Ministerial advisers

Sir, – Pat O'Brien expresses some disquiet at the fact that, for a small political party, Eamon Ryan sees fit to employ joint chiefs of staff (Letters, August 6th). In fact, Mr Ryan has the largest team of advisers in Government, nine in all, out of a total of 48 in Government departments, at an annual cost to the taxpayer of €4.5 million, earning salaries ranging from €67,000 up to €180,000. One is left to wonder what exactly is missing from the expertise and experience of the 40,000 permanent civil servants employed by the State to advise Ministers in relation to their departmental responsibilities and policy options. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 12.