Councillors and officials bade farewell to the man who spearheaded the amalgamation of the county when they said goodbye to retiring County Manager Billy McEvoy.
A 22-year veteran of the local authority, Mr McEvoy was described as having had a “hugely postitive presence on this council” by Council Chairman Jimmy O’Brien, who led the tributes at a special presentation.
“You were always approachable and gave us your time over and above the call of duty. You had a can-do attitude to every job and it was pleasure for us, as counillors, to work with you,” Cllr O’Brien told Mr McEvoy.
Reflecting on his time as County Manager, Cllr O’Brien said Mr McEvoy had been involved in the biggest project ever undertaken in the county - building the M8 motorway, all of its phases delivered on time and under budget. “It is a huge achievement and your name will be behind it forever.” Another projects he was involved with was the Clonmel Flood Relief Scheme as Town Manager of Clonmel.
Cllr Siobhan Ambrose, on behalf of the Fianna Fail members, thanked Mr McEvoy for his hard work during her time and during her father’s time on the council. She said he had watched over many important projects and said he carried out his work very fairly. “Thank you for your commitment and dedication.”
On behalf of the Fine Gael group on the council, Cllr Michael Fitzgerald spoke and said it was a sad day as they were saying goodbye to Mr McEvoy. “No matter what arguments or debates were generated in this council we all became friends. Those of us who were chairman with you as county manager were honoured to see the work you did. You were thorough and tough at decision making time. You carried out your duties with the highest integrity and dedication.” He recalled that Mr McEvoy also oversaw the landmark development of Ballingarrane in Clonmel. Tributes were also paid by Cllr Michael Cleere for the Labour group, Cllr Eddie O’Meara on behalf of the independent councillors, Cllr Pat English for the Workers and Unemployed Action Group and new County Manager Joe McGrath.