A politician who voted against proposals to ban bloodsports in Ireland is embroiled in another controversy this week after it was revealed that he asked two on-duty gardaí to drive him from Cork to Dublin Airport after his car broke down.
The Irish Examiner reports that European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy “sought the help after his car broke down on the motorway outside Mitchelstown in rural Cork at 3am on Sunday, September 13, while he was travelling to catch a 6.40am flight to an EU meeting later that day.”
The Fine Gael Cork North Central TD and his chauffeur were reportedly unsuccessful in attempts to get a taxi or roadside assistance.
He has been criticised for diverting gardaí from their duty to undertake the 418km round-trip — instead of asking to be dropped off at the next town to find a taxi. Cork Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary slammed the Minister, saying: “It is absolutely outrageous behaviour in today’s climate, and I would call on Dara Murphy to account for, and pay back, the cost to the State.”
The Examiner highlights that Mr Murphy made the headlines earlier this year “after it emerged that the taxpayer was left with a €30,000 bill after he and a group of officials were jetted home from Latvia to vote in the marriage equality referendum”. According to the Irish Independent, he was also criticised for charging supporters €85 to have breakfast with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in a bid to raise funds for his General Election campaign.
In 2013, Dara Murphy was among the politicians who shamefully voted against Animal Welfare Bill amendments aimed at ending some of Ireland’s worst acts of cruelty to animals.
Deputy Murphy voted against an amendment which sought to outlaw hare coursing in Ireland.
He voted against an amendment which sought to outlaw fox hunting, terrierwork, digging out, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circus performances.
He also voted against an amendment which sought to outlaw fur farming in Ireland.
Contact details for Minister Dara Murphy