Revealed: 300 sit on at least 2 state boards

THE full extent of doubling up across hundreds of publicly-funded quangos has been revealed for the first time, with more than 300 people sitting on at least two state bodies.

One man, the retired Dublin city manager John Fitzgerald, is a director of seven high-profile state institutions, which currently entitles him to fees of €116,651.

Other appointees are spread across at least 367 agencies, boards, bodies, committees, councils, executives, task forces and working groups.

A comprehensive census of this sector appears for the first time in today’s Irish Examiner and reveals 3,364 different positions populated by at least 2,800 individuals.

An investigation into these appointments has revealed the extent of overlap between positions as well as the political patronage within quangos.

More than 50 candidates for Fianna Fáil in recent general or local elections have been given positions.

Ten candidates who stood for the Green Party in their two recent routs were given positions. Some remnants of the Progressive Democrats appear on the list, along with family members and supporters of Jackie Healy-Rae.

On top of this, 21 retired or defeated Fianna Fáil TDs were given positions, along with three former Progressive Democrats.

This does not include supporters, backers and organisers who have been asked to fill quangos by the various coalition partners.

The full breakdown of bodies reveals how more than 60 people play roles in three or more quangos. Two former public servants, John Fitzgerald and Sylda Langford, are on six or more bodies.

Mr Fitzgerald has been appointed to more boards than anybody else. Including the Health Service Executive, which he is resigning from, he holds down seven posts.

He is the chairman of An Post, the two Limerick Regeneration agencies, the Grangegorman development agency and the National Transportation Authority.

Mr Fitzgerald is also the vice-chairman of cross- border body InterTrade Ireland.

Each position entitles him to a fee of between €8,550 and €29,888. His total reward for sitting on the seven boards, not including expenses, would be €116,651 in a full year.

He said he never solicited directorships, and took up these roles in the spirit of public service after turning down far more lucrative posts in the private sector.

Other members of multiple boards include presidential hopeful Sean Gallagher, who is on the board of Fás, InterTrade Ireland and chairs Drogheda Port Company.

Mr Gallagher is a former member of Ógra Fianna Fáil and star of RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den. His appointments entitle him to at least €36,300 before expenses.

Fianna Fáil councillor David Alcorn, the former chair of Donegal County Council, is a member of Údarás na Gaeltachta, the National Roads Authority and the new National Transport Authority. Before expenses, the Donegal man is entitled to fees of €32,670.

Fine Gael has begun life in Government by appointing the chairman of its electoral organisation in Carlow, Phil Meaney, as the new head of Bord na gCon.

But the senior coalition partner has committed itself to abolishing 145 quangos.

Today the Irish Examiner documents each member of each quango.

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