A Tipperary TD has defended his decision to employ family members to work with him in the Dáil.
Deputy Mattie McGrath is among 23 TDs to do so.
One of his daughters and a niece share the role of parliamentary assistant – while another daughter works part-time as his secretarial assistant.
The Independent representative says three other staff employed by him are not related.
He also says the three family members are more than suitably qualified for their role and bring a wealth of information and expertise.
The Newcastle based TD says he has worked as a public representative for well over 20 years and his children and wider family have grown up with public service to the forefront of their lives.
Mattie McGrath says they have served the public for many years whether in employment or not and they go above and beyond the call of duty.
He says this was particularly evident at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when they worked until 10 or 11 o’clock each night responding to the hundreds of queries being sent into his office.