Friday 27 February 2009

Former county manager rejoins Dún Laoghaire council

A FORMER county manager, who left a local authority in 2005 before joining a company associated with a developer involved in a controversial planning proposal, has rejoined the council.

Former Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county manager Derek Brady became a consultant with Alburn Limited, a firm associated with developer Noel Smyth, when Mr Brady left the council in 2005.

His move to Alburn came after Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council controversially signalled its intention in 2005 to approve a proposal to build one of Ireland’s tallest buildings – a 24-storey apartment tower at Sandyford, in south Co Dublin. The plan was eventually rejected by An Bord Pleanála last year. Mr Brady is now rejoining the council on a “short-term temporary contract” to advise it on its involvement in a joint venture to develop 64 acres in Cherrywood.

In a letter to councillors on Tuesday, county manager Owen Keegan said Mr Brady’s appointment “may generate some media interest”, but said Mr Brady was “not conflicted”.

The council has, since 1997, been involved as a minority partner in a joint venture (JV) with two firms in the Dunloe Ewart Group to develop the Cherrywood site. The agreement was due to expire at the end of 2008, but was extended until June 30th.

“The council needs to consider whether and on what basis it should seek to extend the JV agreement beyond June 30th, 2009,” Mr Keegan’s letter stated.

It said that given the deteriorating outlook for commercial development and the “growing financial constraints” on the council “very detailed consideration had to be given to a range of issues before any decision in relation to the JV could be made.

“As the council does not have the necessary expertise in-house, I have asked Mr Brady, former county manager, to assist the council in view of his knowledge of the JV and his unique background in both the local authority and property development sectors,” the letter added. “I propose to offer Mr Brady, who is not conflicted, a short-term temporary contract of employment.”

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor Ruairi Holohan of the Green Party said Mr Brady was a “bizarre person to recruit”.

“If you’re going to choose anyone why would you choose a controversial person? I’m sure he has intimate knowledge of the area, but really someone with such bad blood between himself and the councillors is a bizarre decision.

“There are so many people who could have been chosen who have the expertise and not this person. I can’t understand the motives of appointing someone like him.”

The council said yesterday Mr Keegan was unavailable for comment and it “would not be facilitating any contact with Mr Brady”.

Irish Times

No comments: