Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness is not being permitted to take part in European election interviews on Midwest Radio.

The European candidates running in the Midlands-Northwest constituency are being interviewed individually on the Tommy Marren show in the run-up to polling day on Friday.

However, as Fine Gael has split the constituency among its two candidates -  Mairead McGuinness and Maria Walsh, Ms McGuinness has told Midwest Radio today that she cannot take part in the programme, and has apologised for not being able to do so.

Meanwhile, Mairead McGuinness claimed the top expenses of Ireland's MEPs during their five-year term in the European Parliament.

Figures published in the Irish Examiner show that nine of Ireland's eleven MEPs claimed a total of €5.5 million in expenses between 2014 and 2019, while Luke Ming Flanagan and outgoing MEP Brian Crowley refused to answer questions about expenses and allowances.

Of the 9 MEPs that responded, Mairead McGuinness was the top claimant, receiving over €709,000 in allowances and reimbursements, on top of her salary and monthly staff allowance.

Elsewhere in the Midlands-Northwest constituency, Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy claimed expenses of over €646,000 since being elected in 2014 - of which €216,000 was for travel, while Independent MEP Marian Harkin, who's retiring from European politics, claimed expenses of just over €590,000 - of which €81,000 was for travel.

These expenses are on top of their annual salary of €105,000 and a separate monthly budget of almost €25,000 given to pay for personal assistants' wages.


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