THE chief executive of Limerick City of Culture, whose appointment was shrouded in controversy, is to be paid €120,000 during her contract, it has been confirmed.
The appointment of Patricia Ryan led to a very public row after it emerged the 18-month contract was not advertised.
She has also worked as special adviser to Mary Harney when she was health minister.
Limerick City and County Manager Conn Murray, who recommended Ms Ryan for the position, defended the appointment and dismissed some initial reports of a €170,000 salary as "absolute nonsense".
In a statement issued yesterday it was confirmed that Ms Ryan will be paid €6,583 per month, or €79,000 per annum, for the duration of her 18-month contract.
The salary also includes a bonus of a maximum of €15,000 per annum, subject to meeting key performance indicators monitored by the Remuneration and Finance Committee of Limerick National City of Culture.
"The key performance indicators will include the likes of project delivery and staying on budgets. This will be paid on a quarterly basis," the spokesperson confirmed.
Mr Murray has accepted the criticism over the process used to appoint Ms Ryan.
However, he insists the time constraints imposed on him resulted in a different process being adopted.
"If I had what's being given to the next City of Culture, which is a two-year run in, obviously you would have constructed it in a far different way.
"And if I was given the time, clarity on budget, certainly a different process would have been put in place but that's not the position I was in," he said.
Mr Murray insists he used a process which is "highly acceptable in context of the private sector" to ensure the most appropriate person was put in place to do the job.
While the position of CEO was not advertised, Mr Murray said he "personally identified a number of potential candidates", including Ms Ryan, and engaged with them in confidence, setting out the terms of reference for the post.
Mr Cox has not commented on Ms Ryan's appointment, however, he would have signed off on it, given his position as chairman of the board.