Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has acknowledged there is an issue with one of his senators missing three-quarters of Seanad voting days.

However, Keith Swanick, a GP who runs a practice in Belmullet, Co Mayo, has defended his record after an RTÉ investigation showed he did not vote on 84 of the 114 voting days he fobbed into Leinster House between June 2016 and July 2019.

Mr Swanick received close to €73,000 in travel expenses up to the end of 2018.

The Irish Independent reports that Mr Martin told a pre-Christmas briefing he accepted there is an issue with Senator Swanick’s voting record.

Mr Swanick defended his record, insisting he has been "one of the most prolific senators with regards to policy development".

He cited the taskforce on loneliness he established, several private members' bills, his campaigning for the cessation of government investment in tobacco companies and representations for colleagues.

Mr Martin said there was no correlation between fobbing and political behaviour.

The Fianna Fail leader added that a Senator’s representation role, campaigning role and legislative role is far more comprehensive than whether somebody fobs in or not.


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