London on around one in four trips. It takes about twelve hours to travel from Dublin Port to Holyhead, by Virgin train to London Euston, and then by Eurostar from St. Pancras Station to Brussels South Station. Travel costs vary: sometimes a one-way plane ticket between Dublin and Brussels can cost €350 Euro, sometimes as little as €10. Given that my travel plans often change at the last minute I sometimes buy a more expensive flexible premium ticket. From May 2019 to September 2020 my travel costs were €8,373. So far in 2021 (from January to July) my travel expenses amount to €1,914.

The Belgian Government provides all MEPs with a travel pass valid for first-class rail transport in Belgium. The European Parliament makes available cars or minibuses and drivers for travel between airports and the Parliament in both Brussels and Strasbourg. I generally travel by public transport, but used this facility twice in 2019/2020 in order to make tight travel connections. The Parliament also makes available E-Bikes and bikes to MEPs and staff and I have used this facility frequently. I offset the carbon cost of my travel by supporting Vita, an Irish charity fighting hunger and climate change in Africa, and through carbon offsets available from Carbon Neutral Now set up by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Expenditure & Allowances

A General Expenditure Allowance of up to €54,156 per year is available to cover office management costs, telephone and postal charges, and the purchase, operation and maintenance of computers, and other office supplies and equipment.

In 2020 I spent a total of €8,475 using the General Expenditure Allowance. The ‘Office Furniture and Equipment’ line was greatest in 2020 as my staff and I made use of this allowance to equip ourselves for working from home. See below for the breakdown of my 2020 General Expenditure Allowance expenses:

I return any unused amounts of the General Expenditure Allowance to the European Parliament. Here you can find a copy of the certificate from the audit I had carried out on my use of the General Expenditure Allowance in 2020, and here the voluntary declaration of same on the EP website.

Additional funding is available to my political group (the Greens/European Free Alliance) under the ‘400 budget line’ for expenditure on political and information activities conducted by the group in connection with the European Union’s political activities. I have used this facility to carry out research on the Irish tax system, and hidden road subsidies. I also plan to use the 400 budget line to purchase some sustainable/recycled Greens/EFA branded merchandise, and further research studies, later in 2021.

Interests

I hold share units in the following Irish funds: BVP 9th EII, Exergyn, Gaelectric, and the Green Effects fund. I have extended a loan to Lilliput Stores Ltd, a café and food store based in Stoneybatter, Dublin. I am not currently a director of any company.Previously, I have served as a company director of the following charities:The Arts Specialist Support Agency Limited (Blue Drum) Charity Number CHY 14699, which undertakes works of a charitable nature beneficial to the community designed to support and enable projects, centres and support agencies in the anti-poverty sector to use creative methods in the furtherance of their anti-poverty, social justice and social change objectives and to enable individuals, groups and communities most disadvantaged by society to access a quality experience.Planning Landscape Architecture Community Environment Limited, (PLACE NI) Company No. NI607231, Registered Charity Number XT30723, which is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with charitable status dedicated to the making of great places across Northern Ireland.I own a building consisting of a shop unit with an overhead apartment at 16 Fade Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. The apartment is privately rented and registered with the Residential Tenancies Board. The shop unit has been rented at a discounted rate to ‘We Make Good’, a social enterprise that creates job opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.I serve as president of EUFORES, the European Union Forum On Renewable Energy Sources, an independent non-profit organisation. EUFORES is a European parliamentary network with members from all major political groups in the European Parliament as well as in the national and regional Parliaments of the EU Member States. I am not remunerated for this position.I have been a member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, the Royal Town Planning Institute and I am currently a member of the Irish Planning Institute.

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