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An artist's impression of the MetroLink station at Tara Street.
Big Bucks

MetroLink's new project director Sean Sweeney to be paid €550k

Sweeney has over three decades in leadership roles on major infrastructure projects in Australia, New Zealand and the US.

A NEW PROJECT director for the MetroLink, New Zealander Sean Sweeney, will be paid a salary of €550,000 to oversee the transport ‘megaproject’ in Dublin.

Sweeney has over three decades in leadership roles on major infrastructure projects in Australia, New Zealand and the US, the Department of Transport said in a statement announcing his appointment.

The Department of Transport said that there would only be a small group of professionals across the globe with the expertise needed to manage the construction of the MetroLink.

This is the reason given for the high salary of €550,000 the government offered for the role, which the department said is below the mean equivalent rate for Sweeney’s level of expertise globally.

Sweeney has Irish roots and referenced them in comments following his appointment.

“My late father was born and raised in Castlebar, Co Mayo. He would be thrilled and immensely proud, as I am, to know his son was going back to lead this major project for Dublin.”

He said MetroLink is “a once-in-a-generation project that will transform the public transport system in the capital city”.

“I am delighted and honoured to have been selected to spearhead its delivery.”

The Department said: “Sweeney is an expert in the procurement and delivery of large capital works and tunnelling. More recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer of City Rail Link, a transformative underground rail link in Auckland’s city centre and New Zealand’s largest-ever transport infrastructure project..”

Sweeney has also been the executive director for Major Projects Victoria in Australia, where he managed projects and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

He later served as CEO for Justice Infrastructure in New South Wales. He holds a PhD in Construction Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan described the appointment as “another important step in ensuring that this time MetroLink will be delivered”.

“We now have one of the best people in the world on our team to get the job done.”

Transport Infrastructure Ireland CEO, Peter Walsh, said he was “very pleased” with the appointment, which he said followed “an extensive national and international recruitment competition”. 

“In addition to his professional accomplishments, Sean is known for his collaborative and engaging leadership style.

“As our new MetroLink Project Director, Sean will be responsible for leading the development and delivery of this programme, which aims to provide a new high-frequency, environmentally friendly public transport service.

The MetroLink project has been beset by delays for years. 

Last year, Minister Ryan said that it could have been built for a fraction of the expected budget in 2011 if it had not stalled. 

The overall cost of the project is projected to be around €9.5 billion. 

There have also been issues raised about the route of the line and where it should terminate.



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