Ryanair appoints ex-department boss despite criticisms

Ryanair has appointed the former secretary general of the Department of Transport, Julie O’Neill, to the board of Ryanair Holdings.

The move came as the British Court of Appeal rejected the low-cost airline’s attempt to block an investigation into its holdings in Aer Lingus.

Ms O’Neill must have put in an incredible interview considering Mr O’Leary previously blasted the Department of Transport as being a black hole of talent.

“Look at the quality of the civil service in the Department of Transport. There is no talent or ability there whatsoever. Everything they run from Aer Lingus to the Dublin Airport Authority to CIE to Bus Éireann; it’s a shambles.

“It is a politically incompetent administration incapable of running anything in the consumer interest,” Mr O’Leary said in 2009.

Ms O’Neill has been working as a consultant since leaving the department where she spent seven years from 2002 to 2009.

Ryanair has also appointed Louise Phelan, vice president of global operations at eBay’s PayPal, to the board.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has welcomed a decision by the UK Court of Appeal, rejecting Ryanair’s attempt to halt the UK Competition Commission’s investigation.

Britain’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) previously ruled that Ryanair’s ownership of a minority stake in Aer Lingus threatened competition in the British airline market and asked the Competition Commission to consider sanctions.

The Competition Commission — unlike the OFT — has the power to force Ryanair to divest its stake.

Chairman of Aer Lingus, Colm Barrington, described the ruling as the beginning of the end of Ryanair’s shareholding.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Brexit concerns persist even as GDP leaps 4%

Confident Katie Taylor targets another early stoppage against Viviane Obenauf

‘Compelling’ €751m offer for Fyffes marks end of era in Irish stock market history

US billionaire gets green light for Hilton expansion


Breaking Stories

Apple ordered to replace Danish man's iPhone with new model

Shy shares rise by over 30% after 21st Century Fox takeover bid

This little device thinks it will help make your stomach healthier

Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent to step down next year

Lifestyle

Pantomime review: Cinderella, Cork Opera House

Fair City: Behind the scenes at Carrigstown

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Well-known Irish people share their favourite books from their childhoods

More From The Irish Examiner