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Expenses Scandal Forces Out Irish Parliament Chief

The embattled speaker of Ireland's parliament says he will resign rather than face a no-confidence vote demanded by opposition leaders over his lavish spending on staff and travel.

John O'Donoghue says he will step down next week as the neutral moderator of parliament. His concession came hours after the two major opposition parties declared they no longer had confidence in him and would seek his ouster.

O'Donoghue had faced mounting criticism since the summer, when newspapers began publishing details of his expense claims from traveling worldwide. Reports at the weekend said O'Donoghue made trips to horse races in England and Australia with more than euro20,000 ($29,450) in funding from a state-sponsored horse racing authority.

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