Josepha Madigan submitted bogus ministerial mileage claims over four years

Josepha Madigan made bogus ministerial mileage claims over four years.

Madigan resigned as junior education minister just hours after The Ditch had given her until Monday to answer questions relating to her mileage expenses.

The Ditch first contacted the Dublin-based TD on Tuesday and asked why she claimed to have driven almost 2,000 kilometres in August last year when her ministerial diary and social media posts suggested she had not attended any official engagements that month. 

Four years

From August 7 to 26, 2020 Josepha Madigan claimed to have driven 1,669 kilometres as part of her ministerial duties and was paid €652.08 by the Department of Education.

Her ministerial diary and social media posts show she could not have driven more than 100 kilometres as part of her engagements that month.

For August 2021 Madigan submitted two claim forms to her department in which she said she drove 1,883 kilometres and was paid €735.

Her ministerial diary and social media posts again show she drove less than 100 kilometres on official duties during this period. 

For the first two weeks of August 2022, Madigan was paid €351 from the ministerial mileage scheme after claiming to have driven 900 kilometres as part of her role.

Her diary and social media engagements suggest she didn’t attend any ministerial events during that period. 

Madigan’s August 2023 mileage claim forms show she declared 1,939 kilometres relating to her ministerial travels. Despite being paid €833 for this claim, her ministerial diary and social media presence do not show her attending a single event or meeting related to her ministerial position that month. 

During August ministers typically undertake limited official duties with most of them taking holidays. Madigan’s junior ministerial colleague Dara Calleary, who lives in county Mayo, did not claim any mileage expenses for August 2023. 

The Ditch first contacted Madigan on Tuesday about her August 2023 mileage claim. The minister of state was asked why her ministerial diary did not tally with her expenses claim and if she was the registered owner of the Mercedes car she claimed to have been driving at the time. 

“The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act are complied with when ministerial diaries are published by departments. Published diaries may therefore not reflect every engagement undertaken in the course of work as a public representative,” said a spokesperson for Madigan on Wednesday.

Madigan did not address the ownership of the Mercedes she claimed to have used for ministerial driving in August last year which is registered in the name of her husband – from whom she separated in April 2023. 

Just before 11am today Madigan was asked by The Ditch about her August 2020, 2021 and 2022 mileage claims and whether she would publish a list of her ministerial engagements in August 2023. She was given until Monday afternoon to respond. 

Just after 2pm today Madigan released a statement on X announcing her resignation as minister of state. 

Ministers can claim tax-free mileage expenses for ministerial work, which is considered distinct from their constituency work as TDs, as part of a scheme introduced by government in 1983.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors