Dan Rooney resigns as U.S. ambassador to Ireland
Steelers co-owner Dan Rooney stepped down Friday as ambassador to Ireland and headed back to the United States.
During his time in Dublin, Rooney had maintained a high-profile presence — visiting every Irish county and hosting President Obama in 2001 — but his departure happened quietly with little fanfare. The U.S. Embassy in Ireland posted on its Twitter account a photo of Rooney surrounded by a few onlookers and a video tribute.
“There was no official announcement,” embassy spokesman John Murphy said in an email. “It was more of a low key heads up to Irish media.”
The U.S. embassy posted a video recapping Dan Rooney's time as ambassador.
In an editorial that appeared today in The Irish Times , Rooney said it had been “an honour and privilege” to represent the United States and the Obama administration.
“The president charged me to protect and build the historic and deep friendship between our two countries,” Rooney wrote. “I am pleased to say this relationship is the strongest it has ever been. Ours is not a foreign relationship between two countries but a shared kinship between two great peoples.”
When asked what role Rooney would have upon his return, his son and team president Art Rooney II said in a text: “My father has been busy and focused on his position in Ireland so we really haven't talked about what he wants to do when he gets back. We'll talk about that after the season.”
Dan Rooney, 80, the Steelers' chairman emeritus, delegated the day-to-day operations of the team to his son in 2003.
Before accepting the ambassadorship from Obama, the elder Rooney concentrated on National Football League business affairs. He long has been one of the league's most influential and powerful owners.
His resignation has been expected for nearly a year, and he never gave signals that he planned to stay on for Obama's second term. In January, Art Rooney said he expected his father to resign by the end of the year.
During NFL owners' meetings two months later, numerous owners said they welcomed the news that Dan Rooney would return to a more active role in league business. Rooney — who has had a role with the Steelers since he was a teenager in the 1940s — was involved in labor affairs, contract negotiations and TV contract talks, among other issues.
In recent years, Rooney was best known for pushing the league to adopt what became known as “the Rooney Rule,” which requires teams to interview minority candidates for key coaching and administrative jobs.
Rooney, a strong supporter of Obama, accepted the ambassador's post on March 17, 2009. The president cited Rooney's long-standing role in supporting Irish-American charities.
Staff writer Andrew Conte contributed to this report. Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers are banking on linebackers to improve strength of defense
- Republican businesswoman Fiorina joins 2016 presidential fray
- Kennywood to review park security following fight
- Medical personnel have plenty to do at Pittsburgh Marathon
- Mother throws baby, leaps from Allentown bridge; police rescue both
- Former tech executive Carly Fiorina enters presidential race
- Kaboly: Steelers fill biggest needs by drafting defensive players
- Santucci repeats as Pittsburgh Marathon winner; Njoroge wins men’s race
- Jeannette man killed in Hempfield crash
- Uptown neighborhood in Pittsburgh on verge of breakthrough
- Highlands High School post-prom raffle criticized