A new so-called ‘inkgate” of unprecedented scale has hit the headlines today.
In a blatant misuse of public funds, Dublin City councillor and member of the People Before Profit Alliance John Lyons allegedly printed 100,000 leaflets encouraging people to fight and boycott the water charges, at a cost of €3,800 to the taxpayer.
Similar instances of large printings of leaflets and other materials have cropped up in the news from time to time, but this alleged incident has shocked Dublin City Council, due to its scale.
A source close to the matter has stated that “At this point, such a large amount of printing is being seen as an abuse of public funds.”
Dublin City Council Executive Manager Vincent Norton reportedly became aware of the massive printing job after a tip-off. The issue has indeed been recently discussed at senior council level, and it is understood that Mr. Lyons has received a letter explaining the scale of the costs incurred in the process, and will be requested to reimburse all the monies.
While printing is a facility which all councillors may avail from in a fair manner, it is understood that Dublin City Council has now been forced to impose a new regulation to specify that councillors may only print up to 2,000 leaflets per month, to curtail instances of abuse.
Mr Lyons stated he was “disappointed” that the issue has been “leaked to the media”.
Fighting and rebelling against the water charges in a proper way would actually foster Mr. Lyons’ career, but this alleged incident is certain to somewhat smear and tarnish his reputation in the future, and may even warrant the intervention of a disciplinary tribunal to rule on the matter.