Posts Tagged ‘Paul Ledwidge’

Executive Pay In State Funded Disability Organisations- A Disgrace!

Sunday, December 12th, 2010


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

Letter Received from Michael Kennedy TD RE St Michaels House Special Needs Campaign

Saturday, August 29th, 2009


Dear Michael


Thank you for your mail and for making representations on my behalf.

The reply sent by Mr  Ledwidge does not clarify the matter.


Mr Ledwidge refers to the fact that the school is not wheelchair friendly. The Assistant Principal of the school  together with two Board of Management members Mr Tim Chadwick (Chairperson) and Dr Anne Power acknowledged that accessibility for my son Michael is not an issue as all the facilities he would be using are on the ground floor. Therefore the accessability issue is not relevant.


He refers to the fact that “continued priority be given to the provision of an alternative school”. Given that the Chairperson of the board of directors of the school was not aware of progress on the building of the new school up until recently and had not made representations to the Department of Education in 8 months, together with board members of the school not knowing who was responsible for ensuring a new school was built- it is obvious the building of the new school is not a priority of the board.


Can he substantiate the “enormous pressure from parents and St Michaels house to get a commitment from the Department of Education” and can he confirm that the offer of a free site still holds – as the Department of Education appear to be unaware of this.


Furthermore can he explain why the plans for the new school are to accommodate a mere 65 students given that there are presently over 65 students currently seeking a place in the school and with  actual population growth in the area and projected growth this proposed level of accommodation is totally inadequate.


Can he also explain why the school this year had only 26 students attending despite having capacity for 32 students?


Can he tell us exactly how many children from the North County are having to travel long distances on a daily basis to attend schools in Baldoyle and Cabra(Kilbarrack)?


Can he confirm that he believes that it is acceptable that a profoundly mentally and physically retarded boy of 5 years of age who suffers very badly from travel sickness – should have to complete a 40 mile round trip daily to attend a school?  


The reason that my son Michael was refused entry to the school was that “Under it’s current Admission Policy the School provides educational services to children who have moderate intellectual disability only”. The reason  this policy is in place is to keep numbers down – I was told this by members of the Board of Management.


Mr  Ledwidge acknowledges that my son has been offered a place in Lusk National school – this is a mainstream school ( who incidentally are absolutely superb and so accommodating).Could you ask  Mr Ledwidge to explain the logic behind a 5 year old profoundly retarded boy being refused entry into a school for moderate intellectual disability and yet he is welcomed with open arms by a mainstream national school?


Can  you also ask Mr Ledwidge to outline the difference in the curriculum for children with profound intellectual disability versus the curriculum for children with moderate intellectual disability at ages 5 and 6?


I hope Michael this clarifies my position for you and please note that I will not rest until this matter has been resolved.


 Please let me know if you are in a position to help me with this matter.


 Yours faithfully

 Tommy Boyle







From: []
Sent: 25 August 2009 09:47
Subject: Representation for Mr Tommy Boyle, “St Michael’s House, Skerries”

Dear Tommy,


RE: St Michael’s House, Skerries


Further to my previous letter, I now attach the received reply from Mr Paul Ledwidge, CEO of St Michael’s House North.


You will note its contents and I trust it clarifies the matter for you. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any assistance with any other matter.


Yours Sincerely,
Michael Kennedy, TD


Dear Michael,


I refer to your email of the 13th of August re. Tommy Boyle.


St. Michael’s House Special National School in Skerries is based in a rented farmhouse, which is not wheelchair accessible.


A whole school evaluation carried out in 2005 stated that the nature of the accommodation does not facilitate the enrolment of children with significant physical disability and other complex needs and recommended that continued priority be given to the provision of an alternative school building.


Despite enormous pressure from parents and St. Michael’s House and the offer of a free site, it has not been possible to get a commitment from the Department of Education to build a school for the children in this area.


Mr. Boyle’s son has been offered a place in St. Michael’s House Special National School in Baldoyle which is imminently suitable for him and is fully accessible.


Until such time as the Department of Education provide a purpose built school for St. Michael’s House in the Skerries area, it is unfortunate that we will have to refer some children to our school in Baldoyle and many children with autism and intellectual disability travel from the North County to St. Michael’s House Special National School for children with autism in Cabra (Kilbarrack from September 2010).


I understand Mr. Boyle’s son has been accepted as a pupil in Lusk National School and St. Michael’s House will provide him with support in attending that school, within the available resources, should he wish to take up this placement.


Kind Regards,

Paul Ledwidge

Chief Executive Officer

St Michael’s House