Since my appointment as Minister on 30 November 2017, and as provided for by the Public Service Management Act 1997, I have appointed two Special Advisers. Mr. John Keogh has been appointed as my Media Adviser from 8 January 2018 and Mr. Cian Connaughton as my Policy Adviser from 15 March 2018. In addition, I have appointed two Civilian Drivers. Both civilian drivers are paid on the Civilian Driver single-point scale, €691 per week.
Mr. Keogh has extensive experience as a senior editor with over twenty years’ experience in both traditional and digital media. He was Director of News at Newstalk for 13 years, Managing Editor of the Network news (which supplies news to every radio station in the country) for 8 years and was a senior producer at Sky News. Over his career he has also worked for TV3 news and many local radio stations both here in Ireland and in the UK. He is paid €91,943 per annum.
Mr. Connaughton has eighteen years’ experience in corporate communications and public affairs. He previously worked as Senior Client Director in MKC Communications and also has previous experience as Communications Advisor in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (on secondment during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union). From 2000 to 2006 he was Policy and Communications Manager in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He has a Masters of Arts (European Studies) and a Batchelor of Arts in Politics, Sociology and French from UCD. He is paid €88,471 per annum.
Both of my Advisers have been advised of their obligations under the Standards in Public Office legislation. All of the above appointments are made in accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's Instructions to Personnel Officers – Ministerial Appointments for the 32nd Dáil, which is available on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's website.