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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar Appoints new Chairperson and Members to the Low Pay Commission

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD today announced the appointment of a new Chairperson and five new members to the Low Pay Commission.


Ultan Courtney has been appointed as Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission. Michael Taft and Fionnuala Ni Bhrogain have been appointed to the Commission to represent the interests of employees; Dawn Wynne and Eugene McMahon have been appointed to represent employer interests; and Tim Callan will act as an independent member with expertise in labour market economics.


These new members will serve alongside three members of the Commission who were appointed in 2019 - Caroline Fahey, Sinead Mullins and Frank Walsh.


Commenting on today’s announcement, the Tánaiste said:


“I wish Ultan the very best of luck as he takes on this new challenge, at a really exciting time for the Commission. I have every confidence that his vast experience will bring a huge amount to the position.


“As well as fulfilling its usual role in making recommendations to Government on the minimum wage, the Commission will be undertaking the really important work of developing a Living Wage for Ireland.  The Commission is also carrying out an examination of the Universal Basic Income, with a view to a pilot being undertaken in the lifetime of the Government.


“I’d also like to welcome Michael Taft, Tim Callan, Fionnuala Ni Bhrogain, Dawn Wynne and Eugene McMahon, who have all been appointed to the Commission. Their time and expertise will be invaluable to the work of the Commission.


“Particular thanks to Donal, and all the outgoing members of the Commission for all their hard work over the past year. Donal, as the first Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission, was instrumental in shaping the organisation and has made a really significant contribution to its work.”


Commenting on his appointment, Ultan Courtney said:


“I am delighted to accept the role of Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission. As the Tánaiste notes, this is a busy and important time for the Commission. I look forward to working with the other members of the Commission to examine issues affecting low pay in Ireland and to bring forward recommendations on the living wage and on universal basic income.”


Notes for Editor


About Ultan Courtney


Ultan is currently Chairman of Dublin Bus, an independent commercial subsidiary within the CIE Group since 2014. He also serves on the Board of CIE.  Ultan has had a successful senior management career with large-scale organisations such as C&C plc, Superquinn, and Waterford Foods. He has also run his own management consultancy business since 2008. This provides services to all types of businesses from small start-ups to family firms and bigger companies in the public and private economy.


Ultan is currently Chairman of the RTE Management Disputes Tribunal, Independent Chairperson, IMI Grievance Resolution Procedure, member of the Central Bank Disputes Resolution Tribunal. Lay member of the Client & Complaints Committee of the Law Society of Ireland. He is also a former member of the Equality Authority and former member of the Public Sector Pay Commission.


He has a degree in economics from Trinity College. He has post graduate qualifications from the Law Society in Corporate Legal Governance and Judicial Skills and Decision Making and UCD in Employment Law and Arbitration. He also qualified in Management Strategy and Coaching and Training. He is an accredited mediator and arbitrator.


About the Low Pay Commission


Established in 2015, the Low Pay Commission makes annual recommendations to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment designed to set a minimum wage that is fair and sustainable.

When appropriate the minimum wage can be adjusted to assist as many low-paid workers as possible without harming overall employment or competitiveness.


Low Pay Commission Members

October 2021

Ultan Courtney


Caroline Fahey

Employee Representative

Fionnuala Ni Bhrógáin

Employee Representative

Michael Taft

Employee Representative

Sinead Mullins

Employer Representative

Dawn Wynne

Employer Representative

Eugene McMahon

Employer Representative

Frank Walsh

Advisory Representative

Tim Callan

Advisory Representative





The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

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