Taoiseach has back-up team of high-earning personal advisers
TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern's "private office" team of advisers, all of whom are "non established civil servants" are earning between £52,000 and £100,000, it emerged yesterday.
The top earner is Gerry Hickey, the Taoiseach's programme manager and personal adviser whose salary is £100,985.
The other members of the team are Martin Mansergh, special adviser on Northern Ireland and economic and social matters, £76,580; Una Claffey, special political adviser and former RTE journalist, £70,000; Gerry Howlin, special adviser, £52,566 and Peter McDonagh special adviser, £52,566.
Government Press Secretary Joe Lennon, who remains a civil servant and is government press secretary is earning £61,836. His brother Charlie Lennon of the ASTI is leading the teachers' pay campaign.
Other civil servants are Barbara Jones, special adviser, £42,214; Olive Melvin, personal assistant to Taoiseach £28,134; Denise Kavanagh, personal assistant to Taoiseach £28,134; Cyprian Brady, personal assistant - constituency office, £28,314; Yvonne Graham, personal assistant - constituency office, £23,246.
Replying to a Dail question from Bernard Durkan (FG), who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee, the Taoiseach said in the Tanaiste's office programme manager and former senator Katherine Bulbulia, who is programme manager to Ms Harney is on a salary of £76,580.
Others on the State payroll attached to the Taoiseach's offic are Iarla Mongey, assistant government press secretary/head of Government information services, £45,743; Frank Lahiffe, special adviser to Minister of State Seamus Brennan, £47,135; Brian Murphy, special adviser to Ministers of State, £33,990.
Others include: Tom Rowley, millennium press officer, £55,159; Laurie Cearr, promotions and marketing executive - millennium office, £30,848; Elizabeth Cogan, personal assistant to assistant government press secretary £23,846.