A former Mayor of Kildare, Micheal ‘Spike’ Nolan whose expenses amounted to €135,000 for the past two years, has put it down to being voted in as mayor for two years in a row, which he described as ‘highly unusual’.
The Fine Gael councillor was dubbed the highest earning councillor in Leinster by the Irish Independent this week.
Cllr Nolan said the sum included two annual mayoral allowances of €50,000 per year, which was subject to tax.
“The fact of the matter is that I was voted in as Mayor of Kildare in June 2011 and I was re-appointed in 2012,” he said. “It is highly unusual that somebody would get two years. It had happened 60 years previously. It was testament to my hard work and dedication to the office of Mayor.”
According to Cllr Nolan, who is also a sitting Newbridge Town Councillor, he gave between 60 to 80 hours a week to the role.
“The allowance is set,” he said. “It is a full time job. I had given over 60, 70 and 80 hours a week in a lot of cases. The work includes travelling to community events around the county and functions within the Mayors office. By the time you take everything in - although it is higher than the average industrial wage the allowance is a taxable source of income.”
During his time as Mayor Cllr Nolan also travelled to New York twice as part of his duties during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. This trip was funded by the council. He was also on the on the Board of the VEC from 2009 and 2013.
“I got petrol and fees I think it was €40 per meeting,” he said.
“I came off the Board last September to give time to my studies. I am studying Business Communications for Digital Media with Griffin College in Dublin and the Council is not paying for my studies.”