Declarations of interest – SIPO and P60

It’s very important that potential voters have some idea who and what they are voting for. Ireland does not do well in political transparency, and is regarded as being at relatively high risk for corruption. One of the more positive parts of transparency in Ireland is the work of the Standards in Public Office Commission. If I do get elected I will be required to fill in a public declaration of interests, and submit it to them each year. I think it as well to show you now what it will contain.

I’m a well paid public servant, now at the top of the Professor salary scale in DCU, which is theoretically €136,276.00, before pension related deductions, or €114,113.oo in reality. This is a high salary. (Incidentally I think people like me ought to be at the very back of the queue when it comes to the restoration of salary cuts to public servants).

Because I am paid over the threshold I am required to fill in a SIPO declaration annually. I am also a member, or former member, of several State boards, and again I am required to fill in a declaration for each of these. For completeness, I am also the chair of a small charity, Quality Matters, which works with not-for-profits, social enterprises, charities and state agencies to design innovative solutions to their service delivery problems, and to make a real impact in the lives of their clients. None of these board roles are, or have been, paid.

My SIPO declarations are a bit repetitive, as there is one for each position, so I’m attaching the one relating to my day job in DCU. There are no additional details in any of the other forms. I also attach my most recent P60.

What else should I declare? I’m a doctor, although I don’t provide clinical care for patients now. I do care, passionately, about the fair, just, and efficient delivery of health care. I’m a Catholic, and strongly favour increasing social equality, and what are sometimes termed pro-poor policies. My favourite clergy are Peter McVerry, the Dublin Jesuit who works tirelessly to reduce homelessness, and Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin.  I’m a Declan Costello/Garret Ftzgerald type of Fine Geal supporter – Towards a Just Society was published when I was five, and while it would not do as a modern political platform, it still has  merit.