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Minister Flanagan expresses sorrow at the passing of Don Keough


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan T.D. this evening expressed his sorrow on learning of the passing of Don Keough, a leading Irish American figure.

Minister Flanagan said: 

"I have heard with great sadness of the passing of Don Keough, a giant of American business and a great friend of Ireland over very many years. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends and the many who have benefited from his numerous acts of kindness and philanthropy.

Don Keough, the great-grandson of Michael Keough who emigrated from Co Wexford in the 1840s, led an extraordinary life which brought him from his birthplace in Iowa to an international career as President and Chief Operating Officer of Coca Cola and later as Chairman of the Board of Allen and Company Incorporated.

Through all his corporate success he never lost sight of his Irish heritage. During his career at Coca-Cola and eventually as its President, he blazed the multinational trail to Ireland in the 1970s which was later followed by many others. Accordingly, he was one of those who laid the foundation for the strong economic relationship the two countries now enjoy.

As Chairman of the Board at Notre Dame he created the Keough-Naughton Irish Institute in 1994 and their hugely successful Dublin campus. He was instrumental in bringing the famous Notre Dame team to play in Dublin in September 2012. He was a greatly valued member of the Global Irish Network of Irish people and friends of Ireland who have worked around the world to help aid Ireland’s recovery.

I can only say that he will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and I pass on my commiserations for this great loss. My thoughts are with his family - his wife Marilyn and his sons and daughters - at this very difficult time."





Press Office

24 February 2015