“If Michael Cawley can do for Irish tourism what he did for Ryanair, I will be a very happy Minister,” stated the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar at the announcement, “I’m delighted to nominate a Chairman of the calibre of Michael Cawley and I think he’s an ideal fit for Fáilte Ireland. Michael played a pivotal role in Ryanair over the last two decades and helped it to become one of the world’s leading airlines.
“This appointment comes at a crucial time,” he continued, “The tourism industry is now firmly in recovery and visitor numbers are ahead of target. However, our resources remain limited and Michael will have a key role in targeting investments carefully.”
Fáilte Ireland Chief Executive Shaun Quinn commented, “As Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, tourism is capable of delivering significant additional revenue and jobs and make a strong contribution to this country’s economic recovery”.
Michael Cawley worked with Ryanair for 17 years until his retirement last March. He served as Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer and previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Commercial Director. Prior to his time with Ryanair he served as Group Finance Director of Gowan Group, one of Ireland’s largest private companies and the main distributor for Peugeot and Citroen automobiles in Ireland.