County manager earns €153,000

by Staff Reporter

DUBLIN City and County Council managers’ salaries came under the spotlight at a parliamentary questions session in the Dail recently, at which it emerged that Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Manager, Owen Keegan, receives a yearly wage of €153,260.
Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan to provide a breakdown of the total remuneration packages for each of the four Dublin local authorities’ City and County Managers.
As the figure revealed, Owen Keegan’s is the lowest salary among all of the Dublin managers.  The highest earner on the list provided was the Dublin City Manager, John Tierney, earning €189,301, followed by Fingal County Manager, David O’Connor and South Dublin County Manager, Philomena Poole, who are both on €162,062.
Councillor Lettie McCarthy (Lab), said: “[The manager’s salary] shows the divide between high earners and other council staff, and that there’s a huge discrepancy there. Most people would think they were millionaires if they were on that money.”
Councillor Barry Ward (FG), though reluctant to comment on the manager’s salary, said: “Unfortunately, we have no say in [the salary figure], but that’s nothing new when it comes to the council’s budget; they’re already set.  [The setting of salaries is] outside our power [as councillors] as they are set by the Department of the Environment. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown is, however, a very well-managed authority, with the highest compliance rate for the household charge.”
Councillor Richard Humphreys (Lab) said: “Public servants in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have their pay set by Central Government and not by the Council.  It would be unfair to single them out for attention ahead of any other similar category of public servants.
“I support the concept that high earners, whether in the public or private sectors, can be expected to contribute more through the tax system or Universal Social Charge, and I await details of the budgetary proposals in this regard,” said Humphreys.
In a statement from DLRCC, a spokesperson said: “The pay rate of a County Manager is broadly related to the population of their local authority area. DLR has a lower population than Fingal, South Dublin or Dublin City Council and is therefore in a lower band for the Manager’s salary.”
The council spokesperson would not comment on the size of the salaries in light of current economic austerity.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government said that the pay of County Managers was “protected like everyone else under the Croke Park Agreement. The Minister can’t do anything because the salaries are protected”.

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