Wednesday 21 February 2018

Phil Hogan wants review of rural quangos as €11m in funding goes on pay

Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Environment Minister Phil Hogan

Political Correspondent

Environment Minister Phil Hogan will conduct a root-and-branch review of the country's 'rural quangos' after it emerged that, in some cases, up to one-third of their public funding is being spent on salaries and administration.

The Irish Independent today details the massive sums that are being used to pay staff costs at 50 non-profit local development companies (LDCs).

These organisations received over €50m in State funding last year in order to assist small businesses and community groups in the form of grants.

The bodies are fully taxpayer-funded and are tasked with helping businesses and community groups to grow and carry out initiatives. They also adminster EU-funded LEADER programme grants.

But new figures reveal that more than €11m handed to these companies is being spent on salaries and administration.

Eleven CEOs of the non-profit companies are earning in excess of €92,000, the salary of an average TD.

One CEO, Mary Walsh of the Carlow County Development Ltd, has been set a salary of just over €102,000, according to the department and state agency Pobal.

Ms Walsh was "unavailable for comment" when contacted by the Irish Independent.

CEO of Louth Leader Partnership Mary-Ann McGlynn, who earns €95,000, said that her salary was fully complaint with the department's rules.

"Louth Leader Partnership is one of the local development companies delivering a broad range of programmes in collaboration with the Department of Community, Environment and Local Government. Our board structures and salary guidelines are set within the department's guidelines and we are fully compliant with all their requirements," she said.

More than 20 other CEOs are earning in excess of €80,000, according to department figures.

The figures detailed today come as Mr Hogan plans to carry out a full review of Ireland's 50 local development companies. The bodies were identified as local government quangos in Colm McCarthy's An Bord Snip Nua report.

Mr Hogan now wants to align these companies with local authorities – a move that is being opposed by the representative body, the Irish Local Development Network.

A spokeswoman said: "The ILDN have always supported better value for money and Local Development Companies (LDCs) have dealt with increasingly restricted budgets while dealing with higher demand for their services.

"LDCs have and continue to work within the administration caps set by the department.

"Our concern is that the community-led, local development approach we take to community development will be lost as a result of an over-centralised decision making mechanism."

While ministers have recognised the good work done by the companies, it is felt that bringing their finances under the control of local authorities will lead to better efficiency.

One senior government source said: "This is all about achieving greater efficiency. These companies undeniably do great work but the taxpayer demands value for money and that has to be delivered."

In a statement to the Irish Independent, the Department of the Environment said that local development community committees would now be rolled out across the country in a bid to increase efficiency.

"At the heart of this change is the desire to achieve better for value for money and to ensure that the maximum amount of funding is spent on community projects and not wasted on unnecessary duplication and administrative costs.

"Under the current arrangements in some cases up to 30pc can be spent on administration. This is not acceptable."




Official salaries of the bosses of Local Development Companies according to the Department of the Environment.

All salaries are compliant with Department guidelines and do not include pension entitlements.


Body (employee) Salary
Carlow County Development Ltd Mary Walsh €102,000
Monaghan Integrated Development Ltd Gabriel O’Connell €98,370
Meath Community Rural Social Development Partnership Co Michael Ludlow €98,000
Louth Partnership Mary Ann McGlynn €95,419
Wexford Local Development Co Brian Kehoe €94,550
Waterford Leader Partnership Ltd Jimmy Taaffe €94,550
West Cork Development Partnership Ltd Ian Dempsey €94,550
Bray Area Partnership Ltd Peter Brennan €94,550
Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teoranta Justin Larkin €94,550
Donegal Local Development Co Caoimhin Mc Aoidh €94,550
Galway City Partnership Declan Brassil 94,550
IRD Duhallow Ltd Maura Walsh €93, 926
Ballyhoura Development Ltd Carmel Fox €91,713
Roscommon Partnership Martina Earley €90,701
Tolka Area Partnership Ltd Michael Bowe €89,822
South and East Cork Area Development Partnership Ltd Ryan Howard €89,821
Waterford Area Partnership Joe Stokes €88, 957
Westmeath Community Development Joe Potter €88,877
Northside Partnership Ltd Marian Vickers €87,595
South Dublin County Partnership Ltd (formerly CPLN and Dodder Valley) Anna Lee €87,595
Southside Partnership DLR Ltd Cormac Shaw €87,595
Laois Community and Enterprise Anne Goodwin €86,864
Breffni Integrated Ltd Brendan Reilly €85,444
PAUL Partnership Anne Kavanagh €85,095
Avondhu/Blackwater Parnership Valerie Murphy €84,591
Mayo North East Justin Sammon (Acting CEO) €84,550
The Ballyfermot Partnership Ltd Ciaran Reid €84,414
West Limerick Resources Ltd Shay Riordan €84,225
County Wicklow Community Partnership Frank d’Arcy €84,225
Clare LCDP Doirin Graham €84,225
Galway Rural LCDP Delia Colahan €81,592
Blanchardstown Area Partnership Ltd Linda Curran €81,281
Inishowen Development Partnership Shauna McClenaghan €80,678
Canal Communities, Bluebell, Inchicore Brian Kenny €80,417
Offaly Integrated Local Development Brendan O'Loughlin €80,090
South West Mayo LCDP Gerry O'Neill €79,433
South Kerry Development Partnership Noel Spillane €77,483
County Kilkenny Leader Declan Rice €77,005
North and East Kerry Leader Partnership Eamonn O'Reilly €75,932
Longford Community Resources Adrian Greene €74,890
North Tipperary Leader Partnership Michael Murray €74,870
Cork City Partnership Brenda Cahill €74,870
South Tipperary Local Development Co Niall Morrissey €74,870
County Sligo Leader Partnership Co Ltd Chris Gonley €72,235
Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership Ltd Tara Smith €71,021
Forum(Connemara) John Coyne €68,800
Ballymun Partnership Ltd Fiona Descoteaux €65,884
Fingal Leader Partnership Co Ltd Pauline McNamee €61,912
Leitrim Integrated Donal Fox €61,209
Comhar na nOilean Majella Ni Chriochain €48,000


Irish Independent

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