Donald R. Keough, the Irish-American businessman famous for introducing Coca-Cola to Ireland, has passed away at age 88 following his recent hospitalisation with pneumonia.
Keough joined Coca-Cola in 1964 and was instrumental in Coca-Cola's investments in Ireland. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Keough, praising his role in building strong business, cultural and educational ties between the United States and Ireland.
The Taoiseach added, "Don Keough was one of Ireland's finest sons and the establishment of Coca Cola plants in Wexford, Drogheda, Athy and Ballina are testament to his commitment to Ireland. We have lost a true friend."
Keough had a strong interest in Ireland throughout his career, and played a central role in bringing the historic Notre Dame vs. Navy football game to Dublin in 2013 while he was on Notre Dame's board. The event brought an estimated 25,000 Irish American tourists to the capital.
He also established the Keough Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame, which later became the Keough-Naughton Institute when Irish businessman Martin Naughton got involved.