Fibrus founder named as next chair of Shannon Group

Fibrus founder and chair Conal Henry.
Fibrus founder and chair Conal Henry. Fibrus founder and chair Conal Henry.

THE founder of the Northern Ireland company rolling out Stormont’s Project Stratum broadband scheme has been named as the new chair of the group responsible for Shannon Airport.

Conal Henry was announced as the next chair of the Shannon Group by the Republic’s Transport Minister Eamon Ryan on Tuesday.

The Belfast-raised Queen’s University graduate, who previously served as Ryanair’s commercial director, is expected to be formally appointed following an appearance before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications in Dublin.

It follows the surprise resignation of Pádraig Ó Céidigh as Shannon Group chair after just five months in the role.

Alongside the airport, the Shannon Group oversees the International Aviation Services Centre in Co Clare; tourism company Shannon Heritage, and a commercial property portfolio.

The group is estimated to be worth €3.6bn (£3bn), supporting around 46,500 jobs across the mid-west region.

Now based in Dublin, Conal Henry set up Fibrus in Belfast during 2018. With an experienced background as former head of Irish fibre networks company Enet, Mr Henry’s start-up was awarded the £165 million contract for the north’s rural fibre broadband scheme Project Stratum in 2020.

Welcoming the appointment, Shannon Group chief executive, Mary Considine, said: “His vast experience across a range of commercial businesses including aviation, will be very valuable as we continue to drive our recovery and rebuild our business in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”