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Two Green Party councillors among team of nine advisers hired by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan

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Position: Fingal Mayor David Healy, who also serves as a part-time special adviser to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Position: Fingal Mayor David Healy, who also serves as a part-time special adviser to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Position: Fingal Mayor David Healy, who also serves as a part-time special adviser to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Two Green Party councillors are among nine advisers hired by Transport and Climate Action Minister Eamon Ryan in Government.

Mr Ryan has a total of nine people advising him in his role as one of the three coalition party leaders and a senior minister with responsibility for two departments. They include two joint chiefs of staff in the office of the Green Party leader in the Department of the Taoiseach.

His coterie of aides in Government Buildings includes Fingal mayor David Healy, a Green Party councillor for Howth-Malahide, who is serving as a part-time special adviser to Mr Ryan. Mr Healy shares a principal officer ­salary with another part-time adviser, Niamh Allen, with each earning between €43,662 and €50,557 per annum.

Mr Healy is retaining his seat on Fingal County Council while serving as an adviser to Mr Ryan.

Mr Ryan also hired another Fingal county councillor, Ian Carey, as deputy government press secretary. It has not yet been decided if Mr Carey will continue as a councillor for Swords.

Mr Ryan's special advisers are entitled to principal officer salaries of between €87,325 and €101,114

One of Mr Ryan's joint chiefs of staff is Donall Geoghegan, who was a special adviser to Independent ministers in the last government. Mr Geoghegan was also programme manager for the Greens when they were in Government with Fianna Fáil between 2007 and 2011.

The other joint chief of staff is Anna Conlan, the Green Party's former political manager in the last Dáil. They are on the assistant secretary salary scale and are therefore entitled to wages of between €139,628 and €159,725.

Mr Ryan has one full-time adviser on the principal officer salary scale, Éamonn Fahey, who is a former Green Party researcher and whose CV includes positions at the ESRI, Pensions Authority and the Department of Social ­Protection.

The Sunday Independent reported in July that there was unease in the Green Party over the lack of transparency around Mr Ryan's appointments.

In addition to the six advisers based in the office of the Green Party leader in the Department of the Taoiseach, Mr Ryan has also hired three special advisers to assist him in his role as a senior minister in the Department of Transport and the Department of Climate Action and Communications.

They include his former parliamentary assistant John McDonald; Paul Kenny, who is the former chief executive of the Tipperary Energy Agency; and Margaret Ward, who is a former journalist and foreign editor at RTÉ.

The Government earlier this week defended the role of special advisers, saying in a statement: "They perform an essential role in government, providing external expertise, acting as a liaison between a minister and their department and with the wider civil service, and monitoring implementation of the Programme for Government."

Mr Ryan's spokesperson has previously said the leader's office works across all departments to ensure oversight and implementation of the Programme for Government. They said Mr Ryan's three special advisers in his two departments reflected his "significant and varied responsibilities".

Irish Independent