Dún Laoghaire county manager to take top Dublin City Council post

Owen Keegan to replace John Tierney as council manager

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county manager Owen Keegan speaks to residents protesting about road works in Blackrock, Co Dublin,  in 2009. Mr Keegan is to replace John Tierney as manager of Dublin City Council. Photograph: Frank Miller

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county manager Owen Keegan speaks to residents protesting about road works in Blackrock, Co Dublin, in 2009. Mr Keegan is to replace John Tierney as manager of Dublin City Council. Photograph: Frank Miller

Wed, Jun 5, 2013, 01:00


The new manager of Dublin City Council is to be Owen Keegan, current manager of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Mr Keegan replaces John Tierney who was appointed head of Irish Water in January after six years managing Dublin. The role of city manager had been temporarily filled by his deputy Philip Maguire.

Though no official announcement has yet been made, some councillors in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown were informed of the appointment last night.

Mr Keegan has managed Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown since 2006, having moved from Dublin City Council where his roles included director of traffic. He was well known for introducing clamping in the city centre, earning the nickname “traffic tsar”. He was also assistant city manager of Dublin for 10 years and before entering public service was an economist with Davy Kelleher McCarthy.

Mr Keegan earns €153,260. The new post pays almost €190,000.

He had a reputation for being flexible and open in his role at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Labour Party Cllr Jane Dillon Byrne said she was pleased for him, but sorry for the county. “He was a far-seeing manager and we will miss him in Dún Laoghaire,” she said. “He has excellent vision and was a joy to work with because he was flexible . . . Dublin will benefit greatly from his appointment.”

Fine Gael Cllr Barry Ward said Mr Keegan had done a very good job in Dún Laoghaire, “the best-run local authority in the country”, though they hadn’t always seen eye-to-eye.

“He respects councillors and listens . . . a very good quality in a manager in the current climate,” he said.

Councillors were not given any indication of the timeline involved in Mr Keegan’s departure.

His appointment will have to be formally ratified by councillors in Dublin City Council before he can take up his post, though they do not have the power to block him.

The next full meeting of Dublin city councillors is next Monday evening. It was unclear last night whether his appointment would be on next week’s agenda for discussion.