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Failte's top marketer is boss of 1916 events

The Government has appointed one of the country's top marketing executives to head up the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Rising.

John Concannon has been seconded from his position as Director of Market Development with Failte Ireland to take up the position of Director of the Programme for Ireland 2016.

He will fill the role for the next two-and-a-half years.

Details of the framework for the extensive commemoration ceremonies and events are expected to be outlined by the Taoiseach next week.

Mr Concannon (inset) previously held marketing and brand manager roles in Unilever and footwear manufacturer Dubarry. He is also chairman of Gaisce, the President's Award.

He lives in Galway with his wife and three children and it is understood his new role will see him based in the western capital, from where the programme of events will be rolled out.

A group of distinguished historians chaired by Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, has already been appointed to advise the Government on the centenary commemorations.

Dr Manning said last month that the group had been impatient for a while about the failure to bring forward a blueprint for marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Prof Diarmaid Ferriter, who is also on the committee, has also referred to complaints from relatives of the 1916 combatants who said they were being kept in the dark about plans for the Rising centenary.

The Government allocated €4m in the Budget for next year for commemoration activities around the Rising. A separate allocation is to be made for 2016.

The money is separate from the €22m already allocated for six flagship projects, most notably the interpretative centre in the GPO and the refurbishment of Richmond Barracks.