Less than a week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed Declan Kelly as Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Kelly met with Ireland Foreign Minister Micheal Martin and invited him to a Clinton Global Initiative event.
Kelly’s lobbying on behalf of the Clinton Global Initiative while a State Department employee was revealed in an overlooked WikiLeaks cable that leaked six years ago, and is another example of Clinton and her aides mixing work for the Clinton’s family charity and work for the U.S. government.
Emails released by the State Department over the last year show that Clinton was very eager to appoint Kelly as U.S. envoy, which might have been partly due to her desire to get his help in recruiting Irish government officials to the CGI event, which had been announced in June 2009.
“I want to send him to both Ireland and the North as soon as possible,” Clinton wrote of Kelly, who raised up to $2 million for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, on Aug. 28, 2009.
In a Sept. 15, 2009 email, Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal — who was working for the Clinton Foundation at the time — wrote Hillary Clinton, “The ‘Implementing Peace’ panel is going for CGI. I think, now, it will happen, despite Gordon’s timidity. He did not want to do it himself, partly for the good reason that someone on a panel might use it to corner him on a sticky issue in public, but also because he’s unsure of himself and his own ground.”
Blumenthal added that he was “delighted to have [Kelly] in place at last.” Kelly was appointed on Sept. 11, 2009.
The leaked diplomatic cable was marked confidential, and was classified by Chargé d’Affaires Robert J. Faucher, the Deputy Chief of Mission, who was summing up a meeting between Kelly and top Irish government officials, regarding economic negotiations with Northern Ireland in 2009.
“From September 16-18, Ambassador Rooney and Special Economic Envoy for Northern Ireland Declan Kelly met with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, President Mary McAleese, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore,” the cable stated. “These meetings coincided with the Global Irish Economic Forum hosted by the Irish government.”
The cable reported that Kelly said the U.S. role would be “to advise at the margins, help generate interest in investing in Northern Ireland, encourage the Northern Irish themselves to take the lead, and do everything in close coordination with Ireland, the UK and the Northern Irish.” And that “Northern Ireland must take the reins itself,” since there there wouldn’t be any more “Santa sacks” from the United States.
One of the highlighted sections of the cable was marked “CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE,” and involved Kelly’s invitations to Irish government officials to an upcoming event, scheduled the next week in New York.
“Kelly invited ForMin Martin to participate in a possible forum on investment in Northern Ireland on September 23 at the annual meeting of former President Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York,” the leaked classified cable noted. “Other guests at the forum would be Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson (DUP), Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein), and British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Shaun Woodward.”
The cable reported that after some discussion, “FM Martin subsequently agreed to participate at the CGI.”
A Clinton Foundation press release announced that “Northern Ireland’s First Minister and deputy First Minister will participate in special session on Northern Ireland during the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting.”
“I am honored that some of the key figures who exercised political leadership to secure devolved government in Northern Ireland will join me at the Annual Meeting next week,” former President Clinton stated. “I am looking forward to a stimulating and frank discussion about the region.”
A CGI press release after the event summed it up this way: “The special session focused on Northern Ireland, moderated by President Clinton, included key figures who exercised political leadership to secure peace in Northern Ireland, including Peter Robinson, first minister from Northern Ireland Executive; Martin McGuinness, deputy First Minister, Northern Ireland Executive; Declan Kelly, economic envoy to Northern Ireland, U.S. Department of State; Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; and Micheal Martin, Minster of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Ireland. Panelists discussed factors that can make Northern Ireland more appealing for foreign investors, how local businesses can reach their markets in the U.S., and how talents of young people in the region can be utilized through entrepreneurship.”
Kelly, a former Ireland business journalist, founded the Teneo consulting firm with another Irish-American Clinton fundraiser, Paul Keary, and Clinton Foundation official Douglas Band, who also served as Bill Clinton’s “body man.”