The former county manager of Louth County Council is said be ‘furious’ that details have emerged that he recommended the appointment of his ‘Best Man’ to a €98,000 per year position.
Mr Murray was not involved in the selection of the candidate. Mr Murray took up the position as Limerick City and County Manager after being County Manager of Louth Co Council for five years.
Mr Murray was said to be deeply unhappy about an “intrusion” into his personal life, as he faced councillors this Monday afternoon.
After an internal appointment process, a former Shannon Development executive, Dr Pat Daly, was given a senior managerial role at City and County Council, at a salary of €98,000.
A council spokesman told the Irish Independent that while Mr Murray had recommended the appointment, he had not been involved in the selection process.
The latest controversy follows a row over the appointment of Pat Cox’s former aide, Patricia Ryan as CEO of the City of Culture project, without that position having being advertised.
Although he has yet to comment publicly, councillors were told in a private meeting of his anger after the Irish Independent obtained a copy of his marriage certificate.
Colleagues and councillors have rallied around Mr Murray.
Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin described the action as “despicable,” while the leader of the Fine Gael group at City Hall, Cllr Diarmuid Scully, said the manager had the support of the party.
Even Limerick councillors Jim Long and Tom Shortt, who have criticised Mr Murray in the past, came out in support.
Cllr Long said: “In the political arena, you do not go and personalise people’s sentiments, and people’s lives.”
Cllr John Gilligan added: “Marriage is a sacred institution, and I don’t think anyone should go there.
“He thinks people looking at his marriage certificate was an intrusion into his private life.”
Murray was also criticised for appointing former EU President Pat Cox’s assistant. Heappointed Patricia Ryan as the CEO of the Limerick City of Culture 2014 body, of which Mr Cox is chairman, without the post being advertised.