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NEWS Last modified on December 22, 2015

CEO, Neil Pakey, to leave Shannon Airport next year

The operator of Shannon Airport today confirmed that its CEO, Neil Pakey, is to leave the company on the conclusion of his three-year contract next year.

“Neil came on board as CEO at an exciting time for Shannon as it embarked on life as an independent entity and during his tenure many milestones have been achieved," says Shannon Group chair, Rose Hynes.

"From an airport perspective we have returned Shannon to growth following five years of successive decline and by the end of 2015 passenger numbers will be up by 22% from where we started out.

“The successful transition of Shannon Commercial Properties - the property portfolio of the former Shannon Development - and the establishment of the International Aviation Services Centre at Shannon as a new business unit plus the formal establishment of the Group itself last year have all also been achieved.

"This has given the Group a solid platform to achieve growth across all areas of the business with increased turnover, reduced costs and improved profits achieved since Neil took on this role.
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“Shannon Heritage has also been established within the Shannon Group and, during Neil's tenure, visitor numbers to King John's Castle in Limerick have doubled and are heading for 100,000 this year.

"The Cliffs of Moher, where Shannon Heritage operates the retail arm, is now vying for the top position against the Guinness Storehouse to become Ireland's most popular attraction having already exceeded 1million visitors.

"Another highlight was winning the contract to develop and manage the 1916 GPO interpretative centre on O'Connell Street, in Dublin, on track and scheduled to open for Easter 2016.

“All of this happened with Neil Pakey as CEO, playing a key role in leading the team in the rebirth of Shannon as a catalyst for growth for the entire region.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Neil for this vital contribution to the revitalisation of Shannon Airport and formation of the wider group. He will leave in June with Shannon Group on a very positive footing, primed for growth, and we now embark on the task of appointing his successor.”


Pakey says that he was looking forward to a new challenge having completed the agreed three-year term as chief executive.

“I’ve worked with a great management team and a great board and we’ve really transformed the Shannon Group during the past three years,” he remarks.

“We’ve put it on a sound financial and commercial footing, we’ve expanded operations, won new contracts, grown passenger and visitor numbers and won numerous awards.

"We are running what is predominately a people and service business and the employees are proving to be the lynchpin of the success and I would like to give credit where it's due.

"I would like to thank the Board for having given me the opportunity as well as for their support during the last three years. There’s an exciting future ahead for the Group and I wish the Board well in recruiting a new CEO to carry on this work.”

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