New company to begin process of charging homes for water usage
DUBLIN city manager John Tierney was yesterday named as the first head of Irish Water as the company prepares to begin the complex task of merging more than 30 water authorities and charging consumers for water usage for the first time.
Mr Tierney will earn a salary of €200,000 – or €50,000 less than the salary cap for commercial semi-state bosses.
He will take up his three-year post as managing director in April, with his first major task to oversee the roll-out of the water-metering system.
It is the first major appointment for the new body, with other senior posts expected to be filled in the coming months.
Mr Tierney said he was looking forward to developing a world-class water authority.
"I am honoured to have been selected to lead Irish Water. It has been a great privilege to have worked in local government and particularly in my current role as Dublin city manager," Mr Tierney said.
"I now look forward to working with local authorities, experts from the utility sector within Bord Gais, and experts from the water sector, to bring together our collective strengths, expertise and experience to create a world-class water authority that provides an excellent service."
In June 2011, the Government set a pay ceiling for future appointments to commercial semi-states of €250,000.
Mr Tierney, from Terryglass, Co Tipperary, has served as Dublin city manager since September 2006 and has more than 35 years' experience working in local government.
Dublin City Council said that Mr Tierney is resigning prior to the end of his contract and therefore severance payments with the local authority do not apply.
Mr Tierney will work closely with the new head of Bord Gais, who is expected to be announced shortly to replace John Mullins. The energy company is overseeing the establishment of Irish Water.
The appointment comes a day after a report from the European Commission described progress on reform of the sector as slow.
The review of Ireland's bailout programme said the Government was committed to introducing water charges from next January, although the Department of the Environment said no decision had yet been made.
Bord Gais said it received a "significant number of applications" for the Irish Water managing director post.
Four other senior positions were advertised at the beginning of January: head of finance, head of asset management, head of HR and head of customer operations.
A Bord Gais spokeswoman said the positions are expected to be filled in March or April.
Rose Hynes, Bord Gais chairman, said she was confident Mr Tierney would do an "outstanding job".
Mr Tierney has advised Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri that his resignation will take effect from April 28.