Lorraine Higgins, the former chief executive of trade group Retail Excellence and previously a Labour Party senator, has joined the Dublin corporate communications agency MKC Communications.
Ms Higgins, who left Retail Excellence in October, has assumed the role of director of strategy and public policy with the firm, with a focus on political lobbying on behalf of MKC’s clients. She effectively replaces Ciarán Conlon, a Fine Gael-aligned former senior ministerial adviser, who recently left MKC to take over the public affairs function as director of public policy at Microsoft Ireland.
Ms Higgins, a trained barrister and a former general election candidate in her native Galway, will also join the board of MKC alongside its partners and senior managers, Tim Kinsella and Laurie Mannix.
There had been speculation published in some quarters of the media recently that Ms Higgins could yet emerge as a future election candidate for Fine Gael, possibly for next year's European elections. Ms Higgins, however, says her focus is on helping to expand MKC. The firm's corporate client list includes Google, Virgin Media and Aramark.
“After many years as a public representative and working in industry supporting the efforts of Irish businesses and entrepreneurs, I’m looking forward to using all my experience to further develop and grow the business, with a specific focus on strategic advisory services and corporate communications,” she said.
Mr Kinsella, the firm’s managing director, welcomed her appointment and said Ms Higgins would provide “high-level strategic advice” to its corporate clients.