Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has brought back a leading communications guru, who was part of the controversial and now defunct Strategic Communications Unit, to manage the Government's public information campaign on the Coronavirus crisis.
John Concannon implemented the Government's crisis communications for the Beast from the East and Storm Emma weather event in 2018.
He also served as head of the Government's Strategic Communications Unit, which was wound down in 2018.
Mr Concannon was assistant secretary general in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the role of director general of 'Global Ireland', the plan to double Ireland's international footprint by 2025, which includes the campaign to win a seat on the UN Security Council.
After taking up his NUI Galway role, he also remained in a part-time capacity working on the UN Security Council job.
The marketing expert behind the Wild Atlantic Way, Mr Concannon took up a new role of NUI Galway's vice-president: development last year.
It is understood his new role will involve co-ordinating Government communications across a range of departments and agencies for the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Concannon worked on The Gathering and the 1916 commemorations along with various tourism initiatives.
He is a widely respected businessman who was tasked with leading the Government's strategy on the Easter Rising commemorations, Ireland 2016, followed by 'Creative Ireland', the initiative aimed at giving more access to young people in the areas of music, drama, art and coding.
Previously, he was director of market development for Fáilte Ireland.
Mr Concannon has also worked in the private sector in management roles in Unilever and returned to Galway as CEO of Ireland West Tourism in 2004. He has served as chairman of Cope Galway and of the Galway Age Friendly Initiative and as a board member of Connacht Rugby.
From Galway, he is a graduate of NUI Galway.
A Government spokesman said Mr Concannon had been enlisted as part of the communications response to Covid-19 and the escalating nature of the situation.
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