Press Release

Tánaiste agrees appointment of Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., today 26 April 05, confirmed that, following a recommendation by the Board of the Health Service Executive (HSE), that she had agreed to the appointment of Professor Brendan Drumm as the first Chief Executive of the HSE.

Discussions are underway with Professor Drumm about the arrangements to be put in place to enable him to take up the appointment at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Kevin Kelly has agreed to remain in the position of interim Chief Executive as long as is necessary to ensure an orderly transition. Mr. Kelly has also advised the Tánaiste that he does not wish to resume his previous position as Chairman once he steps down as interim CEO. Mr. Liam Downey will continue in his present role as Chairman of the HSE.

The Tánaiste said she looked forward to Professor Drumm taking up the appointment as soon as possible. She also said she wished, in particular, to thank Mr. Kelly for the huge professional and personal commitment he had given to the establishment of the HSE both as chairman and chief executive.


Speaking today the Tánaiste said “ Mr. Kelly has personally driven the biggest organisational change ever undertaken in either the private or public sector in Ireland with great enthusiasm and determination.”

Mr. Kevin Kelly, interim Chief Executive of the HSE said

“The health reform programme is the most ambitious ever undertaken in Ireland. I am confident that progress to date has prepared a strong foundation to ensure the successful implementation of the changes necessary to deliver a health service which provides better care for patients, an improved working environment for staff and greater value for money to the Government and taxpayer. For me personally, it has been a great privilege and a fascinating challenge. I thank the Tánaiste for her support and commitment, the dedicated staff of the health service, the HSE management team and all partners in the reform process for their efforts over the past 18 months.”