Higher staff costs push Trinity College Dublin into annual loss

Statements show 490 staff members earning more than €100,000

Higher staff costs helped to push Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into a loss last year, despite income at the university rising as Covid restrictions eased.

New financial statements show TCD’s income increased by €47 million to €458.2 million in the 12 months to the end of September 2022. It recorded a €205,000 loss for the period, having posted a surplus of €20.67 million in the previous year.

TCD recorded the loss as its cost base – comprised of staff costs and other operating expenses – increased by €46 million or 12 per cent to €437.2 million. Within this, staff costs increased by €22.2 million to €313.8 million.

The rise in staff costs was driven by an increase in staff numbers, up 5.8 per cent year-on-year, and by the impact of pay restoration approved by the State under the Lansdowne Road agreement, national wage agreements and annual increments and promotions.


Numbers employed totalled 4,734, including 490 staff members earning more than €100,000 compared to 440 in that earning bracket in 2021.

Six of the 490 earned more than €300,000; 28 received €200,000-€300,000; while 456 earned €100,000-€200,000. The top earners are teaching medical consultants.

The rise in costs was also driven by “other operating expenses” increasing by 24.1 per cent to €123.4 million, reflecting greater levels of activity across the university after the full reopening of the campus in 2022. The financial statements show that energy costs alone increased by €3.4 million.

Compared to 2021 figures, academic fee income increased by €20.9 million to €185.8 million, with this attributable to growth in both undergraduate and postgraduate student registrations in the year.

Research income of €115.2 million was up by €9.9 million on the previous year while “other income” of €66.4 million was ahead by €21.8 million due to the recovery of commercial revenue sources.

The university’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation amounted to €13.5 million in 2021/22, which represented a 6.3 per cent annual increase.

The financial statements also show that TCD’s legal spend for the 12 months to the end of September last included legal costs of €501,000, comprised of €291,000 in settlements and €210,000 in legal fees.

On the capital spending side, the university invested €48.7 million, up from €27.9 million the year before.

Cash balances and short-term deposits amounted to €233.3 million at the end of September 2022, up from €174.6 million in 2021.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times