PAY IN PERSPECTIVE: Does CEO pay at State bodies exceed the public sector ceiling?
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The government introduced a pay ceiling of €250,000 for future CEOs of commercial State companies on the foot of the 2008 financial crisis.

It is unclear how many CEOs’ pay is below this ceiling today.

We know that some companies, such as ESB and the Irish Aviation Authority, were granted exceptions. In other cases, CEOs may have since received pay increases to bring them above a €250,000 wage.

Our investigation will reveal how much executives are making at State-owned companies, and how this compares to the average pay at those companies.


The €250,000 starting-salary cap was introduced because CEO pay was out of tune with “severe economic conditions facing the country”, according to Brendan Howlin, the minister for Public Expenditure and Reform at the time.

We will investigate which public company sector salaries exceed the current pay cap.

Many State-owned companies reported reduced profits in recent years as the country emerged from the pandemic but some - such as ESB Networks - have remained highly profitable.

Our team will also examinewhether there are additional non-salary benefits and ‘performance related award schemes’ for those CEOs.

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You can contact us at [email protected] and find out how we work here. Our investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public.

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