Over the past three years, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs minister, Eamon Gilmore, was reported to have spent €119,284 on photography. We members of the photography community may think, “So what?” but that's a whopping $163,408 US dollars, in a world that seems to be discouraged with paying photographers their dues.
Gilmore’s considerable expenditure made news on Sunday, derived from “Dáil questions...on the ‘total photography costs’ of all Government departments.” For all our non-Irish readers, Dáil questions are asked by government deputies and directed at Public Affairs officials of various government departments, generally relating to politicians’ accountability. Sounds like a more solidified type of American press conference…
Fianna Fail justice spokesman, Niall Collins, asked how much the "total photography costs" of all Government departments. “A somewhat defensive reply informed Mr. Collins that ‘a significant number’ of major State events, such as the State visit by Queen Elizabeth II, the visit by US President Barack Obama and the EU presidency had occurred during the period.”
I’m not surprised that the Department of Foreign Affairs had the highest expense. But he outdid the prime minister, Enda Kenny, who spent a mere €86,468 since 2011. That'd’ be the equivalent of Secretary John Kerry outdoing President Barack Obama, which might not be inconceivable!
What do you think? Is it really controversial that a politician spent $165,000 on photography over three years?