Seán McKeown appointed as Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council

On Monday 1 July, elected members of Waterford City and County Council approved the appointment of Seán McKeown as Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council.

McKeown was appointed following a recruitment process conducted by the Public Appointments Service and will take up the role on 21 August. The role was previously held by Michael Walsh.

Originally from Armagh, McKeown has had a distinguished career in local government, most recently serving as Director of Planning, Economic and Environmental Services at Kilkenny County Council. Prior to that, he was Interim Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council for just over 15 months following the retirement of Colette Byrne. He has also served as Director of the South East Action Plan for Jobs and Head of Enterprise and Economic Development at Kilkenny County Council.

Speaking about his appointment, McKeown said: “I am honoured and privileged to have been approved as Chief Executive by the Elected Members of Waterford City and County Council. I look forward to working with them and staff across the Council’s service areas to make Waterford the best place in Ireland to live, work and invest.”

McKeown also paid tribute to interim chief executive Ivan Grimes and his predecessor Michael Walsh for their “significant contribution to Waterford”.

Walsh retired as chief executive in May this year, having been appointed chief executive of the newly merged Waterford City and County Council in 2014. He is tasked with overseeing the merger of the former city and county councils as part of local government reforms.

Some of his key projects include securing almost €200 million of investment in the North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), leading Waterford City and County Council’s efforts to realise all property rights and address vacancy and dereliction, the regeneration of towns and villages under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), the creation of the Waterford Greenway, consolidating Waterford’s rich history and heritage and playing a key role in the establishment of the South East Technological University.

McKeown added: “Waterford is on an upward trajectory with a strong pipeline of ambitious projects and plans, and I am excited to be at the heart of delivering them. I am committed to developing close working relationships and collaboration with the local community, academic and business stakeholders, as well as Council staff, to ensure Waterford continues on this trajectory.”

Key projects McKeown expects to deliver include making Waterford the first carbon neutral city in Ireland, strengthening Waterford with copper and the economic resilience of the South East, developing tourism, continuing Waterford’s leadership in addressing vacancy and dereliction, and further investing in Waterford’s physical and digital infrastructure.