Presidential candidate Senator Gerard Craughwell has stated that if elected as president he would donate upwards of €100,000 of his salary to worthwhile causes.
Describing the current presidential salary of €250,000 a year as “outrageous”, he said it was more than he would have ever dreamed of, referring to his previous employment as a security officer or as a soldier.
“You work damn hard for minimum wage so I can understand people’s annoyance,” at the salary.
Speaking to Eamon Keane the Independent candidate from Galway said:
“I would use the salary to support causes that I believe are worthy and one of those would be for ex-servicemen, the organisation of ex-servicemen who have been treated very badly by the state,” said the Senator.
Deputy Craughwell said he would like to maximise the tax benefit of donations to organisations like this.
“I earn €66,000 a year here as a Senator, I’m not hungry and I don’t suffer. I certainly could see €100,000 of the salary, possibly more.”
He believes that the only voice there has been for the last month “demanding” that the people of the country have an election, has been his.
“The presidency needs to be refocused, inward-looking in Ireland, looking at some of the serious issues there are in this country, that I won’t deny the incumbent has mentioned from time to time, but I think we need to do more than mention the issues,” said the Senator.
Yesterday evening President Higgins confirmed his intentions to seek a second term in office.
Senator Craughwell has described President Higgins as a strategic move in order to eliminate the possibility of an election and said he was deeply disappointed and angered by the timing of the announcement.
The Country will go to the polls in October to decide who the next occupant of the Áras will be.
Listen to Eamon’s interview with Deputy Craughwell below.