The end of October marked the end of a sterling career of public service for Michael Hanley – most recently as head of enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Cork North and West.
Michael had previously served as CEO of the West Cork Enterprise Board for close to 21 years before it, along with the North Cork Enterprise Board, amalgamated to form Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West.
He has since divided his time to meet the considerable commitment involved in running the Mallow and Clonakilty offices.
Michael, who studied in the Institute of Public Administration and has an ACCA qualification and Masters in Commerce from UCC, played a pivotal role in driving job creation, fostering business start-ups, promoting entrepreneurship and providing high quality supports for business ideas, since arriving in West Cork in 1982.
He started with the West Cork Development Team, having worked with Cork County Council in various departments and capacities including town clerk of Bandon and Kinsale.
In 1990 Michael was appointed county development officer and in 1993 he was appointed CEO of the West Cork Enterprise Board.
The Action Plan For jobs put enterprise and job creation firmly at the centre of government policy, which led to the creation of the new Local Enterprise Offices in 2014, and the challenging position of heading up the LEO Cork North and West was given to Michael.
With the support of a dedicated and committed staff in the Mallow office, Michael could always be relied on to provide administrative, technical and financial support and training to start, grow and develop micro and small businesses. His influence as an adviser and mentor will be greatly missed by the staff there.
Michael plans to do some work in Europe and also with a number of small business bodies and boards in Ireland. We wish Michael a long and happy retirement from the LEO.