‘A man of action’: Tributes paid to outgoing Limerick Council CEO

Rebecca Laffan

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Rebecca Laffan

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rebecca.laffan@limerickleader.ie

‘A man of action, integrity and extraordinary ability’

Conn Murray with interim chief executive, Dr Pat Daly | Picture: Alan Place

CHIEF EXECUTIVE of Limerick City and County Council, Conn Murray, has stepped down from his seven-year role. 

Mr Murray’s contract expired this Wednesday with a reception held to recognise his contribution to Limerick and celebrate his 40 years in local government.

His decision to step down from the role was outlined in a letter to newly appointed Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Michael Sheahan, councillors and staff on June 12 this year. 

The county Meath native has served on nine different local authorities during his 40-year career and has served as city manager in Waterford and county Manager in Louth.  

In his speech Mr Murray made reference to pending changes, without referencing the directly elected mayor scenario.

“I have a belief in our system and like every system it can and should be improved. However, what I have witnessed at local level over the last seven years with the development of what I call collaborative leadership is a major step to that improvement. 

“My only ask of those who seek to disrupt the balance that our system has for so long benefited from is that they do so with care and foresight and in particular with a genuine understanding of how Local Government in Ireland actually works and not be afraid to ask why it has been so successful, so much so, that almost every department of government is seeking to deliver its services through our local Government system.”

He earlier quoted Yeats: “In shaping the organisation I was mindful of what WB Yeats said: ‘Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot but make it hot by striking.’ It took time, it took a team of people with a sense and understanding of vision, a team of people with patience, a team of people with resilience and belief, a political leadership that was committed to the future of Limerick all of which have made this organisation the national and international award winning organisation that it is today. 

Mr Murray made reference to Limericks 2014 bid for City of Culture, as well as regenerations projects and the Limerick Twenty Thirty project which brought €2m and 15,000 jobs to the area. 

The poignant speech was closed off with words of advice: “At the end of the day let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. Act as if what you do makes a difference because believe me it does.”

Mayor Michael Sheahan expressed his thanks, saying: “In sending you off, we are filled with regrets that you are here with us no more as Chief Executive of this remarkable city and county, which has been made all the more remarkable because of your stewardship.  You have given 40 years of your life to public service and while the value of your contribution is immeasurable, I think the fact you are held in the deepest respect, by so many people, from here in Limerick, Waterford, Louth and right across the country, speaks volumes about your impact on the people and places you served.”

“Thanks to you Conn, Limerick is a city on an upward curve, full of hope and ambition, ready to reach heights we never have before. You will always be a friend to us here and will be remembered as a man of action, integrity and extraordinary ability."