Thursday 17 October 2019

Enda Kenny's former chief advisor lands top golf job

Enda Kenny speaks with Mark Kennelly while on the campaign trail in 2011
Enda Kenny speaks with Mark Kennelly while on the campaign trail in 2011
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s chief of staff has found a new job as CEO of Golf Ireland.

Mark Kennelly, who was a key backroom figure in Kenny’s government, was selected for the post following an extensive recruitment process.

He will ultimately head up a body which combines the Golf Union of Ireland (GUI) and Irish Ladies Golf Union.

Speaking about the appointment, Tim O'Connor, Chairperson of the Transition Board of Golf Ireland said: “His knowledge and understanding of the importance of volunteers from the world of politics will stand him in great stead in Golf Ireland, given the pivotal role they play in our sport.

"Golf on the island of Ireland is moving forward in an exciting and dynamic way, building on its great history and tradition, and having somebody of Mark's calibre and qualities in such a key leadership role is a tremendous boost to us on that journey."

Mr Kennelly worked with Fine Gael for more than two decades, including a stint with ex-communications minister Michael Lowry.

The Kerryman was Chief of Staff at the Department of the Taoiseach from 2011 to 2017.

Since Mr Kenny stepped down, he set up his own strategic advisory business, focusing on public and European Union affairs.

He is a member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club in Co. Kerry.

Mr O’Connor said: "My colleagues on the Transition Board, and also in the GUI and ILGU, are greatly looking forward to working with him in implementing the historic decision of members of the two Unions in January to create one single governing body on the island of Ireland for our great sport."

In a statement, Mr Kennelly said he is delighted to have the opportunity “to play my part in the creation and evolution of Golf Ireland”.

"I look forward to working closely in the months ahead with the Transition Board, with the officers and staff of the GUI and ILGU, after 1 January 2021 with the Board and other structures of Golf Ireland, and with the very many volunteers who are the lifeblood of golf throughout the island to make these plans a reality."

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