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Council pay €6.4m in lump sums as 135 workers leave

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NO PAYMENT: John Tierney

NO PAYMENT: John Tierney

NO PAYMENT: John Tierney

DUBLIN City Council spent €6.4m on voluntary redundancy lump sums last year, new data from the local authority shows.

The money was used to pay 135 departing workers an average of €47,678.63 each.

The highest-profile departure was City Manager John Tierney, who took over as CEO of new utility Irish Water.

However, since he left the council for another job in the public sector he did not receive a payment.

The details were released to the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

Seamus Lyons, an assistant city manager with the council, was one of the workers who received part of the redundancy package. The salary for his grade is €132,511.

"Mr Lyons was paid in line with the salary scale applicable to assistant city manager in the public sector," the council said in its response.

The local authority did not provide a specific figure for Mr Lyons' severance payment, but said the amount was "one-half of the salary payable to preserved pension age".

This works out at €66,255 a year until he reaches 60. The council did not provide his age.

During his time working with the local authority, Mr Lyons oversaw the controversial privatisation of the capital's bin service.

The cost-saving move led to widespread criticism.

The council was slammed following a spate of missed and delayed collections as well as a worsening of Dublin's dumping problem.

OPTION

However, the local authority argued that it had no option but privatisation because of the cost of the service.

The council refused to itemise the lump sum payments by worker or grade as those details were categorised as "personal information".

It said 71 people left its employ in 2009 as part of an early retirement package.

The average lump sum payment was €2,085, equating to 10pc of the amount due when the person reaches 60.

Administrative officers, assistant finance officers, duty managers, executive managers and senior accountants were among the other positions vacated at the council last year as part of the redundancy scheme.

As City Manager, Mr Tierney was paid €189,301 a year.

The salary for executive managers with the council ranges from €90,453 to €106,900.

The Government has instigated a determined push to significantly reduce staff across the country's city and county councils.

COMURPHY@HERALD.IE


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