DUBLIN: Wilson Hartnell Public Relations, one of Ireland’s top
three consultancies, has appointed former political adviser to the Irish
Labour Party Fergus Findlay to head a newly created public affairs
Findlay has been working with the agency on a freelance basis for the
past year, but following increasing demand from clients such as Shell
and cable operator TCI for political strategy advice, a decision was
taken to set up a public affairs unit, with Findlay heading it up full
He will manage a team of three and will also handle corporate affairs
for several major accounts including state advisory board Forfas, Irish
Liquid Petroleum Gas Association and Bon Secours, a chain of private
hospitals. He reports into managing director Mary Finan.
The agency believes that multinationals which want to set up operations
in Ireland will be attracted because of the unit and Findlay’s
He is widely acknowledged as a leading expert in political strategy.
Findlay was an adviser to former Labour party leader and deputy prime
minister Dick Spring from 1983 to 1997.
This period saw Spring hold cabinet posts as environment minister,
energy minister and foreign secretary and Findlay was centrally involved
in the peace process negotiations which led to the Downing Street
Declaration and the joint framework documents.
Wilson Hartnell was established in 1973 and in its last financial year,
ending December 1998, accrued fees of pounds 3.5 million.