McNeice given bonuses 'in the dark'

Former chief executive of the Irish Medical Organisation George McNeice retired with a benefits package worth E9.7m. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Former chief executive of the Irish Medical Organisation George McNeice retired with a benefits package worth E9.7m. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sun, Feb 24, 2013, 00:00

Former chief executive of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) George McNeice was awarded bonuses "in the dark'', its current president Dr Paul McKeown said today.

He said that all salaries were bundled together in the accounts and there was not sufficient oversight. "It was a completely incorrect way of doing things,'' he added.

Mr McNeice retired from his post before Christmas with a benefits package worth €9.7 million.

The IMO is to hold an extraordinary general meeting next month to consider resolutions dealing with the fallout from the controversy. A row has broken out within the doctors' trade union with campaigners who forced the calling of the meeting arguing that the motions they wanted considered would not be debated.

Dr McKeown, in an interview on the RTÉ Radio programme This Week, said that Mr McNeice's potential entitlements could have topped €25 million and it was negotiated down to "still a monumental sum of less than 10 million euro''.

He said that Mr McNeice had received a salary of €493,000 and an additional €60,000.

The IMO, said Dr McKeown, had gone through a very upsetting and distressing period and systems were now in place to determine what happened and ensure that something similar would not happen again.