What about Aengus Ó Snodaigh and his 434 toner cartridges? That’s a lot of printing in just two years, at the taxpayer’s expense — €50,600 to be precise. Of course, while it’s nothing new for Sinn Féin to be a heavy user of cartridges, Aengus was pushing it a bit when he helped himself to 215 in 2007 and 219 the following year.
There was nothing illegal about it. Apparently, the Dáil stationery office handed out printing supplies to any public representative who wanted them, and until 2009, there was no limit on the amount available. Fair enough, said Aengus, as he requisitioned an average of four colour cartridges a week, every week, at a cost of €130 each, but in 2010 the powers that be decommissioned him and put the cartridges beyond use, unless they were paid for. Indeed, Aengus is currently sitting on an unpaid bill of €3,700 for cartridges since 2010.
It didn’t strike him as in any way odd to be protesting against cutbacks while at the same time snaffling five times as much ink as the next heaviest user in the Dáil. Wouldn’t you imagine that Sinn Féin, of all parties, would know a wee man somewhere who could get a job lot for handy money?
What on earth was he doing with all that ink and who was paying for the paper on which he printed all these thousands of leaflets and flyers?
I suppose he used the cartridges for high-calibre mail shots, carefully laid out in bullet points, or else, he’s an avid paintballer. Failing that, I can think of many interesting uses for a high-quality industrial printer of the type described by Aengus on Morning Ireland.
One way or another, this news is dynamite.