Friday 20 October 2017

Council boss retires with €250k lump sum

Sligo County Manager, Mr Hubert Kearns
Sligo County Manager, Mr Hubert Kearns

Gordon Deegan

THE local government official who presided over the disastrous Lissadell House court saga has walked away with a pension lump sum payment of over €250,000.

Hubert Kearns served as county manager of Sligo County Council from 1996 until his retirement earlier this month at the age of 57.

Mr Kearns, pictured, is one of two county managers to have received golden lump sum payments in recent weeks, with retired Fingal county manager David O'Connor receiving just under €300,000 last week.

In a written Dail response to Deputy Clare Daly, Environment Minister Phil Hogan confirmed that Mr Kearns received a total of €251,309 in lump sum payments and will receive an annual pension of €62,827. Prior to retiring, Mr Kearns enjoyed a salary of €123,910.

The taxpayer is facing a legal bill of around €7m after a long-running legal battle concerning rights of way at Lissadell House. The owners, Constance Cassidy SC and Edward Walsh SC, took High Court proceedings against the council after its development plan asserted public rights of way over four walking routes at Lissadell.

The Supreme Court last week found there were no such rights of way, except for a small part of an avenue, in the culmination of a five-year long saga.

Mr Hogan also confirmed that newly appointed city and county managers will not be able to avail of the generous terms that have been available up until now.

Irish Independent

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