Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

42 Department staff earn more than e100,000

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The details on the levels of pay within the Minister for Agriculture's department emerged this week.

Figures revealed during a Dail question-and-answer session show there are 42 departmental staff earning more than €100,000 a year.

In addition, Minister Brendan Howlin outlined how the Department of Agriculture's latest special advisor, Ross MacMathuna, was sanctioned a pay package of €110,000.

The salary makes Mr MacMathuna the third highest paid ministerial advisor, and breaches the recommended cap on advisors' remuneration of €92,672, which was set by the Department of Finance after the last election.

The guidelines stipulated special advisers should usually be paid €80,051, bringing them in line with the first point of the salary scale applying to standard principal officer positions in the civil service.

However, the guidelines also allow for an advisor to be paid up to €92,672, which is equivalent to the highest point on the principal officer scale, if they had been earning more than the minimum previously.


Mr MacMathuna was a project manager with the food group Glanbia for three years and a consultant with management consultancy firm McKinsey Company for two years. Previously, he worked in Germany for the animal health and nutrition firm Alltech.

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He holds a degree in dentistry from UCC and an MBA from UCD.

Meanwhile, 539 Department of Agriculture staff earn more than €70,000 a year. Department staff wages are also projected to increase by €1.4m in 2012 because of increments due to 1,091 staff. Half of these pay rises have already been implemented.

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