Paddy Kavanagh, the South-East Regional Secretary of the Connect Trade Union has been elected General Secretary Designate to succeed Eamon Devoy as leader of Ireland’s largest craft union. He will take up office as General Secretary from July 24th, 2016. Speaking after the Executive Council at the weekend where the election result was announced, Mr Devoy said that, “Paddy Kavanagh is highly regarded in the trade union movement and has extensive experience of both the private and public sectors.
“He is from a mechanical engineering background. Besides currently being Regional Secretary in the Connect Trade Union’s South-East Region based in Waterford, he has national responsibility for our members in the Public Service and brings a vast amount of experience to the role.”
Mr Kavanagh said. “I look forward to the challenges of leading the Connect Trade Union. I particularly welcome the fact that I had support and nominations from all sectors of the union, across the country. I am very proud of the confidence my fellow members have placed in me and makes me all the more committed to championing their interests.”
He has been a trade union activist representing workers for over 30 years. His recent achievements include leading the Connect Trade Union team in national negotiations on the Croke Park, Haddington Road and Lansdowne Road agreements, recruiting, organising and securing union recognition in many private sector companies and protecting defined benefit pension schemes for members.
He comes from Clogh, Castlecomer, in County Kilkenny, which has a strong trade union tradition and said he had been inspired to become active by his parents who had both been very active in the labour movement. He has an avid interest in labour history and now lives in Kilkenny. He is married with three children, two boys and a girl.
In a separate election Alan Douglas (cousin of Mandate General Secretary John Douglas) was elected as a full time paid official of the union. He will commence employment in January 2016 and will be based in the Connect Trade Union’s Limerick office. He will have a dual role, supporting members in the Connect Trade Union Limerick Branch and supporting Brian Nolan, the National Construction Official in the Mechanical and Electrical Contracting sector on the western seaboard.
Mr Douglas has an electrical engineering background and is currently Organiser for the Electrical Branch based in Dublin. He is Chairperson of the Connect Trade Union’s National Youth Forum and a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ Youth Network.