What to make of the news that Declan Kelly has been appointed as the US economic envoy to Northern Ireland? Well, apparently it’s not significant enough to merit a statement from the US Secretary of State. From what I can tell, it was announced via Niall O’Dowd’s Irish Voice website – where O’Dowd continues to suggest, albeit now in a minor key, that this is an upgrade in status for NI and is predicting an October visit by Hillary Clinton. But, as Máirtín points out, Declan Kelly was another “Irish American for Hillary” and hosted a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in Ireland in 2007, securing an estimated $200,000. Change, indeed. But what is his actual role? [To keep off the grass? – Ed] From the Irish Times report
Mr Kelly, a former journalist who has enjoyed a successful business career in the US, is accompanying the new American ambassador in London Louis Susman to Belfast today where they will meet local business leaders. He is a brother of Alan Kelly, who won a seat for Labour in Munster in the recent European Parliament elections. He is a former vice-president of FTI, a global business consultancy which employs 3,500 people. He also serves on the American Ireland Fund and is chairman of the US Foundation Board of NUI Galway, where he once studied.