President George W. Bush is expected to begin the search for a new ambassador to Ireland following the imminent departure of incumbent Richard Egan and his wife Maureen Fitzgerald. The outgoing ambassador tendered his resignation to President Bush after just 15 months in the job and his request to stand down sent shock waves throughout diplomatic circles considering he only presented his credentials to Irish President Mary McAleese in September 2001.
At a very early stage into his term of office he was thrown into the public limelight when he decided to attend the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (annual convention) shortly after the September 11 attacks. However despite occupying such a prominent diplomatic role he since maintained a relatively low profile. According to sources Egan did not particularly enjoy the heavy social schedule entailed at consular level.
The ambassador’s efforts at developing commercial links between Ireland and the U.S. and encouraging American investment earned him widespread recognition. A successful Massachusetts businessman, he is founder of the EMC Corporation, a computer data storage company. EMC has a manufacturing plant in Cork. ♦