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Former Belfast Harbour chief Len O'Hagan to take over at Northern Ireland Water


New challenge: Len O’Hagan

New challenge: Len O’Hagan

New challenge: Len O’Hagan

The former chair of Belfast Harbour has been appointed as the new chairman of Northern Ireland Water.

Dr Len O'Hagan will take over from Sean Hogan in the role in April next year.

He will be responsible for overseeing Northern Ireland's water and sewerage operations.

Dr O'Hagan took the helm of Northern Ireland's most profitable economic asset back in 2006 - serving two terms as chair of Belfast Harbour Commissioners.

He previously held board positions with companies including Fitzwilton plc, is a former chair of the Mac board, and currently a non-executive director of Independent News & Media.

Dr O'Hagan was given an honorary degree by the University of Ulster in 2011, before being awarded a CBE last year.

He will take up the new four-year post in April 2015, replacing Mr Hogan, who was appointed in March 2011.

It's a role that has been marred in controversy - with an employment tribunal in 2012 finding that former Sinn Fein minister Conor Murphy breached a code of practice over the appointment.

It said Protestant Alan Lennon was overlooked because of his religion.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said Dr O'Hagan had an "excellent track record in business".

"He has extensive experience at board level, in both the private and public sectors, most recently as chair of Belfast Harbour Commissioners. I am confident that his experience, combined with his strong leadership, communication and negotiation skills, will be of great benefit to the company."

Belfast Telegraph