Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners have paid tribute to their outgoing Chairman, Garvan O’Doherty, who led their board meeting for the last time on Wednesday 29th January.  Mr O’Doherty has served as a Port and Harbour Commissioner for the past 15 years, also serving one term as Deputy Chairman and two terms as Chairman, a post he has held since 2006.

Speaking on behalf of the Commissioners, Port chief executive, Brian McGrath, said “we wish to publicly thank Garvan both for his dynamic leadership and for his passion for the work of the Port and Harbour. His years of service as Commissioner, Deputy Chairman and Chairman mark a distinguished career in Public Service and he leaves a strong legacy for the future.”

Key milestones during Mr O’Doherty’s term as Chairman of the Harbour Commissioners include the sale of Fort George and the consequent decision to make capital investment in fixed assets and equipment rather than property, and more recently, the securing of the £80 million Evermore Renewable Energy plant for Lisahally.

Mr O’Doherty said the ongoing efforts to invest and grow at Lisahally were in keeping with their responsibility to run the port in a sustainable manner for future generations. “By taking a strategic approach to building our core business over the past 8 years, we have been able to generate enough profits to continue to fuel future growth. It has also enabled us to maintain our role as one of the most significant players in the economy of the North West”

Proud as he is of the Port’s business and economic achievements, Garvan O’Doherty admits he is equally pleased about the many local projects they have supported through their marine expertise and voluntary support.

“I was particularly proud of our sponsorship role in the Clipper and Return of Colmcille events in 2012 and 2013.  The development of marina infrastructure in the city centre provided a platform for the Clipper event which will live long in the memory of our citizens.  Through Clipper and The Return of Colmcille, we worked alongside key stakeholders in the city, and demonstrated that tapping into the potential of the Foyle helps to showcase the best this city has to offer.”

The board meeting marked Mr O’Doherty’s last official function as Chairman of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners and his replacement, Bonnie Anley, was announced yesterday by the Department for Regional Development.