Tribute to the businessman who loves the West of Ireland and its airport

Ireland West Airport has paid tribute to its Honorary President and former President Joe Kennedy, who has passed away.

Na statement, the airport said it was forever grateful for their leadership, guidance and support over the past twenty years.

Joe Kennedy was known as one of the most respected and famous businessmen to come from Mayo. Founding its successful construction business, Jay Kennedy & Co Ltd, in Manchester in 1959, it spread to other parts of the UK, and from there to parts of the Middle East and the US. He was a very generous and charitable person and his charity work and the support of the local and wider community, done in a simple way without requiring any personal recognition, was a testament to the man he was . He founded the Kennedy Charitable Foundation and supports hundreds of causes with generous donations in Ireland, the UK and around the world. His many sponsorships include education, especially religious education, emigration causes and peace-building in Northern Ireland, as well as several Irish and community initiatives on both sides of the Irish Sea. As a result of his good work he was awarded the Manchester Mayo Association Award and Pope John Paul II’s Knight of St. Gregory Award, as well as the Virginia Gallagher Mayo Person of the Year Award in 2010.

Joe first became the airport’s president in 2002 and, during his six-and-a-half year tenure, oversaw an era of significant development. By 2009, during his tenure, passenger numbers had grown to over 600,000, with airports serving more than 20 destinations in the UK and Europe. One of their proudest achievements was securing scheduled transatlantic flights to the airport in 2007, with weekly flights to New York and Boston with FlyGlobespan. Such was his power of persuasion, which managed to get then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the airport to launch new services. During this time extensive investment was made in the airport, with the government ratifying a €27 million grant for the airport’s capital investment program – the result of which is now enjoyed by thousands of passengers using the airport. In 2009, the newly expanded terminal building at the airport was named ‘Kennedy Terminal’ in his honor.

He again stepped into the role of president at the airport from 2013 to 2018, during which period he had the honor of welcoming Pope Francis and Joe Biden, now President of the United States, to the airport, which was a matter of great pride. Opportunity for Joe and the airport. In 2018 he stepped down from the role to become the honorary president of the airport.

Arthur French, Chairman of Ireland West Airport, said: “Joe Kennedy has left behind a legacy that will stand the test of time. We are deeply indebted to him for his 20 years of service, where he helped develop and grow the airport. He played an important and influential role in what is today, the fourth largest airport in the country and serves more than 800,000 passengers annually in 19 destinations. Britain and Europe – a legacy of his hard work and vision. That airport and Ireland Kay West and unwavering in his dedication to the progress of the airport. All those who know Joe are very familiar with his generous nature and his love for a song, which has featured in many shows over the years. While Joe undoubtedly had business acumen, it was his friendship and respect for people, his ability to lead, his courage and determination that inspired those around him. I personally appreciate his friendship, support and guidance much importance to what he said to me and the wider airport team and his time with the airport has laid the foundation for the strong company we are today. He will always hold a special place in our hearts and he has left behind great memories and a legacy that will positively impact the lives of others for years to come – Ar Des De Go

Rai is an anam.”