News & Events

Minister Nash appoints Donal de Buitléir as Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission

Eight other Commissioners also appointed

The Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, has appointed Dr Donal de Buitléir as the Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission. This new body will advise the Government on an annual basis on what is the appropriate rate of the National Minimum Wage. Dr de Buitléir is Director of

Minister Nash is also appointing eight members to serve on the Commission. They are:

  • Vincent Jennings Chief Executive Officer, Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association
  • Patricia King Vice President, SIPTU, incoming General Secretary of ICTU
  • Gerry Light Assistant General Secretary, Mandate Trade Union
  • Caroline McEnery Director, HR Suite; HR & Business Solutions
  • Edel McGinley Director, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
  • Mary Mosse Lecturer in Economics, Programme Director for Postgraduate Research, WIT Business School
  • Tom Noonan Chief Executive, The Maxol Group, President of IBEC (2008–2010)
  • Prof Donal O’Neill Dept. of Economics, NUI, Maynooth

The 8 positions were advertised by the Public Appointments Service as per the new guidelines on appointments to State Boards.

Minister Nash said, “The new chairperson Donal de Buitléir and the commissioners will now carry out the important task of examining data and consulting directly with workers and employers in order to advise the Government on what the appropriate rate should be.”

“This commitment forms part of the Statement of Priorities agreed by the Taoiseach and Tanáiste last July and I am determined that the Commission will get to work immediately and report back to me during the summer.”

“Work should always pay but I don’t underestimate the difficult task that they will have, balancing the needs of workers who are paid the least in our society and those of employers who we want to see sustaining and growing their businesses and continuing to create jobs.”

The new Low Pay Commission will meet for the first time within the next two weeks to begin its work taking an evidence based approach to setting the minimum wage. They will examine a range of issues in their work, including:

  • the changes in earnings since the minimum wage was last increased in 2011
  • the unemployment and employment rates generally
  • the expected impact of a change to the minimum wage on employment, the cost of living and national competitiveness
  • changes in income distribution and
  • currency exchange rates


The current rate of the National Minimum Wage is €8.65. It has remained at that rate since 2007, except for a period in 2011 when it was cut by €1 by the previous Government. Current Government reversed that cut in July 2011.


For further information:

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation 01- 6312200 or

Brief Biographies of Commissioners

Chairperson: Dr Donal de Buitléir

Director of, former President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and a former Chair of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies. He was a Board Member of the Health Services Executive between 2005 and 2009. Previously he worked in AIB Group and in the Irish public service (Revenue Commissioners). He was Secretary to the Commission on Taxation 1980-85 and was a member of a number of Government reviews in the areas of local government reform, integration of tax and welfare, business regulation, health funding and higher education.

Vincent Jennings

Chief Executive Officer, Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association representing 1,200 employers in 1,500 stores. From 1976-2004, Mr Jennings operated forecourt and convenience stores. He has represented employer interests on the Joint Labour Committee system in retail, grocety and allied trades and sits on the National Retail Consultation Forum.

Patricia King

Vice President of SIPTU and incoming General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Patricia King has more than 35 years’ experience in the trade union movement. She has held positions with ATGWU and SIPTU and was a lead negotiator in the Croke Park and Haddington Road agreements. She has been a member of several boards including RTE, DAA, NERA and the National Roads Authority.

Gerry Light

Assistant General Secretary Mandate. Gerry Light has been involved in the trade union movement for more than twenty years. He is a national executive council member of ICTU and has represented workers on the Joint Labour Committees for retail grocery and allied trades.

Caroline McEnery

Managing Director, the HR Suite. Caroline McEnery has wide experience in the human resources field having set up the HR Suite and also held the position of Operations and HR Director with the Garvey Group. She is also involved in mentoring and supporting new start-up companies in conjunction with Kerry, Limerick and Dun Laoghaire Enterprise Boards.

Edel McGinley

Director Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Edel represents MRCI on the Community Platform which brings together more than 30 organisations in the community sector on poverty issues. She is a board member of the EU Platform for the International Cooperation of Undocumented Migrants.

Mary Mosse

Economics lecturer, School of Business, Waterford Institute of Technology. Mary Mosse is an economist with more than 34 years experience working in the public and private sectors. She has held positions in the ESRI, Economic Unit in the Dept of Agriculture and Food, and Goodbody Stockbroker. She has also served on the board of Dublin City University and the Port of Waterford.

Tom Noonan

Chief Executive the Maxol Group since 1996. Tom Noonan was president of IBEC from 2008 to 2010 and was President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry in 1993/94. He has been Chairman of the Irish Petroleum Industry Association on five separate occasions. He has also served on a number of boards including Beaumont Hospital, the Personal Injuries Board and Motor Insurance Advisory Board.

Professor Donal O’Neill

Professor of Economics at National University of Ireland, Maynooth and President of the Irish Economic Association. His areas of expertise include Labour Economics and the statistical analysis of economic data. He has published widely in international journals relating to the labour market and received the Barrington Medal from the Council of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland in 1999/2000.