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Michael Cawley appointed as Chairman-designate of Failte Ireland

Michael Cawley appointed as Chairman-designate of Failte Ireland

Former Ryanair Deputy CEO nominated to head up Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced that he plans to appoint former Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley as Chairman of Fáilte Ireland.

Michael Cawley worked with Ryanair for 17 years until his retirement last March, most recently as Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer.

Minister Varadkar said: “If Michael Cawley can do for Irish tourism what he did for Ryanair, I will be a very happy Minister. I’m delighted to nominate a Chairman of the calibre of Michael Cawley and I think he is an ideal fit for Failte Ireland. Michael played a pivotal role in Ryanair over the last two decades and helped it to become one of the world’s leading airlines.

“I know that Michael will bring a new dynamism to the position of the Chairmanship of Failte Ireland and drive forward the tourist sector, building on the success of The Gathering and Government initiatives such as the 9% Vat rate. This appointment comes at a crucial time. The tourism industry is now firmly in recovery and visitor numbers are ahead of target. However, our resources remain limited, and Michael will have a key role in targeting investments carefully.”

Welcoming the appointment, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said: “The nomination of a new Chairman is timely as tourism emerges from a period of contraction and begins to grow again. As Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, tourism is capable of delivering significant additional revenue and jobs and make a strong contribution to this country’s economic recovery. I look forward to working with Michael as, along with our partners throughout the industry, we work to sustain and build on the recent growth in the sector.”  

Michael Cawley served as Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer until his retirement. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Commercial Director. Prior to his time with Ryanair he served as Group Finance Director of Gowan Group Limited, one of Ireland’s largest private companies and the main distributor for Peugeot and Citroen automobiles in Ireland.

In line with the Government’s political reform programme, Mr Cawley’s appointment will take effect following an appearance at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport & Communications. He has been appointed for a five year term in accordance with Section 14 of the National Tourism Development Authority Act, 2003.


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