*Rose Hynes speaking before an Oireachtas committee. 

NEW QUAY’S Rose Hynes has withdrew her name from the contest to appoint a Chancellor for the Governing Authority at the University of Limerick.

Earlier this month, UL’s Governing Authority for the first time in its history failed to elect a Chancellor after Ms Hynes failed to reach the two-third majority needed among members to ratify her candidacy.

She was one of two people seen as appointable by board members to lead UL’s Governing Authority but was the only name put forward for the October 8th vote.

The Clare Echo has learned that on Monday, Rose informed the President of UL that she would be withdrawing her name. She is said to be considering her position as a member of UL’s Governing Authority.

Efforts by The Clare Echo to get comment from Ms Hynes through her solicitor, Paul Tweed were unsuccessful.

UL’s Governing Authority is made up of 19 internal and external members. One seat, to be held by a ministerial appointee, remains vacant and is in the process of being filled but this is expected to take some time. An external member must fill the role of chancellor. One external member of the authority may have to resign to allow for a new person to fill the role and then be appointed chancellor.

Former Tánaiste, Mary Harney had served as Chancellor and Chairperson of UL’s Governing Authority from 2018 until September of this year. She was formerly the youngest ever member of Seanad Éireann when elected in 1977. An interim chairperson will remain in place until the election process has concluded.

Under existing legislation, all Irish universities with the exception of Trinity College must have a chancellor in place at all times. At UL, the chancellor effectively functions as the president’s immediate superior, to whom they report.

Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) speaking in the Seanad had voiced concern that there would be a move to persuade those who had voted against the candidate put forward by the university to “revisit the decision”, and that “a level of intense lobbying will begin to try to browbeat people who made, in good judgment, a decision not to appoint the individual concerned”.

While he didn’t name Ms Hynes, Senator Dooley commented, “There is some history about the appointment of the same individual to another board of the State where there was intense lobbying, up to and including telephone calls to the Taoiseach at the time, Leo Varadkar, to secure a particular position for that individual”.

He added, “There is real concern among members of the authority and staff of the university that the same will apply here, that a level of behind-the-scenes lobbying, cajoling and jostling will be deployed to achieve this position for the individual concerned”.

Minister of State at the Department of Health Mary Butler (FF) stated that the public appointments process is currently in progress for the selection of ministerial nominees. She said that the Minister for Higher Education had no influence on the appointment of a Chancellor for UL. “It is really important to state that the Minister has no role whatsoever in this process. The Minister is legally prohibited from intervening.

Speaking to The Sunday Independent, former Minister for Transport, Shane Ross (IND) who in his book ‘In Bed With The Blueshirts’ accused Ms Hynes of using political connections to try get an extension as Chair of Shannon Group plc, said “I think it is time for a fresh face to take the helm in Limerick — and I am very fearful of the fact that Rose Hynes could be using her political connections to ensure she gets a job which a substantial minority of the board oppose, because of my previous experience with her”.

In March, Rose was reappointed Chairperson of the Irish Aviation Authority on a five-year term, she was first appointed Chair in January 2021. She is the Lead Director of Dole plc, a director of Eir and a number of other companies.

A University College Dublin law graduate and lawyer, Rose previously held a number of senior executive positions with GPA Group plc. GPA was then the world’s largest lessor and financier of aircraft. She is a former Chair of Shannon Group plc and a former board member of a number of companies including Bank of Ireland, Fyffes plc, Ervia, Aer Lingus Group plc and Concern.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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