The appointment of the first female chief executive of Cork City Council was finally ratified last night.
City councillors voted 23 for, three against to rubber- stamp the appointment of the former senior HSE official, Ann Doherty, as CEO of the council for the next seven years.
Citing the “obscene salary” of €143,000, the three Anti-Austerity Alliance councillors voted against her appointment. Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan and Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy abstained.
The ratification followed an informal meeting between party leaders and whips with Ms Doherty last Friday night, two weeks after councillors unanimously agreed to defer ratifying her appointment.
But Cllr Terry Shannon, who was among those to meet Ms Doherty, said he is confident that she will make an excellent chief executive.
“We discussed the issues of importance and her ambitions certainly reflect what we are looking for,” he said.
He also praised her excellent track record of public service where she has managed substantial budgets and interacted with elected public representatives.
Cllr John Buttimer (FG) welcomed her appointment and said it was important that councillors could exert the power they had to defer her appointment, pending a meeting with her.
“A healthy level of tension between councillors and the executive is appropriate,” Mr Buttimer said.
Ms Doherty is expected to take up her new role in September. She began her career as a general nurse at the former Cork Regional Hospital. In the late 1980s, she emigrated to London where she worked in a variety of clinical management and general manager roles at Kings College Hospital.
The married mother-of- two, who lives in Riverstick, returned to Ireland in 1997 to work with the then Southern Health Board.
In 2004, she was appointed general manager of the Cork University Hospital Group. Later that year she was appointed as a national director of the HSE and later worked on the National Cancer Control Programme. Two years ago, she was appointed CEO of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group.
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