James Kennedy to be appointed interim Chief Executive of Horse Sport Ireland

  • 30 November 2016, 20:10

At a meeting of the Horse Sport Ireland Board of Directors on Tuesday November 29th, it was decided that James Kennedy will take over as interim Chief Executive of HSI on December 23rd, when Damian McDonald will step down from the role as he prepares to take up the position of Director General of the Irish Farmers Association.

The Board agreed that it was important to recruit a permanent CEO as soon as possible and a tender process to engage a recruitment company to assist with the recruitment and selection of a new CEO will commence immediately.

14 January 2016; James Kennedy, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland's Finance Committee, at the Team Ireland Equestrian Medal Reception. Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

James Kennedy (pictured) has served as chairman of HSI’s finance committee since March 2013 and chair of the Show Jumping High Performance committee since April 2016. He has had a lifelong involvement in equestrian sports and has played a central role in the promotion of Polo in Ireland – a sport in which he is still an active participant. He is current chairman of the Federation of Irish Polo Clubs. James has hunted all of his life with the Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny Foxhounds and is a former chairman of the Waterford Foxhounds.

James Kennedy brings a wealth of business experience, having been active in the facilities management and renewable energy industry sectors in Ireland, along with a distinguished career in the food, multinational healthcare and agri-services industries. A science graduate of University College Cork, he is a native of Co Limerick. He is a former Vice President of European Operations with Bausch & Lomb, the US eye-care giant and Chief Executive of Thomas McDonogh & Sons Ltd, the Galway-based investment, merchant and agri-services group. He also served as President of the Chambers of Commerce of Waterford; the South-East region and Ireland.

Professor Pat Wall, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, said: ‘I wish to thank James Kennedy for stepping into the breach as interim Chief Executive of our organisation. He brings a wealth of experience at the top levels in business, sport, agriculture and voluntary organisations and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in this interim role.”

The Board agreed that following James Kennedy’s appointment as HSI interim CEO, Anne Bannon will take over as chair of the HSI finance committee until James Kennedy’s period as acting CEO concludes.

Anne Bannon has extensive business experience across a wide industry spectrum. She has served as non executive director on the board of numerous companies in the technology, life science, services and manufacturing sectors.

Anne has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a Diploma in Professional Accounting from UCD and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
She has developed a stud farm to breed and produce sport horses for Eventing, Show Jumping and leisure, and was a member of the HSI breeding sub board from 2011 to 2015, and a director of HSI in 2014/2015.

It was also agreed that Brian Mangan, who is Chair of the FEI’s Audit and Compliance Committee and a former HSI Board member, will join the HSI Finance Committee. Brian Mangan is the current chairperson of the HSI Eventing High Performance committee, and was Irish Eventing Team Manager at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and a former CEO of Eventing Ireland. Brian Mangan is a Chartered Accountant by profession with over 40 years experience working as a Financial Controller and Business Consultant.

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