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What's it actually like to be a politician in Ireland

  • 02-12-2021 3:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,177 ✭✭✭

    OK so you've been hoisted into the air by fellow members of one of the big parties at your local polling station after a long day of counting, sorted out your accomodation in Dublin and now you're sitting on one of the backbenches where you're supposed to be listening to Leo & Co bang on about some issue that isn't that important to you or your constituents but you're expected to push a certain button at a certain time to go along with what the party has decided. You don't really mind too much because you're about to get around 5k lodged into your Permanent TSB account for not doing that much.

    What do you do when you're not backbenching?

    How many hours do you spend in the dail, in the dail bar, out on the road, meeting constituents? What are the best/worst parts of the job?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,524 ✭✭✭Allinall

    The day they are elected is the day they start canvassing for the next election.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I don't have much time for any of the current crop of politicians in Ireland from all the parties (Bar one or two independents) but saying that I respect the fact they do the job, I wouldn't do it for the life of me. The hassle is too much.

    Also the basic pay is awful in my opinion, what is it around €80k a year? There is a hell of a lot easier ways to earn €80k. I know there are expenses etc. and I'm sure that most if not all use their positions in one way or another to further themselves financially or through "growing business contacts" etc.... but still it isn't for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,177 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    Really 80k a year is awful? There's loads of jobs on that require a lot of brain power and involve a lot of stress that pay around half that, sometimes less.

    What would you consider an easy way to make 80k a year?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,228 ✭✭✭The Mighty Quinn

    €100,191 is the current TD salary, €70,168 for a Senator.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,523 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Don't expect to have a social life. Don't expect to have anything approaching a real holiday until you retire/resign/get sacked by the public. If you are voted out, you are unemployed immediately (the pension isn't immediate anymore, and isn't much for a single term) - if you employed your partner as your secretary you're both unemployed immediately - and may find it very hard to get any type of normal job.

    This applies pretty much from Councillor upwards. And Councillor salaries are appalling, impossible to do full time unless you're retired or otherwise supported - so the unemployed on losing seat doesn't apply to them.

    This is why such a disproportionate % of candidates and hence elected TDs are teachers that can pause their job and go back to it if they lose their seat.

    Life was a lot easier as a backbencher when the two big parties had 60 seats each and you could just be invisible. When the now big three each have ~35, you can't.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Ok, what I said was always going to annoy some people. But I work in I.T. earn more than 80k a year and am under no pressure. I know plenty in the same position, that being said I also know some in I.T. who seem to be under constant pressure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,776 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    The job is in actuality split into two things, the face and the work.

    A cousin of mine has been parliamentary assistant to a TD first elected in 1992. Keeping him there is the work.

    In his time, this TD has been a junior minister, committee Chair and other various posts of responsibility. This means all the ground work goes on in the constituency office while the TD is usually in Dublin, solving problems for local voters. And the workload is pretty huge. The constituency office also manages the local Councillors and relations with the Party and other local TDs.

    For the TD, him or herself, the week is split between Dáil and Committee sessions in Dublin from Tuesday to Friday and constituency appointments from Friday to Monday. You also have party meetings and deputationsz so when the Oireachtas is in session, its 18 hour days, 6 days a week, often longer for the two or three staff that work with the TD.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,036 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Yes, six days a week, long days, yet people say they are overpaid on 100k!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,177 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    There's people working long days 6 days a week outside in the cold on less than half that so I'm not feeling sorry for the poor aul TD's just yet. I would assume as well that a junior minister would have a lot more to do than a freshly elected backbencher

  • Posts: 1,010 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

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