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Former senior bank executive branches out in new post

SOME former Allied Irish executives have stopped licking their wounds and returned to the fray.

The latest is Donal Forde, who will become the new chief executive of the Red Cross in Ireland.

The Newmarket, Co Cork, native was head of the bank's embattled Republic of Ireland division until shortly before he quit in late 2009. This came shortly after Colm Doherty became managing director.

Mr Forde had been sidelined several months earlier in one of the many management changes at the bank in the wake of the crisis, when he was replaced in the Republic of Ireland division by Robbie Henneberry.

The Dublin City University graduate, who lives in Blackrock in Co Dublin, is one of the great and the good in Irish business -- acting as a director of the University of Limerick Foundation and, formerly, as director of Financial Services Ireland and Chambers of Commerce of Ireland.

He is also a former president of the Irish Banking Federation and Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

While the fit between the Red Cross and Allied Irish may not be obvious, both organisations have had their financial problems of late.

AIB's are world famous, but the Red Cross was criticised in an internal report which found that the organisation struggled with the flood of money which followed the 2004 Asian tsunami.

More than €160,000 raised in Tipperary for the disaster sat in a local account for more than three years following the tragedy, although the report concluded there was no intentional wrongdoing.

Several figures inside the organisation have either resigned or been sacked in unrelated incidents linked to financial mismanagement there.

While the Government appoints the chairman of the Red Cross, Mr Forde was appointed by the organisation itself.

Linking up

AON HEWITT, the Dublin-based human resources company, has named Rachael Ingle and Donal Casey as joint managing directors in Ireland following the merger of Aon and Hewitt in October.

Ingle, who used to lead Hewitt, and Casey, who comes from Aon, will be responsible for integrating the two firms.

Mr Casey joined Aon in 2009 from Irish Life, where he was head of corporate business.

IBEC beefs up

IBEC has named industrial relations expert Helen Barry as the business lobby group's main representative in Cork where IBEC has 400 members.

Ms Barry replaces Donagh Corcoran who recently retired after 38 years at IBEC, including 15 as regional director in Cork.

Ms Barry joined IBEC four years ago after stints at financial house Hasbro and ABB Transformers.

She has also undertaken some lecturing at her old alma mater, the Waterford Institute of Technology, on business and entrepreneurship degree programmes.

Ulster ring changes

ULSTER Bank has meanwhile named Richard Donnan as head of retail markets. Mr Donnan will run the bank's retail operations on both sides of the border and will hold responsibility for the bank's 1.9 million customers and 236 branches.

The graduate of Queen's University, who has been with Ulster for 22 years, replaces Mike Bamber who has moved across the water to Britain.

Connacht grab

CONNACHT Gold, the Tubbercurry, Sligo-based dairy co-op, has drawn away Helen Brophy from the National Dairy Council where she is chief executive.

Ms Brophy will join Connacht as head of consumer foods in April.

The Dublin City University graduate replaces Mary Fox, who will move to look after strategy at the 14,000-shareholder co-op.

Ms Brophy has also served with BIM and north Dublin fish company H J Nolan.

Irish Independent