Ronan Mullen is wronged by Senate Select Committee report

The letter below which I received from Senator Ronan Mullen is very
disturbing because if it is so clearly damaging and misleading. Please read it and you will be in disbelief that such a Select Committee could be so incompetent in their communications. This man is an Independent Senator and does not have a Party Press Office to bat for him. The least I can do is support the truth and this man is honourable. I am very very liberal in comparison to him but I respect him. I am NOT a fan of the Socialist Workers Party AKA whatever.

Dear Bill,

You may have seen a potentially misleading report on the Nine o’ Clock news or in other media about the Seanad Select Committee’s investigation into politician’s expenses. The impression might have been given that some impropriety regarding expenses may have been alleged against me to the Committee. That is NOT the case. As my statement below makes clear, the complaint, which emanates from a political group, concerns an incident I described in the Seanad in which I said I had been encouraged to exaggerate expense claims. I gave an interview to Morning Ireland shortly after 7 this morning which you can access if you are interested and I enclose below the statement which I issued last night after RTE’s Nine o’ Clock news.

I am extremely concerned by the unspecific nature of the statement released by the Select Committee on Members Interests this evening, and by media reports of same.

The Committee statement says that the Committee has commenced
investigations into separate complaints made against Senators Larry Butler, Ivor Callely, Ronan Mullen and Ann Ormonde.

The Select Committee failed to specify that the complaint made against me does not allege any impropriety on my part in the claiming of expenses. The complaint against me is one made by the “People Before Profit” group and relates to an anecdote I told in the Seanad, and subsequently in the media, about a casual conversation in which it was suggested to me by a member of the Oireachtas at the time I joined the Seanad that I should claim expenses from my home place in Galway, instead of from Dublin where I live. I told this anecdote because I believed it might reflect the lax attitude to expenses that pertained in some quarters in Leinster House. The complainant
says that I should reveal the name of the person who made this comment.

Given the justified anger about the misuse of expenses by politicians, the failure to specify that the complaint against me does not relate to any such impropriety on my part is very damaging. I have been consistently among those who claim the least amount of expenses in Leinster House and I have always acted in an appropriate fashion.

I would ask that the Select Committee reflect on the carelessness of this statement and that they publish a more specific statement. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Chairman of the Committee. I am seeking an opportunity to go on the RTE television news to clarify the situation.
In the meantime I ask that any media reporting this story clarify matters as a matter of urgency.


Yours sincerely,