Dramatic cuts lead to improvement in Dublin diocesan finances

Cuts in pay and support funds deliver slight surplus for Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Wed, Apr 17, 2013, 12:01

Figures released by Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese of its parishes at the weekend indicate an improvement in its finances for the year to the end of June last year, with a surplus of €1.737 million. This compares to a deficit of €9.331 million at the end of June 2011.

However it has involved a dramatic cut of over €8 million, from €8.2 million to €100,000, in contributions to various diocesan services as well as a drop of over €1 million in pay where priests and parochial employees were concerned.

The cost of central administration in the archdiocese was cut by €402,000 to €4.480 million, from €4,882 million at the end of June 2011.

Between June 30th 2011 and June 30th last the archdiocese took in €59.610 million and spent €57.873 million.

In a letter read at weekend Masses in Dublin which accompanied the Share newsletter that details of the archdioceses’s finances, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said “I can assure you the Archdiocese is taking the necessary steps to control expenditure and keep it at a minimum.” He said “I turn to you once again this year to be as generous as you can in supporting Share. Your help is a vital contribution to the work of evangelisation and renewal of the church in Dublin today.”

In the year to June 30th 2012 payment for priests and parochial employees in the archdioces dropped by €1.208 million from €25.244 million on June 30th 2011 to €24.036 million on June 30th last.

Collections for the support of priests was down €657,000, from € 16.922 million at the end of June to €16.265 million at the end of June last. Share collections were down €196,000 on 2011, from €6.945 million to €6.749 million.

However contributions from bequests etc. were up significantly, from €7.926 million in 2011 to €10.271 million by last June, an increase of €2.345 million. There was also an almost doubling in monies raised through fundraising efforts, from €4.043 million in June 2011 to €8.694 last June, an increase of €4.043 million.

Meawhile three female administrative employees are to take a case against the archdiocese to the Employment Appeals Tribunal following cuts to their pay last year. They have already won a case before a Rights Commissioner, who also ruled that the archdiocese would not have to pay due to its financial position.

Adrian Kane of Siptu said last night that the women had lodged their case with the Employment Appeals Tribunal. Their pay had been “cut without consultation” he said and that the archdiocee “was not prepared to negotiate a settlement.”

A spokeswomen for the archdiocese said they did not comment on individual or former staff members and noted “that the process involving the Rights Commissioner is ongoing.” She also said “one pay cut on a scale from 5 per cent to 9.5 per cent was implemented in January 2012.” It “ followed a series of consultations with staff” and “came as the majority of public and private sector workers in Ireland were also taking cuts in their pay.”

Priests in Dublin, she said,”have had three cuts to their income over the past three years - of 6 per cent, (Nov '10) 9 per cent (Nov '11) and 5 per cent (Nov '12).”