Thursday 19 April 2018

Former presidential aide has a new Goal in sight

Mary Van Lieshout may not have felt fulfilled in her role as special adviser in a largely ceremonial office

MOVED: Mary Van Lieshout has gone to work for aid charity Goal
MOVED: Mary Van Lieshout has gone to work for aid charity Goal
Jody Corcoran

Jody Corcoran

WHEN she was offered the post of Special Adviser to the President of Ireland, Mary Van Lieshout declared herself to be "utterly thrilled" but also "profoundly honoured and humbled". She was presumably even more honoured and humbled at the President's request for the public pay cap for special advisers to be lifted to allow Ms Van Lieshout to earn €103,000 a year, or about €20,000 more than had the cap not been lifted.

Which tells us as much about pay levels in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), quangos and the like as it does about pay levels at the higher end of the public sector – or, more to the point, that pay caps would seem to not apply to everyone.

But that is not to gripe, per se, because as NGO officials go Mary Van Lieshout is about as good as it gets. There are centres of education worldwide whose entire raison d'etre is to turn out ready-made NGO officials such as Ms Van Lieshout – a finishing school, if you like, for potential quango queens.

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