Special Advisers Appointments

Date published: 14 February 2020

The Department of Finance has published the names and salaries of the special advisers appointed.

Individual salaries have been determined by senior officials in the Department of Finance.

The total annual salary pay bill is £876,498. The total annual salary pay bill in 2017 was £1,162,894.

The average salary for special advisers has decreased by 14% with the average salary now almost £10,000 less than the 2017 equivalent. 

The salaries reflect the role of the special adviser as set out in the Code of Conduct, relevant experience and expertise as well as whether the special adviser is working for the First and deputy First Minister or on more complex cross cutting work.


Department Name Salary band
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Mr Mark Beattie Pay-band 1
Communities Mr Ronan McGinley Pay-band 1
Economy Mr Alastair Ross* Pay-band 2  £65,000
Education Mr Peter Martin Pay-band 2  £60,000
Finance Mr Eoin Rooney Pay-band 1
Health Mr Mark Ovens Pay-band 2  £60,000
Infrastructure Ms Tanya McCamphill Pay-band 1
Justice Ms Claire Johnson Pay-band 1
Executive Office Mr Stephen McGlade Pay-band 3   £78,000
Executive Office Dr Dara O’Hagan Pay-band 3   £78,000
Executive Office Mr John Loughran Pay-band 2   £67,000
Executive Office Dr Philip Weir Pay-band 3   £78,000
Executive Office Ms Emma Little-Pengelly Pay-band 3   £78,000
Executive Office Mrs Kim Ashton Pay-band 1 

* Will take up appointment in near future when notice period for current role ends. 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The average salary is £62,750.  The average salary for special advisers at January 2017 was £72,681.
  2. The new Special Adviser Code, as agreed by the Executive on the 20 January 2020 outlined Special Advisers will be paid within three pay-bands. The code can be viewed at https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/articles/special-advisers.
  • Pay-band 1 – up to £54,999
  • Pay-band 2 – £55,000 – 69,999
  • Pay-band 3 – £70,000 – 85,000
  1. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email: dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk. Out of Office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

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