Northern Ireland news

Irish businessman driving force behind weekend One World global concert

Declan Kelly, a businessman from Co Tipperary, is credited as the driving force behind the weekend global online concert to aid the battle against coronavirus. Picture by RTÉ
John Monaghan

A PROMINENT Irish businessman is credited as being the driving force behind the huge global fundraising concert at the weekend to aid the battle against coronavirus.

Declan Kelly, from Nenagh in Co Tipperary, was the executive producer of the One World: Together at Home, which featured music stars from across the globe playing from their own homes.

Mr Kelly, whose brother Alan is the leader of the Irish Labour Party, is a former journalist turned multimillionaire founder of Teneo, a US-based public relations and consultancy firm.

The idea came about after Mr Kelly and Hugh Evans - the chief executive of Global Citizen, a charity which aims to end extreme poverty by 2030 - approached pop star Lady Gaga, who had previously fundraised for the charity.

Mr Kelly said he was "proud" to have partnered with Mr Evans and Global Citizen in "his remarkable ongoing efforts to help humanity at times of crisis, such as those the entire world is experiencing right now", and also credited the influence of Lady Gaga.

He told RTÉ: "It helps to have Lady Gaga as your partner in this initiative. She has been great to work with and has played a tremendous role in getting an awful lot of the artists to participate.

"Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, The Killers, Taylor Swift and when they were asked by Lady Gaga, they all said yes."

Mr Kelly has strong links to Northern Ireland as a former US Economic Envoy, and in 2011 he received a honorary doctorate from Queen's University Belfast in recognition of his services to the north's community and economy.

He is also the founder of the The Northern Ireland Mentorship Program, which enables young graduates to spend a year working with leading corporations in the US.

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