On Monday July 1st, the elected members of Waterford City and County Council ratified the appointment of Sean 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 assume the role on August 21st, which was previously held by Michael Walsh. 

Originally hailing from Armagh, McKeown has a distinguished career in local government having served most recently 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 with Kilkenny County Council. 

Speaking of the appointment McKeown said, “I am honoured and privileged to be confirmed as Chief Executive by the Elected Members of Waterford City and County Council.  I am looking forward to working with them and the staff across the various teams in the Council’s service areas to make Waterford the best place in Ireland to live, work and invest in.” 

McKeown also paid tribute to Interim Chief Executive, Ivan Grimes and his predecessor, Michael Walsh for “the significant contribution made to Waterford.”

In May of this year, Walsh retired as Chief Executive, having been appointed Chief Executive of the newly amalgamated Waterford City and County Council in 2014, to oversee the merger of the former city and county councils as part of local government reform. 

Key projects, under his stewardship include securing almost €200m investment in the North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), leading Waterford City and County Council in delivering on all housing tenures and leading in the tackling of vacancy and dereliction, the regeneration of rural towns and villages under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), the establishment of the Waterford Greenway, consolidation of Waterford’s rich history and heritage, and playing an integral 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 in place, and I am excited to be at the heart of delivering them.  I am committed to developing close working relationships and collaborating with the local community, academic stakeholders and business groups, along with the Council’s staff to ensure Waterford continues along this trajectory.”

Key projects that McKeown is looking forward to driving include the delivery of Waterford as Ireland’s first carbon neutral city, copper-fastening Waterford and the South East region’s economic resilience, development of tourism, the continuation of Waterford’s leading track record in tackling vacancy and dereliction, and furthering investment in Waterford’s physical and digital infrastructure.