Noirin’s deal to cost us an extra €500k
ex-garda chief’s pension rises by €15k a year
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. email@example.com
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