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While he was a member of the National Transport Authority’s (NTA’s) board in 2017, Frank Gleeson went to just three or four of its 12 board meetings – but he was still paid the full €11,970 for the serving in the position that year.

A tally of attendance in meeting minutes suggests that Gleeson attended just one board meeting in the first six months of 2018. His pay is €6,193.93 for sitting on the board for that period, according to the NTA.

Gleeson, who is is also head of Aramark Northern Europe, a former retail director of Topaz Energy Group and on the board of the business lobby group IBEC, resigned from the board in July 2018.

While the NTA annual report for 2017 says Gleeson attended four of 12 meetings in 2017, a tally of attendance from the meeting minutes for the year adds up to three.

“The NTA expects full attendance at board meetings,” said a spokesperson for the NTA. There are some additional meetings outside of the board meetings, but the majority of work is reading materials for board meetings and going to those, he said.

For other board members, attendance in 2017 at board meetings was higher. Of those eligible to go to all 12 meetings, four board members attended all of them, five went to 11 of them, and one went to nine.

For the first half of 2018, minutes from the meetings suggest that the other board members who were eligible to attend all six meetings went to either five or six of them.

Board members for the NTA are appointed by the minister for transport. Gleeson was appointed in September 2015, while Fine Gael’s Paschal Donohoe held that position.

Most board members are put in place through the Public Appointments Service, which assesses candidates and forwards a list to the relevant minister to choose from.

“Mr Gleeson’s name was amongst those forwarded to the Department for consideration by the Minister following a campaign in 2015,” said a spokesperson for the Public Appointments Service.

Gleeson was appointed on the basis of his experience in communications and marketing, said a spokesperson from the Department of Transport.

Gleeson said he couldn’t answer queries sent via LinkedIn about why he missed the meetings, and how he might respond to concerns about being paid even though he missed a lot of meetings.

“I cant [sic] comment directly so you should contact the NTA to establish the facts before you publish any comments about me,” he said.

Lois Kapila

Lois Kapila is Dublin Inquirer's managing editor and general-assignment reporter. Want to share a comment or a tip with her? Send an email to her at

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