Sunday 22 September 2019

Irish Water boss John Tierney confirms he will leave position

Revealed: Major plans to re-brand embattled utility being discussed

Irish Water Chief Executive John Tierney
Irish Water Chief Executive John Tierney

Kevin Doyle and Daniel McConnell

Irish Water boss John Tierney is to step down in April, it has been confirmed.

The Chief Executive of the embattled utility is to leave his position at the end of his three year contract in April.

In a statement this evening, Irish Water said: “He said he very much appreciated the opportunity to work on the establishment of Irish Water, one of the most challenging projects ever undertaken in the public sector.”

Irish Water has been embroiled in controversy since Mr Tierney revealed on radio that it had spent €80m on consultants.

It has also been revealed Irish Water is to undergo a major re-brand in the coming months in order to restore its reputation.

The much criticised utility company is preparing for the "next phase" of its existence.

An Irish Water spokeswoman last night made no comment to inquiries from the Sunday Independent in relation to the plans.

It is understood, however, that a re-branding of Irish Water and wider changes will occur after the General Election and senior executives within the company are preparing such plans.

No details on how much a re-brand would cost have yet emerged but detailed proposals will have to go to Government for approval in due course. The introduction of water charges by the Government has been dogged by controversy and Irish Water has had to battle repeated political interference during its establishment phase.

Sources have said talks are going on about what is the next phase of Irish Water going to look like.

"There is chat about what is next for Irish Water. There is a recognition at the top level that after the election, there will have to be change and everyone accepts that", said a source.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly recently told this newspaper that he had been handed the "biggest hospital pass in modern politics" by his predecessor Phil Hogan in relation to Irish Water.

A spokesman for Mr Kelly said that no formal proposals for change in Irish Water has been presented to him.

The decision to re-brand Irish Water appears to be justified as 60pc of people feel it should be abolished, according to the latest Sunday Independent/MillwardBrown opinion poll.

Exactly 50pc of those polled said that water should be paid for while 34pc disagreed with the statement. Just 22pc of people felt Irish Water should be retained in its current form.

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section