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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Minister approves €100k pay-off for former water boss

Ex-Irish Water chief Tierney
Ex-Irish Water chief Tierney

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has approved severance pay of €100,000 for former Irish Water boss John Tierney.

The gratuity is part of a €573,000 retirement package for Mr Tierney, who walked away from the controversial State-owned utility in April last year.

He stepped down after just three years.

New documents published show that Mr Murphy signed off the severance pay on Monday of last week.

Contract

He approved the Ervia Severance Gratuity Scheme, which contains the €100,000 payment, after consulting the Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Former Dublin City manager Mr Tierney, who worked in local government for 36 years, was given the €200,000-a-year Irish Water job by the former Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

The severance scheme approved by Mr Murphy states that Mr Tierney is eligible for the €100,000 in accordance with a contractual commitment to him that reflects the continuation of his entitlement to a severance gratuity, which would have applied had he remained a council chief executive.

The retirement package of €573,000 is made up of the €100,000 severance pay-off and an additional €473,000 in defined benefit pension contributions payable.

In Irish Water's 2016 accounts, a note attached to what Mr Tierney received states that the "termination benefits relate to the former managing director and are binding contractual entitlements inherited from his previous employment with Dublin City Council".

The note adds: "They comprise a severance benefit payable to Mr Tierney and a payment due to the Ervia Defined Benefit Scheme to cover post-retirement pension entitlements, both arising from the terms of his Dublin City Council employment arrangements.

A spokeswoman for Irish Water said yesterday that the €100,000 severance payment "was a contractual entitlement of Mr Tierney arising from his lengthy local authority service and forms part of his retirement package as published in the Irish Water annual accounts".

At the time of his retirement, Irish Water said his retirement arrangements were "exactly the same terms that would have applied had he retired as the Dublin City manager."

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