Former Taoiseach and EU Ambassador to the United States John Bruton has agreed to chair a new high-powered economic forum aimed at boosting Meath's chances of attracting new industry to the county.
The announcement, made at a meeting of Meath County Council on Monday, that the former Taoiseach had agreed to head the new forum for the county was welcomed across the political spectrum and is seen as a major boost for Meath County Council in harnessing business expertise and knowledge to its cause of creating employment at local level.
Mr Bruton (65), a native of Dunboyne who was Taoiseach at the head of the Rainbow Coalition from 1994 to 1997, is also a former Minister for Finance and Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism, and was a Meath TD from 1969 to 2004.
He is currently chairman of the Dublin International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) with a remit to promote Ireland's international financial services industry. He is also well-connected at European Union level having served as the EU's Ambassador to Washington between 2004 and 2009.
The names of a further six members of the newly-established economic forum will be announced shortly.
The forum will be supported directly by Meath County Manager Brendan McGrath and the council's director of services, Kevin Stewart.
The council said on Monday that the role of the forum will be to offer "high level and unique business insights, ideas and perspectives on sustainable economic growth".
The economic strategy is designed to guide future economic development in the county with a focus on immediate practical initiatives to stimulate activity and to protect existing businesses.