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Poole set to leave Louth council after six months

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County Manager Philomena Poole. Picture: Ken Finegan

County Manager Philomena Poole. Picture: Ken Finegan

Ken Finegan MFA

County Manager Philomena Poole. Picture: Ken Finegan

LOUTH County manager Philomena Poole has confirmed she is set to leave her post – just over six months after being appointed.

LOUTH County manager Philomena Poole has confirmed she is set to leave her post – just over six months after being appointed.

Ms. Poole, who took up Louth's top job on August 12 2013, has been offered the manager's position at Dun Laoighaire-Rathdown County Council.

She confirmed her impending departure at the monthly meeting of Louth County Council yesterday (Monday).

But she did assure the members that she would not be leaving immediately, adding that her new post still had to be formally ratified by Dun Laoighaire- Rathdown council.

'I would like to say to councillors that there are a series of things to be completed, and I won't be going anywhere until they are.'

The most significant upcoming development is the amalgamation of councils in May, when Louth County Council becomes the single local authority in the county.

Ms. Poole has also been overseeing an investigation into the conduct of staff members in the local authority regarding the purchase of their own homes by the council for social housing uses.

While the incidents took place in 2010, long before her appointment as county manager last summer, it has dominated her time as manager, with councillors still anxious to hear the outcome of the investigations.

Cllr. Michael O'Dowd pointed out that the local authority 'needs a CEO to guide the council forward' and queried when a replacement for Ms. Poole might be expected.

Chairman Declan Breathnach suggested that the council write to the public appointments body to urge them to have the position filled as soon as possible after Ms. Poole's departure.

A number of councillors raised concerns about the position having been vacant for 12 months before she was appointed, when the council only had an acting county manager in place.

Ms. Poole concluded that she still had much to do in Louth, adding that the February meeting of Louth County Council wouldn't be her last.

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