- Conal Henry takes over from Pádraig Ó Céidigh
- To be formally appointed shortly
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe has welcomed the swift appointment of Conal Henry as the new chair of Shannon Group – but is calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to change the terms of his appointment.
Mr Henry has held senior management positions including Founder and Chair of Fibrus Networks since 2018 and Chief Executive Officer of e|net (NBI) from 2006 to 2018.
He was also Commercial Director at Ryanair and served on the Board of Shannon Foynes Port Company. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a law degree from Queen’s University Belfast.
“Whilst I welcome Mr Henry’s appointment, it concerns me that Pádraig Ó Céidigh’s tenure was a board chairperson so in effect his functions were limited to just being at the airport when the board was actually meeting but I believe in order to see a full recovery to pre-Covid levels, we need to see Mr Henry in an executive chairperson role.
“This would ensure that he’s in the airport on a more permanent basis – that is the only way that somebody can effectively oversee the running of Shannon Group and Shannon Airport.
“This is an issue I will be taking up with Minister Ryan.
“Today, I am writing to you him to ask that he change the terms of Mr Henry’s appointment so that we ensure a very hands-on chair is leading Shannon Group at this critical time.
“Now that we have transatlantic fights back at Shannon, we need to try to secure further routes into continental Europe.
“Whilst the Ryanair routes are hugely attractive and positive for the Midwest region, we do also need to see air connectivity to major European hubs that provide onward flights to Asia, the Middle East and Australia.
“Because of Mr Henry’s Ryanair background, he understands aviation but to really be a positive driving force for Shannon Group, he will need to be there on a day-to-day basis working in tandem with Mary Considine and her team.”