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Ireland — Grafton founder dies

14 June 2010

Grafton Employment Group has announced the death of its founder James Kilbane.

James Kilbane founded the Grafton Employment Group in 1982. He was joined one year later by Ken Belshaw and together they then opened their first office in Dublin. Since then, the company has expanded into an international recruitment network spanning 70 offices in 16 countries, making it Ireland's largest independent recruitment company and a significant player in Eastern Europe. Following his retirement last April James had put in place a team to lead the company into the future.

Jason Kennedy, Group Chief Executive Officer of The Grafton Employment Group, said "James was an inspiring businessman and will be sorely missed by all staff across the Grafton Employment Group network. His strategic vision, commitment and focus shaped the company, building it to its current success. James was a respected and well loved entrepreneur with a keen eye for innovation and new business opportunities."

James Kilbane's work at the European Commission on behalf of CIETT (the European Confederation of Temporary Agencies) was recognized publicly in 2003 when he was named 'Man of The Year' by the NRF, Ireland's National Recruitment Federation.

Denis Pennel, Managing Director of CIETT said "James was actively committed to the life of CIETT and Eurociett for many years. He will be remebered as a man with a loving personality, who showed great care for the people aroud him."

John Nurthen, General Manager, Europe for Staffing Industry Analysts said, "James was one of the leading figures in the European staffing industry and made many friends in both Ireland and abroad who will be deeply saddened by today’s news"

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)'s Tom Hadley, who worked with James Kilbane on the CIETT Council, says: "James was a pioneering advocate for the industry, establishing branches worldwide and helping new markets to develop. He was passionate about enhancing the perception of recruiters and actively supported the work of CIETT and Eurociett as well as the REC and the NRF in Ireland."

"Above all, James was a hugely charismatic and engaging man. He will be sorely missed but remembered fondly by all those who had the privilege to spend time with him."



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