Noirin’s deal to cost us an ex­tra €500k

ex-garda chief’s pen­sion rises by €15k a year

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY FERGHAL BLANEY Po­lit­i­cal Re­porter

FOR­MER Garda chief Noirin O’sul­li­van’s golden hand­shake pen­sion will cost the tax­payer an ex­tra €500,000.

The de­ci­sion by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe to include her time as act­ing com­mis­sioner when cal­cu­lat­ing the fig­ures will see her net around €15,000 more ev­ery year. She will be paid €90,000 a year over the 30-year pen­sion, plus a lump sum of €270,000, giv­ing her a com­bined pack­age worth al­most €3mil­lion. Mrs O’sul­li­van quit last Sun­day af­ter com­plain­ing about the lev­els of scru­tiny she was un­der. She handed in her no­tice to Jus­tice Min­is­ter Char­lie Flana­gan – end­ing months of spec­u­la­tion af­ter be­ing linked to a top job at Europol. The Garda was hit by a se­ries of con­tro­ver­sies un­der Ms O’sul­li­van’s watch, in­clud­ing the breath tests scan­dal, phone tap­ping claims and an al­leged smear cam­paign against whistle­blower Mau­rice Mccabe. The Depart­ment of Public Ex­pen­di­ture quickly con­firmed her pay­out, which will see her col­lect a life­time pen­sion for serv­ing as Com­mis­sioner, without hav­ing of­fi­cially held the of­fice for long enough to do so. Garda pen­sions are based on a mem­ber’s salary for the best three years of their ten­ure. O’sul­li­van was for­mally ap­pointed as Com­mis­sioner in Novem­ber 2014 – mean­ing she had held the top rank for 2 years and 10 months. But the terms ap­proved by Mr Dono­hoe mean she will re­ceive the top pen­sion. Of­fi­cials de­cided Ms O’sul­li­van’s eight months as act­ing com­mis­sioner – fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Martin Cal­li­nan in March 2014 – will also count to­wards her re­tire­ment pot. This de­ci­sion brings her over the three-year mark – and means her pen­sion is cal­cu­lated based on her com­mis­sioner’s salary of just over €180,000, in­stead of her pre­vi­ous deputy com­mis­sioner wages of around €150,000. As a re­sult, her an­nual in­come will rise from €75,000 to over €90,000 – a gen­er­ous in­crease of 18% – while her lump sum pay­out rises from around €225,000 to al­most €275,000. news@irish­mir­ror.ie

The ex-chief ’s pen­sion in­cludes a pay­ment of €90,000 a year which is al­most three times more than the av­er­age wage of €35,600. Over the next 30 years, when a lump sum of €270,000 is in­cluded, she will pocket €3mil­lion. The huge pay­ment is based on her salary for the best three years of her ten­ure. De­spite her only act­ing as com­mis­sioner for two years and 10 months, she will re­ceive a pen­sion for that po­si­tion. Ms O’sul­li­van leaves behind a force mired in scan­dals with morale at an all-time low. Among the con­tro­ver­sies were phone tap­ing claims and an al­leged smear cam­paign against Garda whistle­blower Mau­rice Mccabe. Many will say the re­tire­ment pot is too much con­sid­er­ing there are record num­bers be­ing left home­less and in fi­nan­cial hard­ship. There will be a gen­eral per­cep­tion among the public she’s be­ing re­warded for fail­ure. It should also be re­mem­bered for­mer Ir­ish Water man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Tier­ney walked away with a pack­age of al­most €600,000. Is it any won­der the public are cyn­i­cal when they have to work their en­tire lives to re­ceive a pen­sion of around €200 a week. If they be­lieve there is one rule for the fat­cats and one for them they’re prob­a­bly right.

IN THE MONEY Noirin O’sul­li­van

DE­CI­SION Paschal Dono­hoe

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