Enda Kenny to join board of Heneghan Strategic Communications

Former taoiseach will become non-executive director of PR and lobbying firm next month

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny is joining the firm as a non-executive director  to ‘provide guidance on its future strategic direction’.

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny is joining the firm as a non-executive director to ‘provide guidance on its future strategic direction’.

 

The former taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has agreed to join the board of Heneghan Strategic Communications, the lobbying and public relations agency run by Nigel Heneghan.

Mr Kenny, who led Fine Gael for 12 years and was taoiseach for more than six years until he stepped down from both roles in 2017, will join the firm as a non-executive director next month to “provide guidance on its future strategic direction”.

The communications company, which was originally founded by Pat Heneghan, Nigel Heneghan’s father, maintains close links to the world of politics and, in particular, has been traditionally known for its links to people associated with Fine Gael.

Its director of public affairs is Eoghan Ó Neachtain, a former government press secretary who was first appointed to that role by a Fianna Fáil-led administration in 2007, before staying on to serve for a year under Mr Kenny’s first coalition that took over in 2011.

The client list of Heneghan Strategic Communications, which is chaired by the late Gerry Ryan’s brother, Mano Ryan, includes the media agency Mediacom and The Ireland Funds philanthropic group. It also works with several companies in the energy space, including SSE Renewables, while it also represents National Broadband Ireland, which is rolling out a high-speed rural fibre network.

The communications firm previously represented clients such as Independent News & Media when the newspaper publisher, now known as Mediahuis Ireland, was chaired by businessman Leslie Buckley, with whom Mr Heneghan has been closely associated over the years. He has also maintained close business links over the years to meat industry tycoon Larry Goodman.

Experience

“I have known Heneghan Strategic Communications for many years… I look forward to supporting a dynamic team with an ambitious vision for the future of the company,” said Mr Kenny.

Mr Heneghan said he was “honoured” that the former taoiseach was joining the board.

“His insight and vast experience as leader of the government, along with his experience in promoting international entrepreneurial activity by Irish companies and track record in FDI, will be of benefit as we look to our future development,” said Mr Heneghan.

Mr Kenny has taken up a small number of non-executive roles since his retirement from politics. He is a director of the Ireland-China Institute think tank. In 2019, he was also appointed chairman of an advisory council to private equity group, VentureWave Capital.