Kenny promises clarity over Irish Water appointments

The Taoiseach said he does not know if former local authority staff with “generous” pensions and lump sums have taken up new senior management positions in Irish Water.

Kenny promises clarity over Irish Water appointments

Enda Kenny said the information will be made available when it is provided by the public utility company to Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

He was answering questions in the Dáil after the Irish Examiner revealed yesterday that the former Waterford county manager, Ray O’Dwyer — who retired in 2011 with a package totalling €334,000 — has taken up a senior management job in Irish Water.

Neither the company, nor Waterford County Council, have been able to confirm whether he is drawing down his €63,335 pension while working as head of operations and management at Irish Water.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil yesterday that another senior member of a local authority was awarded a lump sum of €270,000 “before moving seamlessly to Irish Water, where they will again receive very high salaries and top-up bonuses as well”.

He said the Taoiseach “does have the answers and does have the story” but had refused to answer questions on it the previous day.

“Does the Taoiseach consider it right that this should happen and that such staff should move into positions where there will be top-up bonuses in addition to what they already have?” he asked during Leaders’ Questions. “Does he think it is fair, or right, and does he stand over it?”

Mr Kenny said he did “not have the answers to the questions asked” on Tuesday but that the information “is in the interest of the public and will be published”.

The company said last night that it does not publish the remuneration of its nine-member senior management team which a spokesperson said would be “standard in the commercial semi-state sector” — with the exception of chief executive John Tierney, who is earning €200,000.

Of the nine members of the team, four had previously worked in local authorities. They including Mr Tierney who worked in Kilkenny County Council, Galway City Council and Dublin City Council.

The others are Mr O’Dwyer, as well as the head of finance, John Dempsey who recently retired from Kilkenny County Council and the human resources manager, Angela Costello, who came from Dublin City Council.

There are also three members who came from the private sector, and one who came from Bord Gáis.

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