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O'Hagan appointed new Belfast Harbour chief

By Robin Morton

Businessman Len O'Hagan was today named as the new chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

Businessman Len O'Hagan was today named as the new chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

He will take up office on January 1.

The appointment was announced by the Regional Development Minister, David Cairns, who said that Mr O'Hagan would bring a wealth of experience to the post, which commands a remuneration of £29,000.

Mr O'Hagan, who is a non-executive director of Independent News & Media (NI), owners of the Belfast Telegraph, will succeed Frank Cushnahan.

A former CEO of Fitzwilton plc, chairman of Safeway Ireland and managing director of Jefferson Smurfit Group, Mr O'Hagan joined the BHC board in September 2005.

He served for seven years on the council of CBI Northern Ireland, chaired the IBEC/CBI business development committee and now serves on the IBEC/CBI joint business council.

Mr Cairns also paid tribute to outgoing chairman Frank Cushnahan, who has been in the post since 1998.

Mr Cushnahan welcomed the appointment, saying: "Len O'Hagan will bring a great deal of commercial and financial expertise to his new appointment, drawing upon his experience at senior levels within commerce.

"The port has embarked upon one of the most significant investment programmes in its history and, on behalf of the Board, I am pleased that the Harbour Authority will be able to avail of Len's extensive skills and insight."

At present, BHC is embroiled in a battle with the Government to prevent what, it fears, will amount to an asset-stripping exercise to raise funds for infrastructure projects.

In his final annual report, Mr Cushnahan warned yesterday that it would be a "travesty" if the Government seized the BHC's 1,950 acre non-port landbank.

Belfast Telegraph

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