Former minister Mary O'Rourke

Read more: Former minister Mary O'Rourke demands expenses from local party

The former Minister who demanded over $3,500 in election expenses days after landing a massive pension windfall has backtracked on her claim.

Fianna Fail veteran Mary O’Rourke is to hand back the cash she received from the local party branch in her native Athlone.

O’Rourke received a $400,000 pay-off and a $180,000 a year pension when she lost her seat in the Irish parliament at the recent general election.

Her demand for over $3,500 in election expenses from her local branch of the Fianna Fail party angered many members.

The branch did pay most of the money claimed but the story caused national furor when it appeared in the Irish Independent on Monday.

Now the same paper has revealed that O’Rourke contacted branch chairman Michael O’Brien and told him she would return the money.

The paper reports that O’Rourke said she had decided to forgo the payment due to the poor state of the branch’s finances.

Read more: Former minister Mary O'Rourke demands expenses from local party