Northern Ireland

In full: Laurence MacKenzie resignation statement

Northern Ireland Water chief executive Laurence MacKenzie has resigned after tens of thousands of homes were left without supplies over Christmas. He issued the following statement:

"This is entirely my own decision. I believe firmly in the principles of responsibility and accountability; it is for that fundamental reason I have decided to pursue this course of action.

"As I made clear early last week, my focus until now has been entirely on dealing with the major incident which affected too many of our customers in recent days.

"I am very glad to say that that situation has now been resolved. I do note that substantial water restrictions continue to be a fact of life for the Republic of Ireland and I wish colleagues elsewhere well in normalising that situation.

"At this stage I wish to pay the highest possible tribute to all of NI Water's staff who responded to the unprecedented situation which faced them over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

"I have absolute confidence that any objective scrutiny of their performance would recognise the tremendous efforts that they made.

"Equally, however, I readily accept and recognise that there were aspects of the way in which we handled the situation that could have been better.

"In particular our ability to communicate with our customers and let them know the reasons for and the times at which they were going to be taken off supply.

"This failing added to the considerable inconvenience experienced by our customers; for that I apologise sincerely both personally and on behalf of the organisation.

"A fundamental part of the work I have been engaged in over recent days has been around setting up procedures to ensure that failing is not repeated.

"I am delighted that my interim successor will be Trevor Haslett. I wish Trevor every success as he seeks to move the company forward over the coming months.

"His invaluable experience and knowledge of this organisation and the water industry as a whole will continue to be a major asset for the company. I would also like to thank:

  • The interim chairman and non-executive directors for their support and encouragement.
  • The many dedicated people I have worked with over the past seventeen months in NI Water and to wish them well for the future.

"The Board of NI Water have accepted my resignation as CEO and recommended to the Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, that he approves the settlement terms proposed by the Board."

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