Irish Water to replace Tierney with an insider
Irish Water is preparing to appoint an insider to replace controversial managing director John Tierney, the Irish Independent can reveal.
The embattled State agency's head of asset management Jerry Grant is understood to be the favourite to replace Mr Tierney after he steps down at the end of April.
Mr Grant has held a senior position in the utility company since it was established. He is acting managing director while former Dublin City manger Mr Tierney takes annual leave before he departs.
The Irish Independent understands Mr Grant came out on top in an open job application process within Ervia - Irish Water's parent company.
The agency will put his name forward to the Government which will consider the appointment before signing off.
Well-placed sources said Mr Grant was "very well got" in the company and impressed management and the Government with his media performances, after Mr Tierney struggled to communicate Irish Water's message.
An Irish Water spokeswoman said there was currently no new managing director as a "process is ongoing". "At this point in time Mr Tierney is on annual leave and his contract goes until the end of April," she said.
"He had some annual leave to take and he still has some other bits and pieces he needs to finish up, but Jerry is acting managing director."
Mr Tierney, a career civil servant, was awarded €200,000-a-year contract to run Irish Water when it was first established in 2013. He became embroiled in controversy when he suggested during a radio interview that the State agency spent almost €50m on consultancy fees before the company started charging for water.
After Mr Tierney's car-crash interview, Mr Grant was regularly tasked with speaking to the media on behalf of Irish Water.
According to his online profile, Mr Grant was appointed as Irish Water's head of asset management in April 2013.
On the LinkedIn profile it says he was also the "business lead" for an Irish Water capital investment within Bord Gais Networks.
Prior to this he was managing director of a consultancy firm, the RPS Group, for 10 years. RPS was paid €260,000 by Irish Water for consultancy services before it was established.
The company was paid €30m by Dublin City Council over a decade for its work on the Poolbeg incinerator project.
Mr Tierney was Dublin City manager during much of this period.