Ex Limerick councillors get half a million

eurosLIMERICK councillors who retired or lost their seats in the recent local elections have shared in a golden handshake of almost half a million euro.

The controversial payments known as gratuities were made to 15 part-time politicians in Limerick following the election on May 23 with the total payout amounting to €495,141,21.

Former independent city councillor Pat Kennedy received the biggest payout for a retired councillor at €64,204.51.

A total of €229,194.81 in gratuities was paid out to former City Council members. Ger Fahy (FG) received €52,022.70; Cormac Hurley (FG) €47,711.92; Kevin Kiely (FG) €37,600.58; Jim Long (FG) €33,301.50; Tom Shortt (LAB) €16,623.32, and former Mayor Kathleen Leddin (IND) €47,730.28.

The total amount paid out to former County Council members was €265,946.40. Retired Fianna Fail councillor Eddie Wade, who decided to bow out of local politics on health grounds this year, was the highest paid County councillor, receiving €61,791.03

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Mary Harty, who passed away last month following a long battle with motor neuron disease, received a gratuity payment of €47,709.92. Former Fianna Fail councillor Leonard Enright received the same sum.

Rose Brennan (FG) received €33,292.13; Leo Walsh (FG) €23,193.51; John Egan (FG) €16,623.32; Thomas Hannon (LAB) €19,033.25, and former independent councillor Patrick Fitzgerald €16,623.32.

Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville said he could see no justification for former councillors to be walking away with figures as high as €50/60,000 and more in their back pocket.

“In full time jobs, people get a redundancy, and I think  most people would think that for a full-time councillor, some reasonable payment would be okay. But the figures mentioned are totally unjustifiable.

“We must also remember, it is only a minority, such as those in the AAA, who are full time councillors; most also have other incomes, including pub owners, landlords and solicitors,” he added.

Limerick City and County Council would not comment on the gratuity payments to former councillors.