State agencies paid €33,000 for staff to attend Pendulum Summit

Central Bank of Ireland, Nama, NTMA and Revenue all paid for staff to attend Dublin event last year

British MP Boris Johnson on the main stage at the Pendulum Summit this year, being interviewed by RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

British MP Boris Johnson on the main stage at the Pendulum Summit this year, being interviewed by RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

 

A number of leading State’s agencies paid €33,050 for 81 staff to see the likes of Richard Branson and Conor McGregor appear at the Pendulum Summit last year.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), the Central Bank of Ireland and Revenue all paid for staff to attend the two-day summit in Dublin in January 2018.

In a written Dáil reply, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirmed to Labour TD Joan Burton that the NTMA paid €17,200 to allow 43 staff members attend the event.

Mr Donohoe added that the Central Bank paid €12,000 for 30 staff, while Nama paid €2,800 for seven staff, and Revenue paid €1,050 for one staff member to attend.

A spokesman for Nama confirmed that eight staff attended the 2019 event at a cost of €3,400.

‘Professional development’

A spokesman for the NTMA confirmed that the agency purchased 15 tickets for €12,750 for staff to attend this year, which provided the possibility of 30 attendees across the two-day event.

“The NTMA actively encourages the professional development of its staff including by providing the opportunity to attend relevant external events, particularly events independently accredited for Continuing Professional Development purposes,” he said.

This year’s summit was headlined by British MP Boris Johnson, who was paid €58,230 to speak at the event.

Frankie Sheahan, chief executive of the Pendulum Summit, said the costs to the summit of having Mr Johnson speak are more that the published sum “but that is the figure he netted from the event”.