James Kennedy named HSI interim chief

James Kennedy is to take over as interim CEO of Horse Sport Ireland to allow current CEO Damian McDonald prepare for his new role as director general of the IFA.

Professor Pat Wall, chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, said: “I wish to thank James Kennedy for stepping into the breach as interim chief executive of our organisation. He brings a wealth of experience at the top levels in business, sport, agriculture and voluntary organisations and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in this interim role.”

Mr Kennedy will take up his position as HSI’s interim CEO from December 29. He has served as chairman of HSI’s finance committee since March 2013 and chair of the Show Jumping High Performance committee since April 2016. He is a former vice president of European Operations with eye care firm Bausch & Lomb, and CEO of professional services firm Thomas McDonogh & Sons.

He has hunted all of his life with the Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny Foxhounds and is a former chairman of the Waterford Foxhounds. He also been president of the Chambers of Commerce of Waterford; the south-east region and Ireland. A native of Co Limerick, he holds a Science degree from UCC.

Anne Bannon will take over as chair of the HSI finance committee until James Kennedy’s period as acting CEO concludes. She has extensive business experience across a wide industry spectrum, notably acting as a non-executive director on the boards of numerous technology, life science, services and manufacturing companies.

She holds a degree and a diploma in Professional Accounting from UCD, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She has developed a stud farm to breed and produce sport horses for eventing, showjumping and leisure, and was a member of the HSI breeding sub board from 2011 to 2015, and a director of HSI in 2014/2015.

Brian Mangan, who is chair of the FEI’s audit and compliance committee and a former HSI board member, will join the HSI finance committee. He is the current chairperson of the HSI eventing high performance committee, and was Irish eventing team manager at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and a former CEO of Eventing Ireland.

Mr Mangan is a chartered accountant by profession with over 40 years experience working as a financial controller and business consultant.


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