Recently Bank of Ireland (BOI) have appointed Kilgarve native Gavin Kelly as interim group chief executive.
He has fond memories of growing up here. He is still in touch with friends he made in Creagh National School and Garbally. “I feel lucky to have grown up in Ballinasloe, and love to get home whenever I can” he states.
Asked to reflect on who influenced him positively in his youth “ I better say my Maths teacher Gerry Kelly who guided me through 6 years at Garbally (and several more years at home!) Also, my Uncle Tony who I worked with in the family business in Kelly’s from age 13. Finally, I was the school bank manager in Transition Year! Clearly, given my subsequent career in financial services, that had more of an impact on me than I realised at the time!” he remarks.
He was keen rugby player in school and doesn’t get the chance to play much anymore but he tries to play a round of golf when he can. He is keen supporter of the four provinces in rugby and cheers on Galway as well in the GAA. He also supports his kids who play hockey for Monkstown Club in Dublin.
Married to wife Barbara with three kids, Eric is 15, Tom 14 and Holly 12 , he joined the bank in 2007 and has worked as the head of direct channels, director of consumer banking, director of distribution channels, chief executive officer in retail Ireland and his current position.
He still gets home regularly to visit his parents Esther and Gerry and believes it has a positive future “I know the town has had its ups and downs like every town across the country. However, the spirit remains strong and Ballinasloe has a lot going for it in terms of its location, amenities and quality of life. I attended an Enterprise town event in the Emerald Ballroom a couple of years ago and was really impressed with what I saw. The variety of industry and, above all, the pride in the town was fantastic to see” he explains.
At his graduation from Garbally in the early 90s the guest speaker was Pat Molloy, a past-pupil and the Group CEO of Bank of Ireland at the time. “I was really struck by his message of respect for everyone you meet throughout your career. I’ve tried to live this as best as I can over the past 30 years. And as for those youngsters embarking on their college courses - enjoy the experience and take your time in making career choices. Sometimes it might feel like you need to make decisions very quickly, but you don’t – try new and different things out, keep an open mind about your future, and that will help you find what you really love to do “
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