TD slams 'unacceptable' car allowance for former Daa chief

Td Slams 'Unacceptable' Car Allowance For Former Daa Chief
The Daa confirmed that €117,000 was spent on a three-litre diesel Range Rover for former chief executive Dalton Philips in 2019. Photo: PA Images
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Vivienne Clarke

Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd has questioned the level of allowances paid to executives in the transport, semi-state and commercial semi-state sector following revelations that the former chief executive of the Daa, Dalton Philips, was provided with a €117,000 three-litre diesel Range Rover SUV as part of his contract.

It was "unacceptable" that such a large car had been provided "for a person who works in Dublin," Mr O'Dowd told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.


"This car is going nowhere, at an enormous cost to the environment and to the State, and it's entirely unacceptable in every respect."

When it was pointed out that, in addition to Dublin Airport, the Daa also has responsibility for Cork Airport, and therefore the chief executive would travel there, Mr O’Dowd said the Daa had responsibility for the employment of 3,800 people with turnover of three quarters of a billion euro per annum.

Mr O'Dowd said this was "all the more reason for them to be totally in the frontline of climate change and changing how we do business".

He said the Department of Transport had to "get its house in order", adding that all Government departments needed to assess exactly what sorts of vehicles were being purchased with their consent.


"The key point is we need to look at the fine print. It's just not good enough and people will not accept this any longer.

"There are some State companies which have really stepped up to the mark, particularly Irish Rail, their chief executive is driving an electric car."

Mr O’Dowd pointed out that the chief executives of Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann also have electric cars.

While electric cars are expensive and not everyone could afford them, Mr O'Dowd said the point was they were reducing their footprint in terms of their vehicle.

The Daa confirmed to Morning Ireland that €117,000 was spent on the Range Rover provided to Mr Philips in 2019, but added it is now leasing an electric Mercedes for its present chief executive, Kenny Jacobs.

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