The Health Service Executive has announced the appointment of a chief executive to a group of ten hospitals in the south and southwest of Ireland.

Gerry O'Dwyer, the current Regional Director for Performance and Integration at HSE South, has been appointed as the group’s chief executive.

Mr O'Dwyer was the first Irish person to be elected to the position of Vice-President of the European Association of Hospital Managers.

He will head up a group of public hospitals in counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Tipperary.

The group comprises Bantry General Hospital, Cork University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Kerry General Hospital, Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital in Kilcreene, Mallow General Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital and Waterford Regional Hospital.

University College Cork is the hospital group's academic partner.

Mr O'Dwyer formerly held the roles of Regional Director of Operations for Dublin/Mid-Leinster, Hospital Network Manager for HSE South, Chief Executive of Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and Deputy CEO at Cork University Hospital.