Dara Murphy resigns seat in Dáil Éireann over expenses scandal

Dara Murphy resigns seat in Dáil Éireann over expenses scandal

Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy has resigned his seat in Dáil Éireann.

The Cork North Central TD had been at the centre of an expenses scandal after it emerged that he had been claiming his full expenses allowance despite being mostly absent from Dáil Éireann over the last two years.

Murphy had been working as the European People Party's campaign director in Brussels since late 2017 and confirmed this morning that he will now begin working for the European Commission.

Despite being present for just 24 of 70 sitting days in Dáil Éireann between January and September, Murphy had claimed expenses of €51,600 — in addition to his Dáil Éireann salary and his salary for his role with the EPP.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Murphy said: "Last night, on Tuesday the 3rd of December, I met with the Acting Ceann Comhairle and gave him a letter informing him of my decision to resign my seat in Dáil Éireann."

"I also met the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last night and spoke to him about my decision. I will of course co-operate with any relevant statutory procedure that may be initiated."

Murphy also thanked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Fine Gael for their support. His statement can be read in full here.

Murphy's resignation means that a by-election will be held to fill his seat in Cork North Central.

The loss of Murphy's seat means that Fine Gael now hold just 47 seats in Dáil Éireann, compared to Fianna Fáil's 45.