Home » Breaking News » Shannon Group chair rebuffs Council’s interest in board role
Conal Henry, Shannon Group chairman: politely but firmly rebuffed the interest of Clare County Council in taking a seat on the Shannon Group board.

Shannon Group chair rebuffs Council’s interest in board role

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

The possibility of Clare County Council’s Chief Executive joining the board of Shannon Group was raised at a meeting of the group and the local authority.

While Conal Henry said he hadn’t given the idea much thought, he wasn’t supportive of it.

“The job of the board is to promote the interests of the entity to which it is the board. The job of the Chief Executive (of Clare County Council) is to promote the interests of Clare. They’re generally the same, but not always.”

Mr Henry said it would create some potential for conflicts of interest.

“It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the interests of Clare County Council and the people of Clare at the forefront of our minds.

“It means from a corporate governance point of view everybody on the board of Shannon should be thinking first and foremost about the interests of Shannon.

“That’s not Pat’s (Clare County Council CEO Pat Dowling) job, Pat’s job first and foremost is to think of what’s right for Clare. They’re not always the same thing and that could create a situation of conflict.”

However Councillor PJ Ryan said that having representation on the board would be positive for improving communication between the two entities.

Mr Dowling also spoke about the importance of co-operation, saying, “Clare County Council is the economic driver for Co Clare. Shannon Airport is in Co Clare.

The members of Clare County Council, Limerick County Council and Tipperary County Council want to work in partnership with Shannon Group and would be keen to assist you in your funding challenges into the future. For that, they want to be equal partners.”

He stressed the contribution the Council could make.

“The competency of the board to run the business is important. We believe that given our role as the civic authority for Co Clare, that we should work in real partnership.”
Asked if the role of chairman should be made an executive one, Mr Henry said he didn’t feel it should be.

He said he had “great confidence” in the current management team and added that “The last thing Shannon Airport needs is more management, it just needs a clear plan supported by all the stakeholders.”

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.

Check Also

Division over planning approval for Ennis Data Centre

THE development of a €450 million data centre on the outskirts of Ennis moved closer …