Maternity bosses top civil service pay at €342,000
The masters of the three Dublin maternity hospitals are among the best paid public servants in the country, earning up to €342,889 in salary and allowances.
They earn more than Health Minister Simon Harris and HSE chief Tony O'Brien.
The onerous responsibility of managing hospitals where thousands of babies are born annually has earned them a pay boost in recent years, bringing their salaries and allowances on par with academic medical consultants - professors in universities - who were previously top of the earnings table.
The latest figures for the public salaries and allowances for the masters show the top earner last year as Dr Fergal Malone, master of the Rotunda Hospital.
Dr Malone provided a full breakdown of his public sector earnings in 2016 to the Irish Independent. His basic salary is €273,772. He has an on-call allowance of €18,350 and a rest-day allowance of €50,473. His telephone allowance came to €294.
Dr Sharon Sheehan, master of the Coombe maternity hospital, receives an annual salary of €218,715, inclusive of her master's allowance.
On top of that she is entitled to an on-call allowance of €10,550, bringing her combined earnings to €229,265.
Figures supplied by Dr Rhona Mahony, master of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, show she earned €223,411 last year.
This is made up of a basic salary of €170,541, an on-call allowance of €3,857, a master's allowance of €48,175 and a Haddington Road allowance of €838.
The public service salary and allowances are exclusive of any private income they can generate from private patients - although this scope of practice is curtailed for their term as master due to the amount of time they must devote to the post.
The office of master is for a fixed term and most go back to their regular work which involves caring for public and private patients, depending on the kind of contract that they have.
The Department of Public Expenditure said the rate of pay for ministers was due to increase to €161,451 on April 1, 2017. Due to the waiving of the pay increases, the take home pay for ministers is €157,540.
A spokesman said the Haddington Road Agreement, underpinned by the FEMPI 2013 Act, brought in pay cuts for public servants earning €65,000 and more.
Under the Lansdowne Road Agreement (and the FEMPI Act 2015), pay restoration for those public servants on annualised remuneration up to €110,000 will be in two equal phases, with the first phase due on April 1 last and the second on January 1, 2018.
Restoration will be in three equal phases for those on annualised remuneration in excess of €110,000. The first phase is in April 2017 and the remaining phases in April 2018 and April 2019.
"You will note that the Government agreed that members of the Government and ministers of State will waive the amount due to them under pay restoration 2017, 2018 and 2019," he said.
The HSE said the remuneration of Director General Tony O'Brien is €185,000 and this comprises "basic pay only". He said that no allowances or bonuses are paid with the post.