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Taoiseach's office paid over half a million euro for five special advisers in 2012

This figure compares to over one million euro that Brian Cowen paid in special adviser salaries when he was Taoiseach.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with his Chief of Staff Mark Kennelly.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with his Chief of Staff Mark Kennelly.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH’S OFFICE paid a total of €581, 236 in salaries to five special advisers in 2012, according to figures from his department.

Four of the special advisers employed by the department are staff of the Taoiseach and one is a special adviser to the Chief Whip, Enda Kenny revealed in response to a parliamentary question.

Kenny’s Chief of Staff, Mark Kennelly, and one other special adviser were both paid €156,380 last year while the other three advisers claimed salaries of €81,676.

The Taoiseach said in his response that the comparative full year figure for special advisers in the department back in 2010 was almost €1.1 million.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen had seven special advisers compared to Kenny’s four and so costs have been reduced by almost 46 per cent.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Kenny said special advisers “provide briefings and advice on a wide range of policy and press matters to their line ministers as well as liaising with other special advisers in each government department”.

They also said that the government has succeeded in reducing the cost of special advisers hired by government ministers by 20 per cent when compared with the previous government in 2009.

The spokesperson added that special adviser pay had also recently been reduced by a further 7 per cent following the implementation of the Haddington Road Agreement.

Read: Seanad members’ expenses cost €2.5 million every year, on top of salaries worth €4.2m>

Read: The Taoiseach, Ministers and every TD are having their pay cut today>

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