Elizabeth Arnett to leave Irish Water for Ulster Bank

Public face of utility had high media profile when dealing with various controversies

Elizabeth Arnett was praised for her “significant contribution to Irish Water since its establishment in 2013”

Elizabeth Arnett is to leave her job as head of corporate affairs at Irish Water to join Ulster Bank in a similar role.

Ms Arnett, who appeared regularly on television and radio in relation to the various controversies at Irish Water, is to head the bank’s communications and corporate affairs operations at a time when it is aiming to expand again in the Irish market, having undertaken a major retrenchment following the economic crash.

Ms Arnett has been a member of the senior management team at Irish Water since September 2013, first as head of communications and corporate services and, since January 2016, as head of corporate affairs and environmental regulation. As such she was the public face of the organisation when many controversies broke over the establishment and operation of Irish Water.

A spokesman for Irish Water confirmed the move, while managing director Jerry Grant referred to her “significant contribution to Irish Water since its establishment in 2013”. She is to leave Irish Water to take up her new position in March.


Prior to Irish Water, Ms Arnett worked with multinational energy resource and environmental consultancy company RPS, where she was a director since 2009.

She will join Ulster Bank as head of corporate affairs and communications. Ulster Bank, part of the RBS group, ran up massive losses during the financial crisis and significantly reduced the size of its operations here as a result.

However its parent RBS has said it is committed to expanding its Irish operation again, hinting that it might even look for acquisitions to increase its presence here.

The bank set aside €118 million in its latest financial accounts to deal with the cost of investigating, repaying and compensating customers due to overcharging on tracker mortgages.