Two retiring council chiefs shared €500,000
Two retiring council chief executives received a total of more than €500,000 between them in combined lump sums.
The payments enjoyed by retiring local authority chief executives have been strongly criticised by a spokesman for small and medium businesses.
In one instance, Eddie Sheehy received a pension pot of €270,194 when he stepped down as chief executive of Wicklow County Council in April of last year.
In Carlow, Tom Barry received pension lump sum payments of €251,308 after retiring on January of last year.
Both men would have contributed on a weekly or monthly basis to their own pensions during long and distinguished careers in local government.
Mr Sheehy received a gross lump sum payment of €202,646 and a special severance gratuity payment of €67,548.
In addition to the lump sum payment, Mr Sheehy is entitled to a gross annual pension of €67,548.
Mr Barry received a gross lump sum payment of €188,481, along with a special severance gratuity payment of €62,827.
In addition to the lump sum, Mr Barry is entitled to annual gross pension payments of €62,827.
The Department of the Environment yesterday confirmed the payments.
But the chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), Mark Fielding, referring to the packages, said: "It is akin to being let loose in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory with a dolly mixture of double dip delights."
The Government has changed the rules on pension payments, so that recently appointed chief executives can no longer avail of such generous pension terms.