MORE than €41m has been paid out over the past four years in expense claims to the country's TDs and senators.
A total of €31.35m has been shared among the TDs with a further €10.57m going to the 95 senators who have served since 2005.
Two TDs have taken in more than €300,000 in expenses, primarily for travel and subsistence, but also in a dozen other categories for which politicians can claim.
The top expenses earner was Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keeffe, whose annual claims were above €75,000 and have totalled €304,137 since 2005. Next in line was Fine Gael's Pat Breen, who has taken home €301,206 over the past four years.
The Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny also makes the top 10, with his claims since 2005 coming to a total of €285,277, the Sunday Tribune has learned.
Kenny faced strong criticism for his failure to intervene in the expenses controversy surrounding John O'Donoghue before eventually calling for the Ceann Comhairle's resignation.
The figures have been totalled for the first time and reveal that in just four years, pay and expenses for members of the Dáil have reached almost €100m.
They do not, however, include the costs of ministerial salaries or the expenses involved in overseas and internal travel for members of the cabinet.
Some of the highest-claiming TDs are among the most controversial, with Michael Lowry taking in €299,478.55 in expenses over the past four years.
Fianna Fáil's Beverly Cooper-Flynn, who tried in vain to start a standing ovation following John O'Donoghue's resignation speech, has claimed €275,486 since 2005.
Fine Gael's Bernard Allen, who described the package given to former Fás boss Rody Molloy as like "winning the Lotto", has also claimed close to €300,000.
Jackie Healy-Rae, the Kerry TD who was among the most vociferous critics of John O'Donoghue's extravagant overseas travel, has also fared well.
His total claims, most of which related to travel and subsistence, have come to €290,662 in the period since 2005.
In total, 11 TDs claimed more than €280,000 in expenses, with significant claims from Fianna Fáil's Peter Kelly, John Cregan and Michael Moynihan, and Fine Gael's Dinny McGinley and Phil Hogan.
Expense claims in the Seanad were similarly high with 16 senators claiming more than €200,000 during the past four years. The highest earner there was Fine Gael's Paddy Burke, whose expense claims since 2005 have totalled €286,033.
The vast majority of the expenses are unvouched and TDs are entitled to make claims under 14 categories, including telephones, committee travel, ISDN line rental, training and committee entertainment.