Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern received a ministerial pension of almost €100,000 last year and is among a host of sitting and former TDs who have continued to receive generous ministerial pensions from the state, Department of Finance figures show.
They reveal former Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue TD received a severance payment of more than €18,000 after resigning his seat last October following a series of revelations about his lavish expenses during his time in office.
Despite moves by the government to limit the entitlement of current Oireachtas members to such payments, the figures show some of the best-known politicians in the country were paid tens of thousands of euro in ministerial pensions on top of their TD salaries in 2009.
These payments were made during a year when the government introduced one of the harshest budgets in recent memory, including significant cuts to social welfare payments.
According to the Department of Finance figures, Ahern was paid a ministerial pension totalling €98,901 last year, while former Ceann Comhairle Rory O'Hanlon (Fianna Fáil) was paid €82,355 and Mary O'Rourke of Fianna Fáil received €28,341.
Former Labour leader Ruairi Quinn received €41,656 and Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey was paid €37,205, while Dr Michael Woods TD received €33,343 and former Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan received €39,944.
The two main opposition party leaders, Enda Kenny of Fine Gael and Eamonn Gilmore of Labour, received relatively modest payments of €9,113 and €1,181 respectively.
Following legal advice from attorney general Paul Gallagher, the government last year decided it was not constitutionally possible to
reduce payments to sitting TDs by more than 25%. But ministerial pension payments to former Oireachtas members were not reduced.
The figures show how a number of former politicians, including some who have since taken up lucrative jobs in the public and private sectors, were paid generous pensions as former ministers last year.
These include the current EU commissioner Maire Geoghegan Quinn, who received €64,281 in 2009, and her predecessors in that role, Charlie McCreevy (€74,746) and Padraig Flynn (€50,927).
All three are also entitled to lucrative additional pensions as former TDs, as well as any other pension entitlements they would have run up in their subsequent roles.
Disgraced former Fianna Fáil politician and cabinet minister Ray Burke was paid a ministerial pension of €57,455, while Construction Industry Federation chief Tom Parlon received €19,008, the figures show.
Sitting TDs are paid 50% of their full pension entitlement until they leave the Oireachtas. However, under government rules former taoisigh such as Ahern can receive their full ministerial pension while still in office.
A Department of Finance spokesman said the figures, which include any amounts paid to former ministers who may have voluntarily agreed to forgo part or all of their pension, are unaudited and may be subject to "minor change".
The figures also reflect the 25% reduction in payments to serving TDs.
Bertie Ahern €98,901
Rory O'Hanlon €82,355
Ruairi Quinn €41,656
Michael Noonan €39,944
Frank Fahey €37,205
Michael Woods €33,343
Mary O'Rourke. €28,341
John McGuinness €25,276
Michael Kitt €25,276
Jimmy Devins €25,273
Jim Mc Daid €22,487
John O'Donoghue €18,481
Michael D Higgins €17,738
Richard Bruton €13,242
Enda Kenny €9,113
Pat Rabbitte €4,255
Eamon Gilmore €1,181
Albert Reynolds. €109,358
Garret FitzGerald €103,926
John Bruton €100,027
Dick Spring €76,932
Charlie McCreevy €74,746
M Geoghegan-Quinn €64,281
Ray Burke €57,455
Desmond O'Malley €56,059
Padraig Flynn €50,927
Alan Dukes €45,470
Ray MacSharry €41,135
Michael McDowell €31,435
Liz O'Donnell €19,167
Tom Parlon €19,008
*Figures may change slightly as they are based on provisional Department of Finance data which has yet to be audited.