LIMERICK city has a “bright future” but still faces many challenges, the new manager of Limerick City Council, Kieran Lehane, has said.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, the 55 year-old director of housing from the Ennis Road is due to have his appointment at the helm of the local authority confirmed by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Four people applied internally and were interviewed for the position last week, while Mr Lehane was nominated by the interview board. The recommendation has been sent by the outgoing city manager Tom Mackey to the minister to sign off on the appointment.
He is due to take up the role on March 1, as Mr Mackey is to retire after nine years serving the city.
“I’m very pleased. There’s a lot of challenges and work associated with it, but that’s what we’re here for - to address the challenges the city faces,” he said.
However, in time a senior manager will be appointed for the new joint local authority, combining Limerick city and county councils in one entity, which will make the role of the city manager obsolete. The new joint local authority is set to be established in 2014.
Mr Lehane said his term isn’t for a fixed period as of yet, and will depend on “how quickly those events unfold.”
“It’s a great honour and a lot of responsibility comes with the job. But we’ve a great team here between the staff and the elected representatives. I think everybody wants the best for Limerick.”
He has been working with the city council for eight years, prior to which he worked with the county council for 29 years, where he started as a clerical officer and worked up through the different grades to his present appointment.
He paid tribute to Mr Mackey for “contributing hugely” to the city. “The city owes him a huge debt of gratitude. He has done sterling work for the city over the years.”