Politicians splashed out almost half a million quid of taxpayers money for a two-hour Dail bash last year – including almost €11,000 to compose music for the day.
The outlay saw bills totalling more than €460,000 for the function in the Mansion House to celebrate the 100-year anniversary for the sitting of the body on January 21, 1919, in the same venue.
Our pampered politicians led the way for the 500 VIPs in total who enjoyed the day, which included 31 invited guests from other parliaments in Europe, and further afield, who were put up in the best hotels as well.
The unbelievable costs were clocked up through bills such as €50,000 for audio-visual, €40,000 to build a temporary set for the afternoon’s speeches and performances, and €30,000 to rent the Mansion House – which they took for six days for the one afternoon event.
The bill for “music composition, arranging and artistics coordinator and music rights” was €10,950.
There was an interesting invoice too of €3,478 for “crew meals during security lock-down in venue on January 31.”
The details owere obtained by the Irish Mirror through a Freedom of Information request.
The costs to put up the guests in fancy hotels were just over €20,000 for rooms in the luxurious Davenport and Westin hotels for only two nights.
And the splurge to impress the speakers of other parliaments didn’t end there. It cost us €7,700 for car hire, bus and airport transfers, and a whopping €16,500 for “fast-track airport reception and transfer services” for the parliamentary guests.
There was €200 for a harpist to play at their dinner and they were sent away with €228 worth of Irish sweets as souvenirs.
There was also a lot of preparation deemed necessary for the event.
For instance, the €29,970 bill to book the Mansion House as the venue was paid to cover six days.
The bill for outside broadcasting facilities came to €74,528 for four daysl.
Then there were more big bills for similar things, one for “production design” of €33,000, another of €20,000 for “production and service,” while “production rigging” set organisers back another €7,337. There was a €30,000 tab paid for “lighting for television production.” A “cameraman” was paid €2,622 for “3 days shoot and expenses,” while someone got €3,240 for photographing the event.
A spokeswoman for the Houses of the Oireachtas underlined the importance of the celebration.
She said: “The Houses of the Oireachtas was keenly aware of the need to give a full and proper context to the formation of the first Dail as one of the key events in our history as a state and as one of the key commemorative events in the Decade of Centenaries programme.
“In that spirit the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission approved a Dáil 100 centenary programme based on the conceptual theme of Celebrate, Commemorate, Educate.”
This content was originally published here.