Howlin: Stopping €750k McCarthy severance would have meant legal action

The Minister for Public Expenditure has defended the €750,000 severance payment to retiring civil servant Dermot McCarthy.

The Minister for Public Expenditure has defended the €750,000 severance payment to retiring civil servant Dermot McCarthy.

Brendan Howlin said any move to reduce Mr McCarthy's pension payment "would have resulted in legal action".

Mr Howlin said: "We are not going to pretend that I can break contracts that are in place for people who have legitimate expectations now.

"There will be other anomalies that may well arise and I am grappling with each of those as they arise."

However, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said Minister Howlin had the power to cut the pension payment if he wanted to.

She said the Government is "standing idly by while civil servants retire on massive sums".

Ms McDonald said: "You have the levers and the special discretions to stop the severance payment, to put a halt to the additional years, to end the disgrace of this outrageous payment to this top civil servant."

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