The nationalist TD (member of the Irish parliament) said families and workers in Ireland are “struggling” during the crisis as she announced her decision to hand back the money. On Thursday she took to Twitter to announce the move, confirming she had sent back a total of €8,847 (£7,695) to the Department of Finance. She said: “We are supposed to be in this together – right??
“Politicians do NOT need a pay rise of, €8,847 now.
“I have returned mine.
“Families and workers are struggling in this time of emergency.”
Ms McDonald’s opposition to the pay rise will come as no surprise to many of her supporters.
Sinn Fein surged in the polls earlier this year and won the popular vote in the February general election.
After being considered a fringe party for years, Sinn Fein won praise from voters for putting forward credible solutions to Ireland’s housing crisis among other issues.
While many praised Ms McDonald for snubbing the pay rise, others questioned why she went public with the matter.
One supporter “You absolute legend. Mary Lou for Taoiseach.”
Another person said: “Hopefully others follow your lead. Well done.”
But other Twitter users were less welcoming in their reaction.
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One asked: “Why brag about it?”
And another said: “Someone with a bit of grace and dignity would do it without feeling the need to tell everyone on twitter you were doing it.”
Ms McDonald recently contracted coronavirus and is now on the mend, The Times reports.
The party leader is expected to head back to work next Monday after she tested positive for the virus and then suffered a bout of pleurisy.
The Sinn Fein front woman’s daughter is a student at a north Dublin school where the country’s first community outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed.
In a statement issued by Sinn Fein this week, Ms McDonald confirmed a positive result had come back from her test on March 28.
On Friday the Oireachtas, Ireland’s legislature, confirmed no TD has sought a special allowance for working from home.
It follows a report earlier this week which claimed a small number of TDs were looking for expenses while working at home during the COVID-19 emergency.
In a statement, an Oireachtas spokeswoman said no TD has sought such an allowance and one is not being considered.
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