Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 08 February, 2001
Other Questions. - Early Retirement Package.
Mr. Healy Mr. Healy
9. Mr. Healy asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he will ensure the payment of the enhanced early retirement package  agreed between the Southern Regional Fisheries Board and a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3083/01]
Mr. Fahey Mr. Fahey
Mr. Fahey: As the Deputy is aware, the individual concerned was employed as a fishery officer by the Southern Regional Fisheries Board. Primary responsibility for his employment and retirement lies with the board.
The House has been advised on previous occasions of the background to this case. The fisheries officer in question suffered appalling injuries in 1993 when assaulted during a seagoing salmon protection patrol. The circumstances in which he sustained his injuries where convictions followed reflected a state of serious and bitter opposition to commercial salmon fishing regulations throughout the 1980s and early 1990s in the southern region. As a result of these injuries and in line with successive medical reports, the individual was unable to return to work. He remained on sick leave and half pay until December 1999. His retirement on ill health grounds on 3 December 1999 followed an extensive process to arrive at an outcome and financial package, which would reflect the exceptional circumstances of this individual and the ordeal he suffered as an officer of the State. My Department worked throughout to deliver a fair outcome with the Southern Regional Fisheries Board and the Southern Regional Fisheries Board Commission, which between 1996 and 1999 had statutory responsibility for management and other functions of the board.
A retirement package was negotiated with the Department of Finance for the individual concerned in accordance with the provisions of the fisheries board's staff superannuation scheme. The package included a pension lump sum and a special gratuity under the injury warrants scheme, which was negotiated as an exceptional measure. These were paid to the individual concerned on 16 December 1999.
I am advised that the individual and his union subsequently took a case for unfair dismissal and minimum notice to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The tribunal found in favour of the fisheries board on 16 January last. An outstanding claim in relation to holiday pay and unsocial hours is being pursued at the Labour Relations Commission and will be concluded shortly.
There is the utmost sympathy for the individual concerned in terms of the ordeal he suffered and every effort has been made throughout to assist him financially in recognition of the exceptional circumstances.
Dáil Éireann 530 Other Questions. Early Retirement Package.