By Eoin Kelleher
A FORMER journalist with the Tipperary Star and brother of TD Alan Kelly, has resigned from a major US government position where he served as US Envoy to Northern Ireland.
Declan Kelly was appointed as US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland in September 2009, by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The position involves working closely with Invest NI, encouraging inward investment into the province and spearheading major projects and events.
Mrs Clinton said: “During his time as envoy, Declan has helped our friends in the Northern Ireland executive and assembly, Invest NI, and the business community make Northern Ireland one of the best per capita attractors of investment in the world.”
Mr Kelly was born in Portroe, and his mother, Nan Kelly, supplies the Tipperary Star with the Portroe notes. Mr Kelly worked with the newspaper as a sports and news journalists in the early 1990’s. Mr Kelly later formed his own Public Relations company, and advised Mrs Clinton during her campaign for the presidency.
Mr Kelly’s prestigious career has also included serving as Vice-President of FTI, a global business consultancy. The position of Special Envoy was created by Bill Clinton with the appointment of Senator George Mitchell in 1995 and was intended to boost inward investment into the Province.
Under Mr Kelly’s watch, major US companies such as the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext, Citi and Kana Software brought employment to Northern Ireland.
It’s unclear why Mr Kelly has chosen to vacate the post. The position did not exist during George W Bush’s years in the White House but was resumed with Declan Kelly’s appointment in 2009.
News reports indicate that there is no indication that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has any immediate intention to replace Mr Kelly.