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Friday 19 September 2014

Charity boss says his €136k salary was set by HSE

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 16/04/2014 | 02:30

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Euro Currency: Wad of 20 euro banknotes, close-up

A DISABILITY chief who has been told to review his €136,000-plus salary has insisted that the rate was set by a senior HSE regional manager.

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Denis Cronin, chief executive of the Daughters of Charity group, is among a number of disability chiefs who have been instructed to review their salaries by the HSE in its latest 'top-ups' report.

It follows an examination of more than 200 business cases made to the HSE by section 38 HSE-funded hospitals and disability agencies regarding allowances and salary scales.

Mr Cronin receives a car allowance of €11,892 on top of his salary, making it equivalent to that paid to the chief executive of Beaumont Hospital. The HSE said the allowance must end.

However, Mr Cronin told the Irish Independent yesterday that a HSE official was involved in setting his salary level in the first place.

He said that after the former chief executive of the Daughters of Charity retired in July 2011 the post was advertised nationally, with the permission of the HSE.

"A business case was submitted to and approved by the HSE regional director of operations at a HSE salary scale equivalent to hospital manager scale," he said.

"The Daughters of Charity Service has an operational budget of €104m and staff of over 2,000. We understand that the HSE wish to review senior staff salaries and we will co-operate with any such review," he told the Irish Independent.

The HSE has also instructed Patricia Doherty, chief executive of St Michael's House in Dublin, who earns €141,638 – made up of a salary of €129,334 and a privately funded allowance of €12,304 – to revise her salary. Ms Doherty had applied to the HSE for a salary of €136,282.

A St Michael's spokeswoman said: "The organisation is fully engaged with the HSE in relation to this matter and until this process is completed (St Michael's) has no further comment."

Last summer St Michael's House wrote to families, telling them that it had to cut services due to an additional reduction in its funding from the HSE.

St Michael's House provides services to more than 1,600 children and adults who have intellectual disabilities in more than 170 centres across the greater Dublin area and in Navan, Co Meath. These include respite care, adult day services and specialised Alzheimer's services.

It was told that an additional €1m was being cut from its budget for the second part of the year, backdated to July 1.

Meanwhile, another disability chief, Collette Kelleher, head of the Cope Foundation in Cork, has also been told by the HSE in the report to revise her salary of €121,600.

It emerged in November that the HSE was made aware that the Cope Foundation was using public money to fund a top-up of nearly €25,000 to Ms Kelleher.

Chairman Anthony Dinan said the board told the HSE two years ago that it would pay its newly recruited chief executive another 25pc on top of her salary of almost €100,000.

He said the additional top-up, which is worth nearly €25,000, is coming from part of the €43m that it is getting from the HSE annually to run the service – and not from public donations.

The HSE also wants several senior managerial salaries in the Central Remedial Clinic and the Brothers of Charity disability group to be revised.

Irish Independent

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