The Transport Minister has announced that the government will not be proceeding with the appointment of Aaron Forde as the next Chairperson of Shannon Group.
Mr. Forde’s appointment was only announced by government shortly after 3 p.m. this afternoon, but this move was reversed just six hours later.
The u-turn came after the discovery of posts on a Twitter account owned by Mr. Forde which contained inappropriate remarks, some dating back to 2018. Some posts contained an offensive description of members of the travelling community, while in others he criticised political figures, including members the current government.
The account in question was deleted tonight.
RTE reports that Mr. Forde will be sending a letter to the Minister tonight, confirming that he will be standing back from the position and that he is apologising unreservedly for the remarks.
A spokesperson for Minister Eamon Ryan has told Clare FM that “The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has announced that he will not be proceeding with the appointment of Mr Aaron Forde as chair of Shannon Group. In a phone conversation this evening Mr Ryan indicated that Mr Forde’s use of social media was below the standard expected of the chair of a state board. This is an important time for Shannon Group which has to chart a way through the crisis caused by the pandemic and plan for recovery. The Department of Transport will work to appoint a new chair as quickly as possible.”
The Sligo-based businessman was expected to take up the position on a five-year term, having previously served as the head of the Aurivo Co-Operative, as Chairman of Ornua, and on the boards of a number of other State and voluntary bodies and private companies.
UPDATE: In his letter to Minister Ryan, Aaron Forde apologises “unreservedly for remarks he made on Twitter.” “In particular, he wishes to apologise to people from the traveller community.” He also wishes everyone associated with Shannon Group PLC every success.