An Irish MP won an I’m A Celebrity-style TV show after 3,636 premium rate phone calls from parliament. Michael Healy-Rae triumphed in the final of Celebrities Go Wild in October 2007 after £2,300-worth of phone calls were made from Leinster House, it has been revealed.

While the independent politician was not a member of the Oireachtas at the time, suspicions have been raised as he is the son of Jackie Healy-Rae, who who represented the same constituency of Kerry South from 1997 until February this year. While the number of phone votes was so great that that it is suspected the automatic dialling facility was used, it is apparently not possible to trace which extensions the calls originated from.

On winning the final of Go Wild, shown on Ireland’s main public service channel RTÉ One, Healy-Rae said:

“I want to thank everybody who texted during the week, not just for me. All this has been about raising money, creating awareness of poverty in our affluent society.”

We’re not sure Ireland’s poor are so well served by such blatant corruption.

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