Manager of joint Limerick authority aims to regenerate Limerick city centre

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

THE man appointed to head up the new joint authority in Limerick says he will work “energetically and ambitiously” to make the city a success.

THE man appointed to head up the new joint authority in Limerick says he will work “energetically and ambitiously” to make the city a success.

Conn Murray yesterday was named as the first ever joint manager of Limerick city and county.

The current Louth County Council boss has been chosen as Limerick’s new ‘super manager’ following a competition organised by the public appointments board.

He will come to Limerick in late August or early September, and will manage both Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council until they merge in 2014. Then, he will effectively become the ‘chief executive’ of Limerick.

A former director of service at City Hall, Mr Murray was one of nine people shortlisted for the position when it was advertised last month.

This was whittled down to three, and he was formally appointed yesterday.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Murray said his key goal will be to regenerate the ailing city centre area.

“I am keenly aware that large scale private sector investment is very much on hold at the moment, [but] I also know that ideas are being advanced to creatively use the resources available, and I look forward to playing my part in supporting appropriate urban regeneration in Limerick so there will be a vibrant city centre which offers a good mix of business, culture, education, retail and heritage.”

Mr Murray sees “huge opportunities” for Limerick to develop as an “even more powerful driving force” and “gateway to the Mid-West”.

The Meath native worked at Limerick City Council for seven years during the 1990s and early 2000s, as assistant town clerk, then director of services. He also managed Waterford City.

Southside councillor Joe Leddin was on the council during Mr Murray’s first stint: “He is a man with huge energy and vision. He is the right man at the right time to meet Limerick’s challenges. This appointment now effectively starts the amalgamation process properly.”

Dooradoyle-based county councillor Tomas Hannon said it is crucial he appoints a strong team around him.

“He comes with experience from an urban and rural point of view. Hopefully he will put a strong team around him,” he said.

County and city councillors will formally ratify Mr Murray shortly.

To keep up-to-date, follow the Limerick Leader on Twitter