‘Deeply embarrassed’ – Kilkenny councillor apologises for expenses error
A Kilkenny councillor who featured in an RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme about councillors wrongly claiming expenses has said he is “deeply embarrassed” and has apologised for his error.
Cllr Ger Frisby, a Fianna Fáil representative from Slieverue, attended three events – a seminar, an education training seminar and an external body meeting, in which he claimed excessive expenses. All events took place in 2017 and 2018.
In a statement, Cllr Frisby said: “I received a written correspondence from the RTÉ Prime Time Investigates Unit in relation to a programme which aired this evening concerning Councillors’ expenses related to conferences, training seminars and meetings of external bodies.
“In that written correspondence the RTÉ Investigates Unit brought three discrepancies to my attention in relation to travel and subsistence payments I claimed for my attendance of events as a board member of the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB in 2017 and 2018.
“The events in question which I attended in my capacity as a Kilkenny-Carlow ETB board member were:
– The IPB Insurance AGM in Dublin on Friday, 28th April 2017;
– Kilkenny-Carlow ETB Child Protection Training in Carlow on Thursday, 8th March 2018;
– The ETBI Annual Conference in Naas from Wednesday 26th – Friday 28th September 2018.
“In an error on my behalf and due to a failure to follow the guidelines as set down in the Local Government Regulations 2014-2017, claims were submitted on my behalf to the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB which exceeded that which are provided for under the regulations, by €745.92.
“This is the exact figure as agreed after consulting the Finance Department of the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB. This arose because of my attendance at additional events on the same dates on behalf of Kilkenny County Council and IT Carlow for which I also submitted a claim for travel and subsistence.”
Cllr Frisby added: “I am deeply embarrassed by my mistake and having informed the Chief Executive of the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB in writing about what was brought to my attention I have since fully repaid the amount claimed in error.
“For absolute clarity, I can confirm that I attended all events on all dates in question for which I claimed travel and subsistence payments.
“However, that does not excuse my error in not following the guidelines.
“I have offered my sincere apologies to the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB for this error and have also informed the Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council and the Chairperson of the Governing Body of IT Carlow of the above including the steps taken to repay the Kilkenny-Carlow ETB.”