Limerick councillors ratify appointment of new merged authority manager

THE new manager of the joint local authority Conn Murray is to start work next month after councillors approved his appointment this Wednesday.

THE new manager of the joint local authority Conn Murray is to start work next month after councillors approved his appointment this Wednesday.

City councillors gathered at City Hall today to officially appoint Mr Murray as the manager of the new merged authority.

Mr Murray was at City Hall on Wednesday for meetings with staff. He also addressed councillors in private, as well as City Hall management.

After Labour’s city south councillor Joe Leddin nominated the former Louth county boss, Fine Gael’s Diarmuid Scully seconded his nomination, and Mr Murray’s appointment was backed unanimously. He had already received the backing of Limerick County Councillors on Monday.

He will now start work on Wednesday, August 15.

Cllr Leddin welcomed the “historic appointment”, saying: “He comes to Limerick with enormous challenges. One of the immediate tasks is to put in place a senior team of management - people with vision, people with leadership, who can rise to the challenges and opportunities Limerick has over the months ahead.”

Cllr Scully predicted a “fundamental change” about how Limerick goes about its business.

At the meeting, there were congratulations for Kieran Lehane, who has been deputising as manager since the retirement in February of Tom Mackey.

Commiserations were also offered to Mr Lehane, who went for the supermanager’s position, including Fine Gael councillor Pat Kennedy, who said “it would have been nice to have seen a local boy get the job.”

Northside Fine Gael councillor Michael Hourigan said he hopes Mr Murray’s reign is a success “for all the families and the people across the region.”

Cllr Maurice Quinlivan also welcomed Mr Murray’s arrival, but said he wished councillors had been given a bit more information.

“I wish we were welcoming a new city manager for an expanded city. We are making a mistake with the amalgamation: it won’t work, it will not achieve the cost savings. A biography should have been sent down to us so we knew who we were voting for,” Cllr Quinlivan pointed out.

Cllr Ger Fahy, Fine Gael, described Mr Murray as “the obvious choice”, while Cllr Orla McLoughlin said: “We have to embrace the huge changes and the conflicts that come with amalgamation.”

Mayor Gerry McLoughlin welcomed fellow councillors’ support for Mr Murray, who also managed Waterford.