Emily O'Reilly: My regrets? Health Department's refusal to listen that cost us €500m
Later today I will launch my 10th and final annual report as Ombudsman. On June 2, 2003, I walked through the doors of 18 Lower Leeson Street as the new incumbent, a 'veteran' journalist by that stage but by no means a nation-al expert on public administration.
The first Ombudsman – the late Michael Mills – had also been a journalist. Both of us had been 'Irish Press' political correspondents and I had spent five immensely happy years working from Michael's former desk in the pol corr's room in Leinster House. Now I was once again following in his footsteps.
My immediate predecessor – the late Kevin Murphy – would become a great friend and mentor. With exquisite tact, he never once suggested how I might set about my job, but when times were difficult he was more than happy to listen and share his own experience and insights into whatever problem I was trying to solve.