County manager Eddie Sheehy is to retire from office in April it was announced this week.
Speaking on East Coast FM yesterday, he said he had enjoyed his 14 years at the helm and there had been good times and bad.
A native of County Carlow, Mr Sheehy has spent over 40 years in the local government service working with Dun Laoghaire Corporation, Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council and Roscommon County Council before moving to Wicklow.
During his 14 years with Wicklow County Council, Mr Sheehy has overseen a number of significant development projects for the county, including major road improvements on the N11/M11; the Greystones Harbour Project and the purchase and development of Clermont College (Wicklow County Campus) in Rathnew.
He has also served as Chairman of Wicklow County Enterprise Board and a director of Wicklow Enterprise Park Ltd; Arklow Enterprise Centre; Wicklow Tourism Ltd and Wicklow Gaol Ltd.
At national level Mr Sheehy has served as Chairman of the County and City Managers’ Association, the Local Government Management Agency and the Local Government Computer Services Board.
Mr Sheedy has also received during his time at the helm of Wicklow County Council. In 2010, three councillors had to take a supreme court case after he tried to remove them from office.
He also received plenty of criticism after the deaths of three Bray firefighters who died in 2007 while attempting to put out a fire at a disused warehouse.
Speaking to Declan Meehan, Sheedy said he regretted what happened but he said that ultimately the council could not be held responsible as they had entered the building of their own accord.
“Unfortunately for whatever reason on the day they went into that building. They went in about 20 feet into the building despite being told by the incident commander to fight the fire at the door”.
“We will never know what went through their minds, it was a dreadful accident, a dreadful tragedy for all concerned. I very much regret that it happened.”
“From the councils point of view, we pleaded guilty to to a number of offences under the health and safety act and paid the price with a large fine”. he concluded.
Mr Sheehy will attend his final monthly meeting of Wicklow County Council on Monday next, March 2nd.
The section of the interview about the tragic deaths of the firefighters can be heard below.