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Meet the rivals in the running to be city leader

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OWEN KEEGAN , DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC , DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NEW ROAD SIGN SYSTEM FOR DUBLIN CITY IN THE TRAFFIC CONTROL ROOM.
 PIC STEVE HUMPHREYS.
 21 AUGUST 2002.

OWEN KEEGAN , DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC , DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NEW ROAD SIGN SYSTEM FOR DUBLIN CITY IN THE TRAFFIC CONTROL ROOM. PIC STEVE HUMPHREYS. 21 AUGUST 2002.

OWEN KEEGAN , DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC , DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NEW ROAD SIGN SYSTEM FOR DUBLIN CITY IN THE TRAFFIC CONTROL ROOM. PIC STEVE HUMPHREYS. 21 AUGUST 2002.

THESE are the candidates who have emerged as the frontrunners to become the new Dublin City Council boss – and claim a salary of €190,000.

DUN Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council chief Owen Keegan, deputy Dublin City manager Philip Maguire and Tim Lucey, head of Cork City Council are tipped for the top.

Of the three, Mr Keegan is the most high-profile, having introduced clamping in Dublin city in 1998 when he was the council's director of traffic.

He is not afraid to make hard decisions, a politician told the Herald.

"He was the first council manager in Dublin to get rid of the [public] bin service and everyone else followed.

Critical

"Everyone was critical of him and then everyone else followed," said the councillor, who didn't wish to be identified."

Mr Keegan currently gets paid €153,260 so would be in line for a 23.5pc pay hike if he succeeded John Tierney, who has left Dublin City Council to take over the new water utility, Irish Water.

Fingal County manager, David O'Connor, who is on €162,062 a year, has also been suggested as a possible successor and Kildare County manager Michael Malone has also been given mention.

The high salaries paid to council chiefs was criticised by councillors last year.

"(It) shows the divide between high earners and other council staff, and that there's a huge discrepancy there," Labour's Lettie McCarthy said.

"Most people would think they were millionaires if they were on that money."

Mr Tierney, who was appointed managing director of Irish Water, had been head of Fingal before moving to Dublin city.

His position at City Hall will now be filled through the Public Appointments Process, directed by the Department of the Environment.

Labour councillor Dermot Lacey told the Herald he is opposed to the way the system operates, believing that individual councils should be able to make the appointment.

"Even if we reject the appointment, the person becomes appointed after three months," he said.

The deputy city manager, Mr Maguire, who is responsible for planning and economic development, is to replace the outgoing boss on a temporary basis, it was announced.

Mr Lucey, who is on a salary of €153,260, began his term of office as Cork city manager on September 1, 2010, having been divisional manager with Cork County Council from March 2006.

From 2002 to 2006, he held the position of director of corporate affairs with Cork County Council.

comurphy@herald.ie


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