[Sinn Fein]

9 July 2000


Tanaiste challenged to justify private jet costs to Brussels

Dublin City Sinn FÈin Councillor Nicky Kehoe has called on Ta
NEW:Orange Order's call for more Drumcree protests is `outrageous', 8 July naiste Mary Harney to explain why she used the Government jet for three trips to Brussels at a cost of 42,000 (forty-two thousand pounds) ``when she could have used adequate commercial air links that would have cost a fraction of the amount at around 2,300''.

Councillor Kehoe issued his challenge to the T.naiste after it was revealed that the Progressive Democrats leader's 12 trips abroad on the Government jet during the 12 months up to May of this year cost nearly 700,000 (seven hundred thousand pounds).

Councillor Kehoe said that other trips may bear closer scrutiny but the Brussels flights alone seemed unnecessarily wasteful of tax-payers' money. He pointed out that an Aer Lingus Premier Class return flight to Brussels costs 760.

``It's not as if Brussels is in Outer Mongolia and there was no real way of getting there except on the Government jet.

``Forty thousand pounds would go a long way to helping community and pensioners' groups in Dublin. How does the T.naiste - who prides herself on being against wasteful public spending - justify her use of the Government jet in this way?''

(Confirmation: 087 222 7608)


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