Council chief gave son’s employer permission for large housing development

Meath County Council’s chief executive signed off on a housing development for her son’s employer.

Jackie Maguire in late 2022 granted permission for the 138-unit housing scheme – which was later appealed to An Bord Pleanála on the grounds that not enough homes are being built on the site.

Council chiefs must “avoid conflicts of interest” according to the code of conduct for local authority employees.

Developer Glenveagh Properties in July 2022 applied for planning permission to build 138 homes at a site in Navan, county Meath.

Meath County Council planner Wendy Bagnell recommended granting permission for the development in her report dated September 4, 2022. The following day council chief executive Jackie Maguire signed an order giving permission to Glenveagh for the development on the outskirts of Navan.

Maguire’s son has been employed with Glenveagh since he graduated from college in 2017. Initially employed as a sales analyst, he was promoted to economic analyst in September 2022.

Local resident Denis Leavy had raised concerns about the low density of Glenveagh’s Navan project and appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála. The planning authority ruled against Leavy last month.

Glenveagh has had 21 planning applications approved by Meath County Council, the first of which was submitted in October 2017. The council has refused one of the developer’s applications.

Maguire has served as Meath County Council’s chief executive since 2013. Her previous role was Leitrim county manager.

She declined to comment.

Meath County Council couldn’t comment before publication.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors