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Coillte boss under pressure to take pay cut

The Taoiseach singled out David Gunning for criticism in his speech at the Fine Gael Presidential Dinner last night.

Enda Kenny pictured earlier this month.
Enda Kenny pictured earlier this month.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

DAVID GUNNING, THE chief executive of Ireland’s forestry body Coillte has been criticised by the Taoiseach for not acceding to the Government’s pay cut request.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Presidential Dinner last night, Enda Kenny singled out Gunning for criticism, stating he was “very disappointed” that he had not agreed to the voluntary 15 per cent reduction in salary.

It emerged on Friday that Gunning is the only chief executive of a semi-State body on a salary of over €250,000 that did not lower his annual remuneration after the request was made by Cabinet.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin asked the chief executives of all commercial semi-States to waive some of their salary after he set lower pay levels for new hires in June.

On legal advice, the Government did not enforce the cuts on those already in jobs.

The CEOs at An Post, the National Roads Authority, Bord Gáis, the Irish Aviation Authority, the ESB, Iarnród Éireann and the Dublin Airport Authority have all volunteered 15 per cent of their annual salaries.

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Coillte, however, said no decision has been taken on the waiver yet, according to a statement sent to RTÉ.

Gunning’s €297,000 annual salary means he is paid about €100,000 more than the Taoiseach.

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