Golf partners: Harrington joins Irish American businessman as 'global ambassador'
Irish people abroad often seem to gravitate towards each other and so it has proven with Chicago- based Irish businessman Mike Clune and golfer Pádraig Harrington (pictured), a three-time major winner from Dublin.Clune Construction has signed up as a sponsor with Harrington in a deal thought to be worth a chunky six-figure sum to the golfer.
“We’re trying to expand our business and Pádraig will be a great global ambassador for the company,” Clune told me this week from the US.
Clune sponsored Harrington for three tournaments last year as part of a novel fundraising exercise by the golfer to raise money for a relative of his wife who was left paralysed following an accident.
From Killiney, Co Dublin, Clune emigrated to the US in 1972. He worked in construction in Chicago, buying his business in 1997. His brothers John and Tom are also involved in the company.
Specialising in interior construction for data centres, retail and healthcare, Clune currently does about $450 million in annual sales and also has offices in Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York.
“Our plan this year is to add San Francisco, Miami and, believe it or not, Dublin,” Clune said. “We have a lot of corporate clients in Dublin.” He added: “I think the timing is right.
I see growth opportunities in Ireland as the economy grows and hopefully this will be a springboard into Europe for us.”