Tuesday 17 October 2017

Three Irish Water staff getting pensions from previous council jobs

Three Irish Water staff are getting pensions from previous council jobs
Three Irish Water staff are getting pensions from previous council jobs
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

THREE members of staff at Irish Water are receiving pensions from their previous jobs with local authorities.

Each of the trio is understood to have received a substantial lump sum after racking up enough service to retire from their council positions only to then begin new roles with the utility company.

The disclosure comes amid continuing controversy over large sums spent on consultants and generous pay and bonus packages being enjoyed by Irish Water staff.

A spokeswoman said: "In relation to pensions, this is not information that we would necessarily seek, as it is a private matter for the individual but to our knowledge there are three people receiving pensions from their previous roles."

One of the three is former Waterford county manager Ray O'Dwyer, who retired from that role in 2011 with a gross lump sum of €204,871, a gross severance gratuity of €66,255 and an annual allowance of €63,335.

He now works as Irish Water's head of operations.

The identity of the two other staff members is unknown. However, there has been speculation in the Dail that one was awarded a €270,000 lump sum on leaving their previous job.

The new utility company, which is headed by former Dublin city manager John Tierney, has had to deny accusations from commentators that a significant number of the jobs it has filled are "insider" appointments.

Over the weekend, it confirmed that it had hired 150 of its 500 staff from local authorities.

The Irish Independent understands that dozens more staff also previously worked for local authorities at some point in their career.

Irish Water admitted that many of the jobs filled were not done through fully open competition, with certain roles only advertised at first to employees of local authorities, Bord Gais and the Department of Environment.

Boil water notice

The spokeswoman said positions in asset management, capital delivery and operations were restricted to staff in these partner organisations.

If any of these jobs was not filled in that way, the position was then advertised on a wider basis.

The Commission for Energy Regulation will announce today the final outline of water charges.

Labour Senator, John Kelly, welcomed confirmation from CER that people on boil water notices in Roscommon will not be charged for water supply until the problem is fixed.

Irish Independent

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