The Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, has rejected allegations that he is "double-jobbing" as "totally false, untrue and grossly unfair".

Today, the Irish Daily Mail reported that Mr Mulvey, who currently earns €156,000 a year, is also paid around €9,000 a year for his role as chairman of the Sports Council of Ireland.

The Mail said that Mr Mulvey had lobbied to retain the additional payment after the Government restated the "one person, one salary" policy on public sector pay, and the Government had permitted him to keep it.

Mr Mulvey had argued for retention on the basis that the payment was quite small, and the chairmanship of the Sports Council required considerable out of hours commitment at both weekend and evening events.

Mr Mulvey said that the situation could not be equated to double-jobbing.

He said that he was paid at the level of a deputy secretary general of a Government department, and had taken the same cuts in pay as everyone else at his level, and had in fact taken more.

He said his appointment to the Sports Council had been made by the previous government prior to the Haddington Road Agreement.

He said the chair of the Sports Council was the chair of a State body, and that a fee of €9,000 was paid.

He rejected suggestions that he had lobbied to retain the payment.

The Department of Transport said it acted on clarification from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which had told it that where a contractual commitment on board fees exists it must be honoured. 

A Department of Transport Spokesman said: "Clarification regarding board fees was sought from the Department of Expenditure and Reform after that Department issued the initial directive.

“The advice received from that Department was that board fees 'should be reviewed in the context of any contractual organisations that may pertain' and where a contractual commitment exists it must be honoured.

“The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport acted according to that advice."

Asked how many other public servants were receiving additional payments for their role on state boards, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said the implementation of these arrangements was a matter for the state bodies concerned to ensure adherence to them.

In a statement, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said it would not generally be contacted by departments in relation to any such requests that they might have received unless the department needed clarification as to whether or not a person was deemed to be a public servant/public sector worker.

Mr Mulvey said that he had been told the payment was going to be cut off, and made an enquiry as to why this was happening.

He said the Government had looked at his warrant of appointment and restored it.

Asked whether the additional payment breached the one person, one salary rule, he said it did not, adding that the Secretary General of the Department of Transport had taken that view.

Asked whether he should relinquish the €9,000 payment, Mr Mulvey said that would be a matter for the Government to decide at an appropriate stage, and it was not a big issue.