One in seven TDs have hired family members to work with them in the Dáil.
TDs are given an allowance every year to hire assistants, with 23 giving jobs to family members according to the Irish Independent. Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon has employed his wife, as has Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming. The sister of Labour’s Sean Sherlock works alongside him in the Dail.
The wife of Wicklow's Green Party TD Steven Matthews, who replaced him on Wicklow County Council, told the Irish Independent last February that she wouldn’t become his parliamentary assistant when he was elected to the Dail. However the newspaper is reporting today that she has taken up the role as his Secretarial assistant in Leinster house.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath's daughter and niece share the role of parliamentary assistant - while another daughter works part-time as his secretarial assistant. A Parliamentary Assistant has a salary of between €41,000 and €52,000, while the pay for the position of Secretarial Assistant is between 24,000 and 47,000 euro.