'Inkgate' has led to significant costs - council
THE taxpayer has incurred "significant costs" as a result of councillors "making excessive use of printing facilities", Dublin City Council has confirmed.
Council bosses warned that some councillors have been prevented from using facilities in City Hall due to the excessive printing activities of their fellow members.
The Herald yesterday revealed that two councillors racked up combined bills of €5,500 by printing 140,000 leaflets.
The councillors in question, Tina MacVeigh and John Lyons, are now resisting calls by council management to cover the costs of their printing activities.
In documents obtained by this newspaper last night, council management warned of the seriousness of the printing activities of some members.
"The Manager reported that some members were making excessive use of the printing/photocopy facilities in City Hall," the documents state.
"This was preventing other councillors from using the machines and leading to significant costs in terms of paper, toner and maintenance."
Meanwhile, a third councillor has been dragged into the 'Inkgate' controversy after he was told he printed more than 24,000 pages at a cost of €500 to the taxpayer.
Independent councillor Nial Ring has insisted that the council "over-inflated" his printing estimates and has called for management to investigate.
The council wrote to Mr Ring stating that the pages had been printed between September and December. Mr Ring insists he only printed around 10,000 leaflets.
The council's protocol committee will meet next week to discuss the controversy, in particular the €5,500 bill clocked up by Ms MacVeigh and Mr Lyons.
Both are regular participants in anti-water charge protests and are first-time councillors.
Mr Lyons, who recently labelled members of the Government as cretins, f***ers and parasites, was told by the council that he printed 100,000 sheets at a cost of €3,800.
Ms MacVeigh, also a member of the People Before Profit Alliance, was told she printed 40,000 leaflets at a cost of €1,700.
Independent councillor Mannix Flynn has said both Mr Lyons and Ms MacVeigh should pay for the "exorbitant" printing as requested by council chiefs.
"City Hall cannot be a printing press for people with various ideologies," he told the Herald last night.
" This level of printing is simply unacceptable and I can tell you it has caused serious concern within City Hall indeed.
In a statement to the Herald, Dublin City Council said it has now imposed new rules governing printing in City Hall.
"Two large-capacity printers are provided in City Hall which councillors have access to through an individual code," a spokesman said.
"Councillors can also avail of a home desktop printer and ink, but paper is not provided. A printer and paper is provided in each party room in City Hall.
"A limit of 2,000 sheets (print and copying) per councillor per month was introduced in January 2015 and is subject to review."
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