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Coveney Appoints Joe Keeling to Chair Horse Racing Ireland (HRI)

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, has confirmed the appointment of Mr. Joe Keeling, as Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, in succession to Mr. Denis Brosnan.

Minister Coveney acknowledged the proven track record of Mr. Keeling in building and managing the very successful Keelings business. Joe Keeling has been Chairman and CEO of the Keeling group of companies, a multi-national group employing in excess of 1,700 people in Ireland, England and Holland.

The Minister described Mr. Keeling as being “eminently well qualified for this appointment, given both his very successful business background in the agri-food sector and his interest in horse racing”.  When announcing the appointment the Minister stated that Mr. Keeling as “a very popular and sure-handed” choice to lead the industry given his success in “building an impressive international business and his considerable business acumen”.

Mr. Keeling has been a Director and a committee member of Fairyhouse in the past. He has also experienced horse racing from the perspective of the sponsor, owner, breeder and racegoer.

The Minister noted “Horse racing and breeding is an industry as well as a sport. The combination of Joe Keeling’s background in the international agri-food sector combined with his understanding of  the sponsor, owner, breeder and racegoer’s perspective leaves him extremely well placed to address the many and varied challenges that he faces in his new position”.

The Minister assured Mr. Keeling of the Government’s continued support for the industry, stating that he “was looking forward to working with Mr. Keeling” and that “the Government would strive to bring about the legislative changes necessary to underpin a viable and sustainable horse racing industry, one that will expand employment and create the maximum contribution to the Irish economy.”

The Minister also paid tribute to the outgoing chairman, Mr. Denis Brosnan, stating that “Denis has done an outstanding job at the helm of HRI and its predecessor organisations for the past 22 years and he has been steadfast in his commitment to the HRI mission of “developing and promoting Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horseracing and breeding”, throughout his tenure. I wish to thank Denis Brosnan on the enormous contribution he has made to the industry and wish him every success into the future”.

Date Released: 21 March 2013