Ciaran Hayes to step down as chief executive of Sligo County Council

The chief executive of Sligo County Council is stepping down from his position at the end of this year.

Ciaran Hayes confirmed the news this morning to councillors when they gathered for their October monthly meeting in The Sligo Park Hotel.

He is to take up a fellowship at Harvard University in Boston.

He told councillors he will not be exercising his option to extend his contract with the council but will continue to the end of the year and in January will be taking up ‘a different challenge.’

He also said he had leave to take.

Mr Hayes, who has spent 42 years working in local government, has been the top local authority executive in Sligo since January 2014.

For 13 years before that, he was a Director of Services with Galway City.

Mr Hayes spoke to Ocean FM reporter Harry Keaney after this morning’s council meeting.


The start of this morning’s council meeting was adjourned for 15 minutes as a mark of respect to the MacSharry family on the recent death of Gabriel MacSharry, father of Councillor Tom MacSharry.

This morning’s meeting was held in The Sligo Park Hotel as it has the space allowing the required social distancing to enable compliance with Covid-19 restrictions. Previously,  meetings were held in the Knocknarea Arena at IT Sligo.

Because of the Covid restrictions, council meetings are now held under a number of special rules and guidelines, including meetings being limited to one hour and 55 minutes.