There are a number of categories of staff in my Department who work for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and who are not established civil servants. They are Special Advisors, civilian drivers, local staff overseas and temporary Clerical Officers.
I have appointed four Special Advisers in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- Ms. Caitríona Fitzpatrick is my Special Adviser and Political Director. She was previously a Special Adviser in my role as Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
- Mr. Matthew Lynch is my Special Adviser on Cabinet, Oireachtas and Leader’s Questions. He was previously in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation as Special Advisor to Ms. Frances Fitzgerald TD in her then role as Tánaiste.
- Mr. Chris Donoghue is my Special Adviser and Communications Director. He was previously employed as Political Editor of the Communicorp group of radio stations and before that as a presenter on Newstalk.
The Special Adviser to the Minister of State for European Affairs is Mr. Paul Fox, who was previously employed as a Client Manager with PR 360 and before that as Adviser to Mr. Paudie Coffey TD at the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government.
My Special Advisers are on the Principal Officer salary scale. The Special Adviser to the Minister of State for European Affairs is on the Assistant Principal Officer salary scale.
In addition, I have appointed four civilian drivers to the Department who work with the Ministers of State. Civilian drivers are paid €650.92 per week.
All of these appointments were made in line with “Instructions to Personnel Officers - Ministerial Appointments for the 32nd Dáil” which included “Guidelines on staffing of Ministerial offices” issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Every appointment in my Department is subject to the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.