The Irish Mail on Sunday

It’s the high life for UCC pres­i­dent in 3k-a-month pent­house

Pro­fes­sor earns €185,000 but tax­payer picks up his rent bill...

- By Anne Sheri­dan anne.sheri­dan@mailon­sun­ United Church of Christ · University College Cork · Cork · Iceland · Ireland · Austria · Cork · Belarus · Arbeidersparty · Toronto-Dominion Bank · Alan Kelly · United States of America · Michael Murphy · United Kingdom · Jaguar · Fianna Fáil

THE pres­i­dent of Univer­sity Col­lege Cork is liv­ing in a pent­house apart­ment in Ire­land’s tallest build­ing at a cost of €3,000 a month to the tax­payer, the Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day can re­veal.

Pro­fes­sor Pa­trick O’Shea is stay­ing in the Elysian, one of the most ex­pen­sive ad­dresses in Cork city, with an an­nual cost of €36,000.

UCC chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Diar­muid Collins con­firmed the fig­ure in re­sponse to a ques­tion by Labour TD Alan Kelly at a meet­ing of the Dáil Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee (PAC) this week.

In re­sponse to queries from the MoS, UCC con­firmed Prof O’Shea has been liv­ing in the Elysian, as it ‘met re­quire­ments’ fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment as the 15th pres­i­dent of the col­lege in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

He re­turned from the US to take up a 10-year role, on a start­ing salary of €185,000.

A spokesper­son for UCC said: ‘At the be­gin­ning of the search process for the new pres­i­dent of Univer­sity Col­lege Cork, the univer­sity’s Gov­ern­ing Body ap­proved the per­ma­nent pro- vi­sion of ac­com­mo­da­tion for the suc­cess­ful can­di­date, con­sis­tent with other uni­ver­si­ties in Ire­land. ‘The op­tion of pur­chase and/or ren­tal of a prop­erty was con­sid­ered and it is the long-term in­ten­tion of the univer­sity to pro­vide a per­ma­nent res­i­dence for the pres­i­dent. ‘In the in­terim, a num­ber of city cen­tre ren­tal prop­er­ties were con­sid­ered and an apart­ment in the Elysian, which is in close prox­im­ity to the univer­sity, was deemed to meet the re­quire­ments.’ Mr Collins told the PAC they have a lease agree­ment for the prop­erty for three years at a mini- mum. Prof O’Shea added that the sum is treated as ben­e­fit in kind and is fully taxed.

For­mer UCC pres­i­dent Dr Michael Mur­phy said ‘con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, I do not have a house or a car pro­vided by the univer­sity’.

Dr Mur­phy, who re­ceived a €232,000 salary a year, said the heads of Ir­ish uni­ver­si­ties ‘are as chal­lenged at pay­ing their bills as any­one else’ and if he had taken a sim­i­lar role in the UK, ‘I would have dou­bled my salary, got a house and the use of a Jaguar’. Apart­ments in the Elysian have sold in the past from €575,000 up to €850,000.

All are cur­rently be­ing rented out, with more mod­est one-beds fetch­ing €1,300 per month, while the largest 2,500 sq ft pent­houses com­mand a fig­ure of €3,500 per month.

Also at the PAC this week, the com­mit­tee’s chair­man, Fianna Fáil TD Sean Flem­ing said he found it ‘stag­ger­ing’ 158 staff in UCC are on salaries above €100,000, and 15 of those re­ceive wages of over €200,000. Mr Collins said that higher costs pri­mar­ily re­late to the staff at­tached to the col­lege of medicine and health, with aca­demic med­i­cal con­sul­tants, ‘sim­i­lar to con­sul­tants in the HSE’.

Five peo­ple in UCC are on salaries of €220,000 and above.

Five peo­ple in UCC earn salaries above €220,000

 ??  ?? PlUSh: UCC Pres­i­dent Pa­trick O’Shea lives in a pent­house in Elysian com­plex
PlUSh: UCC Pres­i­dent Pa­trick O’Shea lives in a pent­house in Elysian com­plex
 ??  ?? ToP Salary: Prof O’Shea
ToP Salary: Prof O’Shea
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