€300k lump sum pay confirmed for Nóirín O’Sullivan

The former Garda commissioner will retire with a lump sum of almost €300,000 and a yearly pension of €90,000, it has been confirmed.

Questions had been raised around whether the Government had agreed on a special severance package with Nóirín O’Sullivan prior to her departure.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan denied that a deal had been done to allow her step down with a full pension and the lump sum.

Packages are based on the best three years’ pay in the 10 years prior to a person’s retirement. Ms O’Sullivan is just shy of three years at the helm of the gardaí, having been appointed as commissioner in November 2014.

The Department of Justice yesterday confirmed that her time as acting Garda commissioner would count for pension purposes.

A spokesman confirmed that any member of An Garda Síochána recruited before April 1, 2004, may retire on full pension having reached 50 years of age and have completed 30 years of service. Ms O’Sullivan has been a member of the force for 36 years.

“A member with full pension entitlement would receive a pension of half their pensionable pay and a lump sum of one-and-a-half times their pensionable pay,” said the spokesman.

“Former commissioner O’Sullivan’s pension entitlements are based on a salary of €180,613 and the period during which she was acting commissioner is deemed reckonable for pension purposes.”

Denying any special agreement had been reached, Mr Flanagan said: “The pension arrangements are entirely in line with guidelines, rules, and regulations from the Department of Public Expenditure.

“She spent 36 years in An Garda Síochána and reached the highest position. Her pension will reflect that and no more,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

In a statement announcing her resignation, Ms O’Sullivan said she was stepping down because instead of focusing on reform of the force, she had spent the core of her time dealing with an “unending cycle of requests, questions, instructions, and public hearings”.

Dónall Ó Cualáin, the deputy commissioner, has been appointed acting commissioner with full powers.

The Policing Authority said it has commenced consideration and research on the process to identify and appoint the next commissioner.

There is strong pressure from across the political divide to appoint someone from outside of An Garda Síochána and outside the country.

In a statement released yesterday, the Policing Authority said it will be working with the Public Appointments Service and the Department of Justice over the coming weeks to agree the precise requirements for the role and to formally initiate the selection competition.

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