Thursday 23 March 2017

Untainted but unavoidably caught in mess

Brian McDonald

Brought in as a new broom to sweep away the stench of over-spending and expenses scandals at FAS, Paul O'Toole now finds himself presiding over a near-corpse.

The burial probably won't be held until the new year, but the former tourism chief and his fellow FAS managers are clearly holding their breath to see what will emerge in its place.

Her harsher critics might say that not even Mary Coughlan knows what she has in mind.

Whatever shape FAS-nua takes, it is a given that Mr O'Toole will be the man to steer the ship. Appointed just 18 months ago to succeed Rody Molloy, he has been delicately holding the poisoned chalice ever since.

Untainted, but unavoidably caught up in the fallout from the succession of revelations about vast amounts of public money spent apparently on a wing and a prayer, even he must be counting down the days to wiping the FAS slate clean.

From Co Wicklow, he has 20 years of senior management experience, working with government departments and the public and private sectors.

He is an ex-officio officer of the new board of FAS under the chairmanship of Michael Dempsey, a former senior director of Bristol Myers Squibb. Under the Labour Services (Amendment) Act passed last year, Mr O'Toole is directly accountable as director general to the Oireachtas.

Irish Independent

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