Tributes paid to departing council chief executive

The pending retirement of Jackie Maguire from her role as chief executive of Meath County Council was marked on Monday when the outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Nick Killian paid tribute to her on behalf of the councillors and staff at her last council meeting following more than 10 years in that job and 40 years as a public servant.

Ms Maguire was the first female chief executive of the council. She started her career with the county council as a clerical officer in 1980 and returned to the top role in 2013.

A past pupil of St Mary’s Convent School, Trim, the Institute of Public Administration, and Maynooth University. Previously, she had served as finance officer, head of finance, and director of human relations and corporate services, and before her appointment as chief executive had been county manager of Leitrim County Council.

Cllr Killian, who was chairing his final meeting before he leaves the office of cathaoirleach, said it had been a privilege and honour to have been elected as cathaoirleach and he thanked his fellow councillors and the staff for the council for their support.

Addressing the chief executive he said that they were all “saying goodbye to a friend”. She had served in her role since 2013. She had been a good servant to the council right from the time she had started as a clerical officer. She had risen through the ranks and the testament to her work stood in the county council offices in which they were holding their meeting (Buvinda House).

The former council official Brendan McGrath had purchased the building but Ms Maguire had seen the project through. “All I want to say is thank you,” he said.

The chief executive thanked Cllr Killian for his work over the last year and it had been a pleasure to have worked with him. She wanted to say thank you to everyone on what was a "moving occasion" for her after 42 years . “It’s been a privilege to have served as chief executive”.

She said that Meath County Council was a great workplace, particularly because there had been great co-operation and support from councillors and “a very professional workforce.”

She was given a standing ovation at the closure of her remarks.