Wednesday 29 January 2020

Chief of State company behind Irish Water to step down

Michael McNicholas is quitting after three years Picture: Steve Humphreys
Michael McNicholas is quitting after three years Picture: Steve Humphreys
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The head of the semi-state company behind Irish Water is to stand down.

Michael McNicholas will leave his role as group chief executive of Ervia, the State company responsible for Irish Water and Gas Networks Ireland in May next year.

The board of Ervia will now begin the process of seeking a suitable candidate to succeed him.

He will leave after three years in the post, which he took on in May 2013. Prior to joining Ervia, then known as Bord Gáis, he headed NTR plc.

During his time at the helm, Ervia has been radically transformed, including the controversial creation of Irish Water as a national utility, and the privatisation of the bulk of Bord Gáis bar its infrastructure.

Irish Water's own management, and its political masters, rather than Ervia bore the bulk of a public backlash against plans to bill for water.

However, there was controversy when it emerged that Mr McNicholas owned shares in his former employer NTR, which in turn had a stake in a privatised UK utility, Celtic Anglian Water, that had contracts with Irish Water to install water meters.

"While my time at the company has been very challenging it has also been very rewarding. I have had the privilege of working with exceptional people who have given everything they can to make this company successful," Mr McNicholas said.

Irish Independent

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