Executive Pay In State Funded Disability Organisations- A Disgrace!


HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has claimed that the salaries of executives in state-funded disability organisations are “disturbing” and break public pay guidelines.

The Irish Independent can reveal that chief executives of some leading voluntary organisations providing disability services are on salaries ranging from €90,000 to more than €176,000.

Revelations of the generous salary levels come in the wake of emotional scenes earlier this week on the streets of Dublin, Galway and Mayo as people with disabilities and their relatives protested at the threatened withdrawal of services.

The Brothers of Charity, which threatened to close some respite services in Galway and Limerick over cuts in state funding, has six regional chief executives, each of whom earn public-service rates of between €90,000 and €113,000.

It has a national chief executive, Winifred O’Hanrahan, who is believed to be on a salary of €113,000.

When asked why the organisation had six regional chiefs — based in Galway, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Ennis — a spokesman for the Brothers of Charity said the structure had been worked out in 2007 in conjunction with the community care areas of the old health boards.

The spokesman said the posts were within staffing levels approved by the HSE.

The Brothers of Charity “back office” functions — human resources, accounts and payroll — account for 2.2pc of its overall budget.


The highest disclosed salary of €176,000 is paid to the chief executive of St Michael’s House in Dublin, Paul Ledwidge.

However, Angela Kerins of Rehab — who has refused to reveal her salary — is believed to top the league.

A spokesman for Rehab defended the decision not to reveal her salary, saying her remuneration was not funded by public monies and came from income from its commercial and non-commercial activities, which are spread across four EU states.

However, Rehab received €54.4m from the HSE this year, which amounts to around 27pc of the organisation’s income.

The spokesman said all remuneration in Rehab was “competitively” benchmarked.

One of the other big providers, St John of God’s, has employed Andy Heffernan to run its community services section since last year.

A spokesman said his salary was on a public-service scale, although he would not disclose the sum.

Enable Ireland chief Fionnuala O’Donovan received pay rises in both 2008 and 2009 as her salary increased from €158,000 to €169,000.

However, this was cut to €156,240 this year in line with the public sector pay reduction that was announced in last December’s Budget.

A spokeswoman said there were “no extras” attached to Ms O’Donovan’s remuneration. Enable Ireland has 55 staff in 40 locations.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the proposed closures of respite care in Brothers of Charity services will not now go ahead.

Talks are also believed to be under way with the aim of re-opening a service that was shut down in Limerick.

Despite this week’s protests, Ms Harney said there was no extra money available from her department this year.

The minister said the Brothers of Charity were already in receipt of a “big budget”.

Ms Harney also described some of the senior salaries in the voluntary bodies as “disturbing”.

She added: “Many of the organisations have to live within the public sector norms, with salaries that are funded by the State and pensions paid by the State.”

The minister said she was currently awaiting a value-for-money review of the 600 organisations in the disability sector.

She added: “Well in excess of 200 of them are providing services. That’s a huge amount of administration for a population of 4.5 million. A lot more can go on frontline services.”

– Eilish O’Regan

Irish Independent 9th July 2011

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One Response to “Executive Pay In State Funded Disability Organisations- A Disgrace!”

  1. charles says:

    Sad just sad people prey on the week for profit.

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