Swing-gate TD Maria Bailey and car crash injury claim Deputy Alan Farrell had to hand back a combined €6,000

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Two compo claim Fine Gael TDs were among six politicians forced to pay back expenses cash which were ruled out of order.

Swing-gate storm TD Maria Bailey and car-crash injury claim Deputy Alan Farrell had to hand back a combined €6,000 to the State.

The figure emerged in an audit of cash paid to 22 TDs and Senators in 2017.

In total, they had to pay back nearly €10,000 claimed for office and communications expenses including rent, stationery, cleaning and IT costs.

The politicians had no receipts, their claim was out of date or they were not allowed to make one in the first place.

The annual audit of the Public Representation Allowance paid to TDs and Senators in 2017, found almost a quarter of those selected for scrutiny were not able to validate the total expenses they had claimed.

The independent probe by consultants, Mazars, found six out of 22 TDs and senators had made ineligible claims worth €9,650 out of a total of €71,622 paid out to them under the PRA.

All six politicians subsequently did pay back the money.

The politicians and amount of invalid expenses were TDs Alan Farrell (FG) - €4,214.79; Maria Bailey (FG) - €1,977.11 and senators Lynn Ruane (Ind) - €978.81; Michelle Mulherin (FG) - €2,006.73; Colette Kelleher (Ind) - €245.85 and Jerry Buttimer (FG) - €227.16.

The audit observed that the ineligible expenses claimed represented 2.6% of the total value of the PRA paid out to the 22 audited politicians during 2017 - a figure worth just over €372,000.

It showed €3,754 was disallowed because the expenses claimed did not relate to the relevant period, while almost €3,680 was disallowed due to a lack of supporting documentation.

Another €2,217 was deemed ineligible because the related claims did not fall within an allowable expense category.

The audit said the other 16 members were able to show receipts and supporting documentation to validate amounts paid to them during the period under audit.

They were TDs: Finian McGrath (Ind), Clare Daly (I4C), Noel Rock (FG), Niall Collins (FF), Kate O'Connell (FG), Danny Healy-Rae (Ind), Sean Fleming (FF), Simon Coveney (FG), Tom Neville (FG), Martin Ferris (SF), Martin Kenny (SF), Michael Moynihan (FF), Michael Lowry (FG) and Michael Collins (Ind) as well as senators Ronan Mullen (Ind) and Catherine Ardagh (FF).

Deputy Bailey, a TD for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, was removed as chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing in July as a result of her controversial personal injuries claim after falling from a swing in a Dublin hotel.

Mr Farrell, a Dublin Fingal TD, was criticised for making a €15,000 claim for whiplash for neck and shoulder pains he claimed he suffered for up to 18 months following what a judge said were "minor injuries" sustained in a collision with a van.

During court proceedings last year in which he was awarded €2,500 in damages, the court was shown photos of Mr Farrell at the top of a ladder with an election poster four months after the accident.

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