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Deacon ascends to the top of Galway City Council!


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Deacon ascends to the top of Galway City Council! Deacon ascends to the top of Galway City Council!

A deacon will be unveiled as Galway City Council’s new Chief Executive today (Monday).

Galway City councillors privately joked last week that they would have to bring back the opening prayer before meetings, after it was confirmed Leonard Cleary – ordained a deacon in 2021 – was the preferred choice as new chief of the local authority.

An official announcement is due today, with the successful candidate to start the post before June’s Local Elections.

Councillors will formally approve the appointment – which went through the Public Appointments process – at their meeting today.

Patricia Philbin is currently serving as Interim Chief Executive, having taken over from Brendan McGrath who retired last summer.

Councillors were given a heads-up about the new CE in an email last week.

The nomination was passed at a Corporate Policy Group meeting, with a recommendation to go forward to the full Council.

They can, if they wish, seek to interview the preferred candidate, but that is unlikely.

According to the Clare Champion, Leonard Cleary was ordained a deacon of the Diocese of Cloyne while he was working as Director of Services for Rural Development at Clare County Council with responsibility for West Clare Municipal District.

Mr Cleary, a Clare native who was married with four children, was appointed permanent deacon in the Parish of Charleville in north County Cork three years ago.

He currently serves as Director of Tourism Development with Clare County Council – a position observers said stood to him during the interview process given the importance of tourism to Galway City’s economy.

Another factor in the appointment may be his close working relationship with the CE of Galway County Council, Liam Conneally, who transferred from Clare County Council last year where he served as Director of Services for Economic Development.

Mayor of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG), met with Mr Cleary during the City Council’s trip to Milwaukee Irish Fest last year, where Mr Cleary participated in the open-air mass.

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