THE four men who really run Dublin earned over €666,000 last year in spite of plans for a new directly elected mayor.
The cost of sustaining city managers is set to cast a new shadow on the Green Party's plans for a mayor who will be paid upwards of €200,000.
Dublin's four local authorities already have mayors elected by their councillors but the backroom equivalent of mayors are the council managers.
New figures provided to the Herald by Fine Gael's Lucinda Creighton show that the four men were paid €666,685 in the past year.
This includes €189,301 for Dublin City Manager John Tierney. His counterparts in Fingal and South Dublin County Councils, David O'Connor and Joe Horan, received €162,062 each, while the remaining €153,260 was paid to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Manager Owen Keegan.
The figures come as Green Party leader John Gormley plans to rush legislation through the Dail to provide for a directly elected mayor of Dublin.
"This will add an extra layer of bureaucracy and another manager to the existing four city and county managers, as well as the existing four mayors," said Ms Creighton.
Mr Gormley has already stated that the job will come with a salary in the region of €200,000.
Deputy Lucinda Creighton said: "Ireland's system of local government is broken. Dublin has four Local Authorities that employ 10,000 people between them and spend €2.5bn every year. People have no appetite for the further layers of bureaucracy and waste of public monies that characterise Minister Gormley's plans."
She told the Herald that the existing local authorities should be abolished, replaced by directly elected Regional Assembly with fewer councillors.
"How is it that we in Dublin, with a total population of 1.5 million, have 130 Councillors and New York, with 8.3 million people has 52 City Councillors?" she asked.
The Dublin South East slammed Mr Gormley's plans saying that they were "nothing more than a cynical ploy to pander to the Green Party".
"It is an attempt to rush through ill-thought-out legislation so that his party can claim an achievement, after their botched call for a general election in November."
She added: "Adding an extra layer of bureaucracy and waste to a system that is already broken will be no achievement.
"The plans, as they stand, represent a shocking display of vested interests over the public interest."
She argued that her suggestion for a new assembly would be politically unpopular but "would amount to a courageous and necessary step in achieving the type of services and infrastructure we need in Dublin".
"It would also relieve struggling business in the city of the exclusive responsibility to fund the city's services."