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HSE 'knew of €25,000 top-up' for Cope chief

THE HSE was aware that a major disability organisation was using public money to fund a top-up of nearly €25,000 for its chief executive, its chairman has claimed.

The Cope Foundation provides services to people with an intellectual disability in Cork, but has recently cut back on services for its clients.

Chairman Anthony Dinan said the board told the HSE two years ago it would pay newly-recruited Collette Kelleher another 25pc on top of her salary of almost €100,000.


The additional top-up, worth nearly €25,000, is coming from part of the €43m it is getting from the HSE annually to run the service and not from public donations.

The revelation about Ms Kelleher's top-up comes as controversy about the issue rages. The government has insisted that no senior manager in a voluntary organisation,including hospitals and disability organisations, is allowed a top- up in pay, whether publicly or privately funded, unless it has been approved by the Department of Public Expenditure.

But the latest audit of these 44 hospitals and disability organisations showed more than half are paying some form of top-up to senior staff, some privately-funded, with others financed from the public purse.

Andrew Lynch: Page 14