News Archive

Airport Board Chairman, Joe Kennedy, Retires from Post Liam Scollan Appointed New Chairman to Board of Ireland West Airport Knock

The Board of Ireland West Airport Knock (Connaught Airport Development Company (CADCO)) today, Monday 26th January, announced that Mr Patrick Joseph (Joe) Kennedy is retiring from his position as Chairman of the Airport’s Board after a period of 6 ½ years and that Liam Scollan, former Group Managing Director of the Airport, will succeed Mr Kennedy as the Board’s new Chairman.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Airport’s Board on Monday, 19th January 2009. The Board, in accepting Mr Kennedy’s decision, is pleased that Joe is committed to remain on the Board for the foreseeable future as Honorary President and will continue to offer his support to the Airport. Mr Kennedy joined the Board in 2002 and was elected Chairman that year. 
Commenting on the decision, Mr Des Mahon, Mayo County Manager, Airport Board Member and Chairman of the Horan International Airport Trust, said: “In accepting Joe’s decision to retire as Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock, the Board is deeply indebted to him for the many years of great leadership and his total commitment to developing and expanding the Airport. Without doubt a tremendous amount has been achieved under his chairmanship and the Airport is indebted to the invaluable contribution which he has given to Ireland West Airport Knock.  The Board is pleased that Liam Scollan has accepted the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint him as our new Chairman and we look forward to continuing to wholeheartedly support and work with him to improve access to the West and North West and to achieve the objectives of the Airport so it remains a vehicle for regional development.”
Joe Kennedy, Outgoing Chairman, said: “I am truly delighted to have been of service to the people of the West of Ireland and I thank my fellow Board members, management and staff at the Airport, as well as the public at large, for the steadfast support which they have given me over the years.  I am overwhelmed and honoured by the Board’s continued support of me and their appointment of me as Honorary President. I am very, very, pleased that Liam Scollan will succeed me as the new Chairman to the Board.  His heart is in the right place and his expertise and commitment to growing the Airport and working with all the stakeholders involved, I am sure, will continue well into the future.”
Liam Scollan, Chairman, said: “Joe Kennedy has been a wonderful Chairman. He took on the task with huge energy and drive and an unswerving belief that success was inevitable if we are brave enough to strive for it. Success did indeed come with the airport winning awards, growing its services at a phenomenal rate and now being a key facility for much of the country. While he has undoubted business acumen it has been his respect for people, his ability to lead, his courage and determination that have inspired all around him. I am delighted that he has agreed to stay as part of the team because I value immensely his presence and the special gifts he has. His chairmanship marked a time of growth which has laid the foundation for the strong company we are today. It is heartening for me to know that, in my new appointment, I enjoyed the full support of the Board in that decision and am honoured to be the Airport’s sixth chairman since its foundation.  Like all other businesses we face tough challenges and I am heartened by the unity and strength of all involved around me at the Airport. I am looking forward with relish to my new role and of being of further service to this Airport and the region.”
Robert Grealis, CEO said: “Under Joe’s stewardship as Chairman, the Airport has developed dramatically over the last six years culminating in 2008 being a record year for passenger numbers and routes. There is no doubt that this would not have been possible without Joe at the helm and I will always be very grateful for the advice, direction and support he has given to me and the Airport team. I am delighted that Liam has been appointed Chairman and on behalf of the management and the staff we extend our sincere congratulations to him and his family on this wonderful achievement and recognition for his contribution to the Airport, as both a manager and a Board member over the last number of years. I am confident that this continuity will ensure the ongoing development of the Airport towards achieving its goals set out in Vision 2020.”
Martina Burns, Secretary of the Board of CADCO, has also decided to retire from her position to which she was appointed in May 2002. The Board has subsequently appointed Olivia Martin to be the Company Secretary. The Board thanked Martina for the many years of service she has given the Airport and wishes Olivia all the best in her new appointment.
Additional Background Information
  • Sean Hannick, Chairman Council for the West and MD Killala Precision:
    “Our region is indebted to Joe Kennedy and the work he has done over the years. He has brought a strong business focus to the Airport and he has constantly and successfully worked to support the needs of the business community in the region. I congratulate Liam Scollan on his new appointment. It is important that the whole of the West of Ireland, our business community, as well as our government, gives their full and total support to the new Chairman in what is a most difficult economic time ahead.”
  • Brian Mc Eniff, Managing Director McEniff Group & Board Member Ireland West Airport Knock:
    “The passenger growth and wide range of flight destinations at Ireland West Airport Knock since Joe’s appointment to the Board, is a testament to the superb leadership which he has given. This has helped yield much welcome injections of tourism spend into Connaught and all the counties in the North West, Midlands and Border Areas. Besides being a superb Chairman to the Airport, Joe is a wonderful individual and a great friend to the Board and I wish him and his family continued best wishes for the future. Equally, I am very pleased that Liam has accepted the Board’s nomination to take up the Chair and to progress and further enhance the Airport’s services, access to the region and our tourism industry. The Airport is lucky to have people of both Joe’s and Liam’s calibre serving on the Board.”
2. Biographies
Patrick Joseph Kennedy
Patrick Joseph Kennedy is the former Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock (Connaught Airport Development Company (CADCO)) and when he joined the Board in 2002 he brought with him a strong business acumen and high level business and investment contacts. Mr Kennedy, who is a native of Mayo, is a most successful Irish business person in the UK. After moving to the UK, he worked for a period in the construction industry before establishing his own business in construction and cable laying which he grew to become a multi-million pound enterprise.
Mr. Kennedy had the honour of being bequeathed as a Knight of St. Gregory, K.S.G. by His Holiness the Late Pope John Paul II in 1992. Mr Kennedy established the Kennedy Charitable Foundation through which he has supported hundreds of causes with donations both in Ireland and the UK. His many sponsorships include education, particularly religious education, emigrant causes and peacemaking in Northern Ireland as well as numerous Irish and community initiatives on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Joe’s highlights while serving on the Airport’s Board include the introduction of flight services to Birmingham and Manchester with airlines MyTravellite and bmibaby, the breakthrough of establishing US scheduled flight services ahead of Open Skies in 2007, and the achievement of a multi-million euro government investment in the Airport’s Capital Investment programme including Category II Instrumentation Landing Systems (CAT II ILS).
Joe resides in Manchester and is married to Kathleen and they have 5 sons and 2 daughters.
Liam Scollan, Chairman
Liam Scollan joined the Airport in May 2002, initially as a consultant and was later, in December 2002, asked by the Board to take over as Chief Executive. In 2005, Liam was appointed to the Board as Managing Director of the company. Since he joined the company in 2002, the Airport has experienced record-breaking passenger numbers and business growth.
Mr Scollan has worked extensively in regional development in Ireland and the UK. He was previously Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission where he built the organisation from its foundation and championed a wide range of regional development policies, many of which have since been adopted by Government.
In the 1980s, he played a leading role in urban and regional development in both County and Regional Authorities in the East Midlands where his work led to significant job creation and regeneration in towns. In 1996, one of his initiatives won an award from the Secretary of the State for the Environment as one of the best examples of regeneration through partnership in the UK.
Liam is married to Margaret and they have three daughters Hannah, Eileen and Bríd.  His favourite past-time is playing music and hill walking.  He is also a voluntary director of the Organic Centre in North Leitrim and has a keen interest in alternative health and sustainable living.
3. Former Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock (CADCO)
Monsignor James Horan                                 1981 -1986                               
Mr V Feehan                                                        1986    
(Acted as Chairman in the absence of and following the death of Monsignor Horan)
Monsignor Dominic Grealy                             1986 - 1987
Mr Seamus Monaghan                                    1987 - 1992
Mr Cathal Duffy                                                  1992 - 2002
Mr  Patrick Joseph (Joe) Kennedy                  2002 - 2009