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Campaign to find chair as board shy of gender target

THE position of chair of Shannon Group is to be advertised once more, following February’s fiasco when a candidate was announced and then stepped down within hours.
Aaron Forde had been announced as the appointee, before the emergence of several offensive tweets by the former head of agri business Aurivo emerged.
There had been some uncertainty about what would happen next, but an email to Clare TD Joe Carey from Transport Minister Eamon Ryan’s office this week sought to clarify the situation.
The email stated, “Minister Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton have agreed to launch a new campaign with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) and the minister has requested that this process be concluded as expeditiously as possible.
“Department officials are currently engaging with PAS on progressing this new campaign and the department expects to receive clarity from PAS regarding the proposed dates and timeline for this competition in the very near future,” the email stated.
Deputy Carey says that it is imperative that the right person be found on this occasion, as Shannon Group deals with the seismic impact that the pandemic has had on global aviation.
“Everyone in the Mid-West understands the significance of Shannon Group as an economic driver in the region,” said Deputy Carey.
“I am glad that progress is being made with regard to the appointment of a new Shannon Group chairperson,” he added.
“The role is one of the most important posts in the region and it is vital that the process finds the right person on this occasion,” he said.
Also, the Shannon Group annual report said that gender targets have not been met on its board. “As at 31 December 2020, the board had two female (25%) and six male members (75%), with two positions vacant, including the position of chairperson.
“The Board therefore does not meet the Government target of a minimum of 40% representation of each gender in the membership of State Boards.
“The Board of Shannon Group strives to maintain a balance of gender and diversity. As at 31 December 2020 there was no chairperson of the board, while board vacancies remained.
“The board has requested that the Department of Transport, in drawing up the specification for all future board appointments, should have due regard to diversity on the board including gender to ensure an inclusive and diverse membership.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.
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