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Thursday 23 January 2020

Free gym for Oireachtas staff cost €35k over the year

The state-of-the art gym is very rarely used by TDs
The state-of-the art gym is very rarely used by TDs

Nearly €35,000 was spent on running the Oireachtas gym this year.

The fitness room, which is free for members and staff to use, is located on the lower ground floor of Leinster House.

Around 12 people can comfortably use the facility at once.

The Oireachtas revealed €34,755.87 was spent on the facility up to October.

The costs include payment for equipment maintenance and for the provision of professional services.

The politicians' gym is kitted out with treadmills, cross-trainers, rowers, weights, spinning bikes and benches.

Figures for 2019 show that 4,131 sessions were recorded at the gym.

Exercise

However, TDs and senators make up a small proportion of that figure, with just 302 sessions logged by them.

Under an FOI request, the Oireachtas revealed January was the busiest time for the exercise room as 486 users were logged - 434 staff members and 52 members of the Dail.

By October, that figure dropped to 435, with 31 fewer Dail members using the facility.

The slowest month - apart from August when TDs break for the summer holidays - is September, with an attendance of 345, 13 of which were members.

This is likely because the Dail does not usually return until mid-September.

The gym is open on weekdays, although the opening hours vary.

The earliest it opens is from 8.30-9.30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The latest time slots members can nip in is 7.30-9.30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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