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Monday 11 December 2017

'Drumcondra mafia' member who has no plans to step aside

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

IT was CRC chairman Jim Nugent who broke the news to the organisation's employees that chief executive Brian Conlan had quit.

He thanked Mr Conlan for this "commitment and support to the CRC" and informed staff that he was assuming the role of interim chief executive.

Mr Nugent, appointed to the board of the CRC in 1998, is one of its longest serving directors and has been a key figure in the CRC's efforts to weather the current row over top-ups to some executives' salaries.

While Mr Conlan fell on his sword yesterday in the wake of the row, Mr Nugent was bullish in saying that -- along with the rest of the board-- he had no intentions of doing the same.

The 66-year-old businessman -- who has an address in leafy Dublin 4 -- was well-known as a member Bertie Ahern's fabled 'Drumcondra mafia'. He contributed €2,500 in the 'dig-outs' for the former Taoiseach.

Aside from his membership of the CRC board, Mr Nugent is a director of several organisations, including The Care Trust, computer company Woodgrange Technologies and consultancy firm Pragma Management Services. He also served in the past as chairman of the state training authority CERT and on the board of the Central Bank

Mr Nugent remains a director of Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic, the organisation whose lottery proceeds funded the salary top-ups to executives.

He was appointed in November 2010, a year after the Department of Health salary caps were introduced.

It was Mr Nugent, along with his predecessor in the chairman's role, Hamilton Goulding, who faced a barrage of criticism from CRC staff in a series of meetings last week.

Now as the interim chief executive, he will be to the fore in the CRC's efforts to restore the morale of its workers and public confidence in the charity.

Irish Independent

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