Tuesday 15 October 2019

Ahern and Cowen each got €80,810 pension last year

Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen
Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen
Mary Fitzpatrick

Daniel McConnell, Niall O'Connor and Ken Whelan

Former Fianna Fáil Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were each paid ministerial pensions worth €80,810 last year, the Dáil has been told.

Informing the Dáil of the amounts paid to former leading office holders, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin detailed payments to former Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour Party and Progressive Democrats Taoisigh and ministers.

Apart from Mr Ahern and Mr Cowen, Mr Howlin said former Fine Gael Taoiseach John Bruton, who held office between 1994 and 1997, received €72,908.

Former Fine Gael minister Peter Barry received €57,576, while former Labour Tánaiste Dick Spring got €56,386.

Former PD Tánaiste Michael McDowell received €64,958, while Mary Harney got €63,478.

Former Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy received €54,812.

Mr Howlin told the Dáil that the figures were net of the pension reduction. He also said that the figures didn't reflect cases where monies have been gifted back to the State in full or in part.

Meanwhile, former government chief whip John Curran has declared his intentions to contest the General Election in a move that will cause tensions among the younger guard of Fianna Fáil.

In a notification to Fianna Fáil activists in Dublin Mid West, Mr Curran confirmed his intentions to seek the party's nomination at the upcoming constituency selection.

There had been persistent rumours in the constituency that Mr Curran would not seek a return to politics having sidestepped last year's local elections. But his decision to throw his hat in the ring will pit the former TD against one of the party's youngest councillors, Trevor Gilligan.

Elsewhere, former Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick is to be challenged for a place on the party ticket in Dublin Central by one of her former supporters. Councillor David Fitzpatrick told a meeting of the local branch on Monday that he intends to put his name forward at the selection convention.

The move has surprised both Ms Fitzpatrick and supporters of former Taoiseach Mr Ahern, who may put forward their own candidate, local activist Brian Mohan.

Sources say Ms Fitzpatrick is unlikely to have the support necessary to win the selection convention.

However, it is expected she will be added to the ticket by headquarters. Fianna Fáil is struggling to meet the gender quota rules laid down by the Government.

Irish Independent

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