Tuesday 12 November 2019

Ulster's highest paid councillor sits on four boards and gets €65,700

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

ULSTER'S best-paid councillor has said his €65,700 remuneration is justified because he works "very, very hard".

Fianna Fail's David Alcorn, from Burtonport, Co Donegal -- a councillor for the last 13 years -- accumulated his bumper pay packet in 2011 in part by sitting on four different boards.

On top of the €32,030 he was paid in salary, allowances and expenses for his normal duties as a councillor by Donegal County Council, Cllr Alcorn also received:

• €16,250 for his role on the board of Irish language rural development agency Udaras na Gaeltachta;

• €13,400 for attending National Transport Authority (NTA) board meetings in Dublin;

• €4,020 as chairman of the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN).

Cllr Alcorn is also a member of Co Donegal VEC committee, which did not respond when asked how much it paid him in 2011.

Attendance

He claimed not to know the figure himself, but said it was "standard mileage".

Responding to the news that his remuneration for 2011 was the highest for a councillor in Ulster, Mr Alcorn said: "I haven't seen the figures myself, but all I can tell you is I don't have any other position in the world. I'm only a full-time representative.

"I have 100pc attendance at all the meetings and if you go to the meetings, you get paid for them. If you don't, you don't.

"I work very, very hard on a seven-days-a-week basis and along with that I pay a lot of tax on the small remuneration we get as well, which doesn't come into those figures."

Asked how he found time to fulfil his responsibilities as a councillor as well as his duties on the various boards he sits on, Cllr Alcorn said: "It's nearly impossible to do it."

He added: "I don't have any other career. There are other councillors that have other interests or jobs or whatever.

"I would be very much involved in community affairs in my own area in west Donegal and if I had a business I couldn't do that".

Cllr Alcorn's pay will take a hit next year as he is soon to step down from his chairmanship of ICBAN as well as his board membership of Udaras na Gaelteachta.

He was appointed to the board of the NTA in January 2011, at a time that ministers were being accused of stuffing state boards with political insiders in the dying months of the FF-Green government.

Irish Independent

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