New and exciting projects are in the pipeline for South Tipperary, says Billy McEvoy, who has retired as acting county manager of South Tipperary County Council.
“The county is in a good position going forward and that’s the way I would like to leave it”, he stated.
Mr. McEvoy retired last Friday as part of the reform of local government that will see the complete merger of North and South Tipperary County Councils when the local elections are held next June.
Joe McGrath, the county manager in North Tipperary, has been appointed as the county manager for all of Tipperary with effect from last Saturday, following the order signed last Thursday by Environment Minister Phil Hogan.
Billy McEvoy’s retirement brings to an end a long and distinguished career in local government.
“I’ve been in South Tipperary for the past 22 years and it has been an absolute honour and privilege to have worked here”, he says.
His last two and-a-half years have been spent as acting county manager, a job that carried “absolutely incredible challenges with all the changes that have taken place. The country went from boom to bust but is now emerging from that dark place”.
He said a difficult job was faced in reducing both the numbers employed and their budgets. “We tried to be more efficient and effective in what we do”.
With a total of 40 elected members, the new County Council will be one of the biggest in the country.
Mr. McEvoy predicts that Tipperary should have a strong voice locally, regionally and nationally, “especially with the brand Tipperary and the identity that goes with that”.
During his time here he has been involved in most of the major capital projects, such as roads (including the deveopment of the motorway) and water services, as well as foreign direct investment, which includes either new facilities or extensions to existing companies such as AIBP in Cahir, Medite in Clonmel and Merck, Sharp and Dohme at Ballydine.
Another highlight has been the establishment of the research and development unit at Ballingarrane, Clonmel, and he revealed that other exciting projects were in the pipeline.
He also enjoyed working with the staff and councillors, who he said did tremendous work in the community.
“South Tipp is one of the better local authorities and is in a strong financial position”.
He said they had also invested heavily in the towns and villages, including the Flood Relief Scheme in Clonmel, and this investment was an ongoing programme.
Originally from Glanmire, just outside Cork city, Mr. McEvoy and his wife Eileen live in Clonmel and have two sons - Shane, who works in Shanghai, China and Mark, who’s in Sweden.