Galwayman John Concannon, currently VP of development at NUI Galway, has been chosen to head up the Government response to the Coronavirus crisis.
The announcement of the appointment of Mr Concannon was made on Tuesday evening, as Government ramped up its campaign across all fronts.
John Concannon, the marketing expert behind the Wild Atlantic Way, took up a new role of Vice-President: Development of NUI Galway last year.
But he also worked on the Government’s crisis communications for the Beast from the East and Storm Emma weather crisis in 2018.
It is understood his new role will involve coordinating the Government communications across a range of departments and agencies for the current Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Concannon worked on The Gathering and the 1916 commemorations, along with various tourism initiatives.
In recent years, he also worked as head of the Government’s controversial Strategic Communications Unit and was Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the role of Director General of ‘Global Ireland’, the plan to double Ireland’s international footprint by 2025, which includes the campaign to win a seat on the UN Security Council.
After taking up his NUI Galway role, he also remained on in a part-time capacity working on the UN Security Council job.
Mr Concannon is a widely respected businessman who was tasked with leading the Government’s strategy on the Easter Rising commemorations, Ireland 2016, followed by ‘Creative Ireland’, the initiative aimed at giving more access to young people in the areas of music, drama, art and coding.
Previously, he was Director of Market Development for Fáilte Ireland, where he drove the ‘Discover Ireland’ Programme, The Gathering and the Wild Atlantic Way.
Mr Concannon has also worked in the private sector in management roles in Unilever and returned to Galway as CEO of Ireland West Tourism in 2004. He has served as chairman of Cope Galway and of the Galway Age Friendly Initiative and is currently a Board Member of Connacht Rugby.