A Sinn Fein TD struck a secret deal with the party that allows him to draw down his entire Dail salary of more than €90,000, it can be revealed.
Sinn Fein has for years made a virtue out of its representatives drawing lower wages than their political rivals – a move the party insists illustrates its commitment to the plight of working class families.
But now it has been established that the party secretly allowed one of its most senior TDs to flout the policy and withdraw the entire Dail salary, which rose to €93,598 (£82,493) on January 1.
Contacted last night, Mr Ellis confirmed that he had drawn down the entire salary since his election in 2011.
He said the decision was taken due to personal financial matters and that he intends to change his approach to his pay in the future.
“I am working with the party on this matter,” Mr Ellis added.
It is understood that he told the party in 2011 he was in financial difficulty due to child maintenance issues.
He said at the time that he needed to draw down the entire Dail salary or else his family could fall “below the poverty line”.