Business Irish

Monday 20 November 2017

John Lynch

ROISIN BURKE

though John Lynch led CIE with a gentle approach to thorny industrial relations issues, his main occupation these days is more pugilistic.

Lynch ran Fas from its inception in 1988 until 2000. Prior to that, the semi-State veteran was CEO of Bord Gais. He was made executive chair at CIE by Fianna Fail minister Mary O'Rourke in 2000 and presided over the semi-State on an annual package that hit €252,000 at his departure.

There were highs and lows over his 10 years there. He reduced staff numbers and costs by €232m and contained industrial strife. He turned the loss-making freight division into a profitable concern.

However, a report on fraud at Iarnrod Eireann cost almost €0.5m and never saw the light of day. The fraud itself cost €2.5m. There was also a €1m overcharging wrangle with Greyhound Waste.

Audited accounts from Lynch's final period at the helm are still awaited, as CIE has pleaded with Government for the second time for more time to produce them. Losses approaching €40m for 2011 have been suggested, and serious financial difficulties.

Transport minister Leo Varadkar is suspending a €36m rescue payment to top up CIE's annual State subsidy of €278m pending reforms.

Lynch retired in July 2011.

He has held a number of directorships, including Barlo and Ivan Yates's Celtic Bookmakers. He has lectured at NUI Galway and Trinity, and in US universities.

He chairs the Irish Amateur Boxing Association that brought Katie Taylor and John Joe Nevin to the Olympics.

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