Gallagher, Davis reveal earnings

 

Independent presidential candidates  Mary Davis and Seán Gallagher today revealed details of the fees and expenses they have been paid for sitting on the boards of State agencies and commercial firms. 

Ms Davis has been paid almost €400,000 in the past decade in fees from sitting on the boards of State and commercial companies, while Mr Gallagher received €41,550 in pay and expenses since 2008 for serving on State boards.

Mr Davis released details of her earnings from her position as managing director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia and from the State and commercial boards on which she has sat.

Her P60, which she posted on her website today, showed her salary last year was €156,310.

In addition, she has earned €390,632 in fees from sitting on three State and three commercial boards over the past decade.

The average fee over 10 years was €39,000, although her fee earnings in the past two years have been higher: €60,532 in 2009 and €60,225 in 2010.

Two of the commercial boards are related to Bank of Ireland. The first was ICS Building Society for which she received fees of €25,000 per annum. She was also a director of Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank in 2010 for which she received a fee of €18,750.

Ms Davis has also been a board member of The Irish Times Trust since 2006. Her annual payment were: €13,700 in 2007 and 2008; €11,645 in 2009; €10,960 in 2010; and €4,566 so far this year.

In addition to her paid directorships, Ms Davis also took up 18 voluntary positions as either chair, director, advisor or judge on other boards. The roles included supporting disabilities, entrepreneurs, sports, a north-south body and St Patrick’s Festival.

Pressed this afternoon about only publishing details of her accounts after media and other pressure, Ms Davis insisted the information was always in the public domain in the annual reports of the boards she had sat on. “I didn’t see the need for it,” she told reporters in Dublin.

Ms Davis said she had nothing to hide and this evening sent a letter to the other six candidates to follow her lead. “I just thought then in the interests of transparency that I would publish them and I would publish my P60 as well and I would call on other candidates as well to do exactly the same thing, all of the fees, all of the boards and to publish their P60s as well.”

Asked if she shared culpability of corporate responsibility for her role on the board of the Bank of Ireland companies in the run up to the banking collapse, Ms Davis said she had acted at all times in a very responsible way. “I have no misgivings at all. I always acted in the interest and fairness of the customer.”

Ms Davis said she stood over any of the decisions she made on any of the boards she stood on.

Mr Gallagher today revealed he received €41,550 in pay and expenses since 2008 for serving on State boards. He was appointed a director for Fas last year but took no money for his work and instead donated his €11,000 fee to several charities.

Mr Gallagher kept payments he received after being appointed by the North South Ministerial Council to the Board of InterTradeIreland. He said he accepted the fees each year since 2008 but declined expenses.

“All of the candidates should I believe publish details of all of their expenses as well as fees received for roles on State or semi-state boards,” he said.

“I am being completely transparent about my role in State Boards and the monies I have received for my participation on State boards as I believe the office of the President demands it and the Irish people deserve it.”

Mr Gallagher said he applied to become a member of the board of Fas after massive waste of taxpayers’ money and exorbitant expenses was uncovered at the training agency.

Among the charities to benefit from his €11,000  fee for his work on Fas were Down Syndrome Ireland, National Council for the Blind, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Guide Dogs and Jack and Jill Foundation.

Mr Gallagher, a businessman and former youth worker, also served as a director of the Drogheda Port Company for the last two years but was not paid. He was appointed by then transport minister Noel Dempsey.

He said he would follow Ms Davis’ example and publish his most up-to-date P60.

Dana Rosemary Scallon said she had never been on a board. “I’ve never been invited to be on a board so I won’t be able to put that forward,” she said.

Asked about publishing her income she said: “I don’t see any problem in doing that. It won’t be spectacular by any means I can tell you.”

She later revised her view and said she would have to think about publishing her income. “I’ve nothing to hide. I wasn’t on a board or anything and therefore I’m a private person.”

The three candidates were speaking in advance of taking part in a debate, along with Labour candidate Michael D Higgins, with 80 teenagers from the youth organisation Foroige at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin.