South Dublin County Council compensation bill tops €1m a year

Average compensation payment has increased to almost €17,000 in last four years

Clondalkin councillor Trevor Gilligan said the high level of compensation payments was concerning. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Clondalkin councillor Trevor Gilligan said the high level of compensation payments was concerning. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tue, May 14, 2013, 14:54

Compensation claims against South Dublin County Council are costing about €1 million per year, according to figures released this week.

The figures show between one third and half of all claims made under the council’s public liability were settled by the payment of compensation over the four years between 2009 and 2012. The average payment was just under €15,000 in 2009 when the overall total was €1.259 million.

While the overall total was reduced to €1.109 million by 2012 the average payment rose to almost €17,000, because some 23 percent fewer claims were settled.

In addition over the period 2009 to 2012, some €422,500 was paid under the council’s employer liability. In 2009 this averaged at just €5,000 per settled claim while in 2012 the average payment was €26,000.

The figures were provided in response to a question from Clondalkin councillor Trevor Gilligan who said he was concerned “the money is huge”.

Mr Gilligan has now called for the council to set up a working group to look into why so many claims were being lodged against the council.

“These costs need to come down” he said. “Whether it is the council paying it, or the council’s insurers the premiums will rise and we need to see why this is happening”, he said.