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Hospital chief gets €45k top-up added to her €236k salary

THE master of the largest maternity hospital in the country Dr Rhona Mahony is getting a privately funded top-up of €45,000 in addition to her salary and allowances of more than €236,000.

She is one of four senior staff in the National Maternity Hospital receiving board-approved allowances of at least €30,000 each from private funds.

It is among a number of the voluntary organisations which received €1.5bn in funding from the HSE, which pay its top executives generous allowances from a private account.

A spokesman for the hospital was unable to explain the source of the private funding used to provide the allowances to Dr Mahony, the secretary manager, the director of nursing and the financial controller.

The master of the Rotunda Hospital Dr Sam Coulter-Smith is also also receiving a €20,000 top-up from the hospital's private funds. He is also on a State salary of €183,562 and an on-call allowance of €49,545.

Minister for Health James Reilly yesterday said if hospitals want to continue with this practice they have to make a case for it with the Department of Expenditure and Reform.


The HSE has written to 43 of these agencies asking them to confirm compliance but so far just five have replied they have stopped the payments with 10 others asking for more time to examine legal and contractual issues.

Figures obtained by the Herald also reveal that Dublin's Central Remedial Clinic is paying its chief executive Paul Kiely more than €135,000 in salary and allowances from its own funds on top of his HSE-funded salary of €106,900.

The Central Remedial Clinic is also paying private allowances of at least €32,000 to four other executives. A spokesman for the Coombe Hospital said that it is fully compliant with pay rules in relation to its master Dr Sharon Sheehan's salary who does not receive private top ups.

The report to the Department of Health said her allowance was €63,559, €10,000 higher than what the department says is the standard cap.

Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children has confirmed its chief executive Lorcan Birthistle is getting a private allowance of €30,000 from the profits of the hospital shop, bringing his salary to €140,808.