Sunday 18 February 2018

Two more semi-state bosses to give up bonuses

Paul Melia and Fiona Ellis

PRESSURE was last night mounting on bosses of semi-state companies to give up their bonuses after two top executives agreed not to accept the controversial payments.

Bord na Mona boss Gabriel D'Arcy said he won't collect a bonus this year, while Bord Gais chief executive John Mullins promised to surrender a €60,000 payment for last year and accept a salary cut of €15,000.

The moves came after five days of public outcry surrounding performance-related payments being made to highly paid bosses of semi-state companies. The row peaked on Sunday after a stand-off between the Government and Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which awarded its chief executive Declan Collier a €106,000 bonus payment for 2010.

Mr Collier declined the payment on Sunday night.

Last night, Bord Gais chief executive John Mullins told his board he would surrender his €60,000 bonus for 2010, and subsequent payments for 2011 and 2012. Earlier yesterday Mr D'Arcy wrote to Bord na Mona chairman Fergus McArdle to decline his bonus for the 2010/2011 financial year.

Mr D'Arcy said: "It is vitally important that there is a clear and singular focus on driving performance in the commercial semi-state companies and there is an urgent need for the Government to agree a clear unambiguous system of remuneration that drives performance."

It also emerged last night that An Post paid more than €1.3m last year to 271 managers.

Average payments were €4,900 each.

Senior managers, including chief executive Donal Connell, whose salary is €386,000, were not paid any bonus for 2010.

ESB chief executive Padraig McManus, the highest-paid semi-state boss, will also not pick up a bonus this year.

Meanwhile, the Government last night eventually expressed confidence in Mr Collier in his role as an AIB board member.


Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was "not good practice" that Mr Collier was on the remuneration committee of AIB, which set pay rates.

Mr Kenny was responding to Independent TD Shane Ross, who said it was absurd that Mr Collier should be deciding on pay in the bank when there was so much controversy over his own bonus.

Following Mr Kenny's comments, a Government spokesman at first admitted he could not say if ministers still had confidence in Mr Collier's membership of the AIB board. But later the spokesman said the Government backed Mr Collier in his role at AIB.

"The (bonus) issue is unrelated to his role as director of AIB," he said.

•Yesterday the Irish Independent incorrectly reported that the DAA had refused to state that performance-related payments would end.

"The DAA will comply with whatever Government guidelines emerge in relation to performance-related pay at semi-state companies," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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