Sunday Tribune - November 29, 2009
regeneration chief admits to hiring irregularities
Shane Coleman and Conor McMorrow
chief executive of the Limerick Regeneration Agencies has admitted
six staff, including his daughter and the son of a non-executive
director of the agencies, were recruited by the body without
going through the standard public appointments process.
Brendan Kenny's daughter
Yvonne was recruited as a clerical officer and Brian McElligott
- a son of Limerick Regeneration Southside non-executive director
Liam McElligott - was also hired as a project officer, along
with four other staff, with contracts up until June 2012.
Kenny, who previously
was a highly regarded assistant Dublin city manager, was headhunted
in 2007 to lead the project aimed at regenerating the most disadvantaged
areas of Limerick.
from the Sunday Tribune last week, he acknowledged appointments,
including that of his daughter, were made without publicly advertising
He explained there
was an enormous urgency, and demand from local residents, at
the time he took the position to get the agencies up and running.
The type of appointments needed were quite unique and to go
through the public process, rather than "hand picking"
recruits, would have taken "months and months".
At the time, Kenny
said, "we felt there was such an urgency [because of the
crisis facing the disadvantaged areas] but of course with hindsight
it would have been better to go through the process".
He noted that his
daughter Yvonne's appointment was at the lowest level grade
and that she had quickly filled the requirement to appoint somebody
who could cover accounts, IT and reception. Having moved down
from Dublin with his family staying in the capital, he also
said it was of "big benefit to me personally" to be
joined by his daughter.
Kenny stressed that
Liam McElligott was a non-executive director one of 34
board members between the north- and southside bodies
and that he had made "no approach whatsoever" in relation
to his son.
is from Limerick, which was important for those working on the
project team, and had some experience of project management.
He also said the
chair and the board were happy to sign off on the six appointments.
Kenny added that the appointments were not at management level
and at the time they were recruited they would have had no difficulty
in getting jobs elsewhere given the booming economy.
was established in 2007 following public revulsion at an arson
attack in Moyross on Gavin and Millie Murray.
It has been widely
praised for its work to date and the masterplan it has drawn
up is due to go to cabinet this week. Kenny said staff had been
working "night and day" and at weekends to this end.