Doctors to hear details of €9.7m deal


The annual pay of former chief executive of the Irish Medical Organisation George McNeice effectively doubled to about €500,000 in the five years to 2008, under the terms of a controversial contract, a special meeting of the doctors’ trade union will be told today.

Members are to meet in Mullingar to hear details of the settlement package of €9.7 million reached with Mr McNeice when he left the organisation before Christmas.

It is understood that, under the terms of his contract, agreed in 2003, Mr McNeice was to receive a base salary of €250,000. However there were also provisions for two separate bonus payments.

One was for a standard bonus of 30 per cent, while there was also a provision for a separate bonus of 33 per cent for exceptional performance for meeting “stretched targets”.

Elements of these bonus payments were incorporated into base pay for subsequent years. By 2008, he was receiving about €500,000 per year, at which time his pay was frozen and no further bonuses paid.

It is understood the meeting will also hear that the contract allowed Mr McNeice to retire with three years’ salary at any stage between ages 52 and 55.

Sources said the contract spoke of a defined-contribution pension. Legal opinion suggested that, since 2003, the IMO had been operating a defined-benefit scheme.

Doctors unhappy

There has been some unhappiness within the IMO at the terms of the settlement with the former chief executive.

It is understood some consultants wrote to the organisation this week seeking a complete independent investigation into the governance, day-to-day management decisions in the IMO and the awarding of contracts and remunerations and any conflicts of interest internally between personnel in the trade union and its financial services arm and external bodies.