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Inside the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo
Department of Culture

One employee's severance agreement cost National Gallery over €200,000

The unnamed member of staff received €141,125 in the severance settlement in 2022.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY paid out over €200,000 in a severance agreement, including legal costs, concerning one member of staff in 2022.

That is according to the recently signed off 2022 annual report for the National Gallery which details how the unnamed member of staff received €141,125 in the severance settlement in 2022.

A note attached to the accounts states that in addition, legal costs of €61,158 “were also incurred in relation to concluding the termination agreement”.

The total cost to the National Gallery of the severance agreement is €202,283.

No details are provided in the annual report around the circumstances of the departure of the staff member or if the settlement included a confidentiality clause.

A spokesman for the Dept of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media confirmed today that in relation to the €141,125 severance payment all steps were completed under a Government circular relating to severance payments.

In such cases, the parent Department must refer such requests to the Department of Public Expenditure,  NDP Delivery and Reform for consideration and approval.  

The spokesman. said: “These steps were all completed in respect of the severance arrangement at the National Gallery of Ireland.”

In response to a number of queries around the pay-out, a spokeswoman for the National Gallery said: “The Gallery has no comment.”

However, the National Gallery may face further scrutiny concerning the payout from the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy TD confirmed today that she has written to the PAC requesting it to write to the National Gallery “for further clarity” on the payment. 

In her letter to the PAC, Deputy Murphy has asked the PAC to seek from the National Gallery as to whether a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was entered into “and some background context that lead to the payment”.

Murphy is also seeking a breakdown of the legal costs connected to the case. 

She said: “The settlement payment of €141,125 may well be proportionate compensation for whatever the issue was but I find the legal bill attached to it quite significant on top of the payout.”

The annual report shows that the National Gallery received €15.38m in Oireachtas grant funding in 2022 which was a 12.6pc increase on the €13.65m received in 2021.

The gallery recorded an operating surplus of €6.18m after its costs came to €14.62m.

The €141,125 severance payment contributed to staff costs increasing by 6pc to €9.39m.

Numbers employed rose from 166 to 173.

The Gallery welcomed over 788, 000 visitors to the Gallery in 2022 which was a more than 3% increase on the pre Covid 2019.


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