Opposition TDs call for cut in former Justice Dept chief's €188k salary

Opposition TDs have criticised the news that the former Secretary General at the Department of Justice will keep his salary - despite stepping down from the role.

Brian Purcell will be moved to another job in the civil service, after the release of a hard-hitting report which heavily criticised the internal management of the Department.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said that he cannot understand why Mr Purcell will be allowed to keep his salary, worth an estimated €188,000.

"I can't think of many positions where one can be simply requested, on the back of such a devastatingly incisive report, that one can simply request to be moved somewhere else," he said.

However, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said that it is probably impossible to cut Mr Purcell's salary of the outgoing Secretary-General at the Department of Justice.

He said that there are contractual issues which would guarantee Brian Purcell's salary even though he will no longer be filling that role.

Minister Varadkar says he has not yet read the report of the expert group - but he believes Mr Purcell's salary is untouchable.

"I hope to get a chance to read it at the weekend, along with a lot of other reading I've to do over the next few weeks," he said.

"But I'd imagine Mr. Purcell has contractual rights and so on and it may relate to that - but really it's a matter for Minister Fitzgerald to comment on rather than me.

The Justice Minister said that she did not ask her Secretary-General to resign or stay in his post.

Minister Fitzgerald has been facing further questions about the Toland report which yesterday criticised the Department of Justice over its 'closed' and 'secretive' culture.

She has also defended the two weeks it took to publish the 22-page document after she received it, saying she did so as quickly as she could, having considered it.

Minister Fitzgerald has insisted it was not her idea that Mr Purcell leave her department.

"I didn't ask him to stay and I didn't ask him to go - I asked him for his views on the report," she said.

"And when he had read the report, that was his decision.

"We have a very serious report - everybody had to consider it, the government have to consider it, all the staff.

"I met with the management team last night - they all have to take the report to consider how they go forward."

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