Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh and Omagh council chief Brendan Hegarty to retire

Brendan Hegarty
Brendan Hegarty
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

The chief executive of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will retire later this month.

Brendan Hegarty is stepping down from his post six years after spearheading preparations for the G8 Summit at the Lough Erne Resort near Enniskillen.

Mr Hegarty has held the top position in the local council for almost a decade.

He was chief executive of Fermanagh District Council from 2010 to 2014. Then, as part of the revamp of local government, which saw the number of councils reduced from 26 to 11, he was appointed chief executive of the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in 2014.

Mr Hegarty's time in office included the G8 Summit in June 2013. He was chair of the Fermanagh G8 Delivery Group, which focused on issues including local preparations, security, health and telecommunications ahead of the summit.

At the time he faced criticism after some empty shops and restaurants in towns and villages throughout Fermanagh had images attached to their windows to make them look like thriving businesses. The project led to the lakeland town being nicknamed "fakeland".

He said the criticism was unfair as the county did not have a significant problem with dereliction.

The former Tyrone title-winning hurler first joined local government in 1990 with the former Omagh District Council.

Mr Hegarty previously worked in the private sector in the field of accountancy.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council chair, Sinn Fein councillor Siobhan Currie, said Mr Hegarty "has had an outstanding career in local government" and praised his "unending commitment and dedication to effective governance".

Alison McCullagh, deputy chief executive, added: "Brendan's colleagues are sad to see him leave the council and will remember him as someone who was hard-working and committed to his role but who always made time to take an interest in staff and their families."

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