Minister Donohoe appoints six members of the Public Service Pay Commission

25th October, 2016

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., today (Tuesday) announced the appointment of six members of the Public Service Pay Commission.

They are:

  • Ms Marian Corcoran
  • Mr Ultan Courtney
  • Ms Ruth Curran
  • Mr Noel Dowling
  • Dr Seán Lyons
  • Mr Peter McLoone


Last week Minister Donohoe requested Government to note proposals for the establishment of a Public Service Pay Commission on a non–statutory basis and announced the appointment of Mr Kevin Duffy, former Chairman of the Labour Court, as Chairperson of the Commission.


The Public Service Pay Commission will be advisory in nature and will provide an initial report in the second quarter of 2017. The Minister stressed that the Government will retain the ability to negotiate directly with its employees in respect of pay. The Commission will not duplicate the work of the State’s existing industrial relations bodies: the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. Its role will be to provide evidence-based objective analysis on pay matters to assist Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officials in discharging their negotiation function on behalf of Government.


For its initial report, the Minister said that the Commission will be asked to provide input on how the unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest legislation should proceed.   This will inform any future engagement with staff representatives in relation to pay.


The Terms of Reference for the Commission are available here.



Note to Editors

Mr Kevin Duffy (Chair) began his career as a bricklayer, and was an official of the Bricklayers’ Union for 15 years. In 1987, he joined the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as Assistant General Secretary in charge of industrial relations.  Mr Duffy – who is a qualified barrister – retired from the Labour Court in June this year, having been appointed as Deputy Chairman in 1997, and serving as Chairman since 2003. Mr Duffy currently chairs the Expert Panel on Water Charges, which is scheduled to report later this year.

Ms Marian Corcoran is an experienced business leader and executive coach. She has over 26 years of experience working in both the private and public sector in Ireland and internationally. Prior to joining Praesta, Ms Corcoran held a number of senior leadership positions in Accenture. During her career with Accenture, she worked with senior clients across diverse industries in the private and public sector in the US, Europe, UK and Ireland to shape and deliver transformational organisational, business and technology change.

Mr Ultan Courtney was appointed to the Board of CIÉ and as Chairman of Bus Átha Cliath in September 2014. He has wide experience in the Human Resources and Industrial Relations field. He is Managing Director of his own consultancy business and previously held positions in C&C Group Plc, Superquinn, Waterford Foods and IBEC. Mr Courtney holds a Degree in Economics and an M.A. from Trinity College Dublin and numerous qualifications in the areas of business strategy, employment law, mediation, arbitration and corporate legal governance.

Ms Ruth Curran is Managing Partner at MERC Partners where she specialises in senior executive and C level appointments across all industry sectors and leads the Board practice at MERC.  Ms. Curran is a board member of the National Maternity Hospital Foundation and has recently been elected to the Governing Authority of The National University of Ireland, Galway. She is the 2016 recipient of the NUIG Business and Commerce Alumni of the Year Award. Ms. Curran is the Global chair of IIC Partners, one of the world’s largest executive search organisations and sits on the Diversity Committee of the Association of Executive Search Consultants.

Mr Noel Dowling worked as a senior official with the ITGWU/SIPTU for over 30 years, becoming National Industrial Secretary for transport and natural resources in 1996. In 2005 he was appointed to establish and head up the first dedicated organising department within the trade union movement in Ireland. Mr Dowling served on the board of the European Transport Federation for many years and is currently a member of the EAT.

Dr Seán Lyons is an Associate Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin. He is an applied microeconomist with experience in research, consultancy and regulation. At the ESRI, most of his work is focused on empirical research in regulated sectors. Dr Lyons has a wide range of research interests including applied econometrics, economic modelling, distributional effects of policy and economics of disability.

Mr Peter Mc Loone was General Secretary of the IMPACT Trade Union from 1995 until his retirement in July 2010. He was elected President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions from 2005 to 2007. He was Chair of the ICTU Public Services Committee for 17 years. He served as a member of the Labour Relations Commission for 15 years until September 2015. He is currently a Board member of the Institute of International and European Affairs, the National College of Ireland, the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and the Irish Times Trust.