Dan Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland, has said that there is “no specific date” for his departure from his role in Dublin. His announcement comes after his son Art Rooney II said that his father would return to Pennsylvania to rejoin the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he used to be chairman, a story first reported by IrishCentral.
Ambassador Rooney released a statement drawing attention to the fact that July 4th of this year will mark three years since he began his role as Ambassador to Ireland. Along with that, however, he said he has “no specific date” in regards to retiring from his role.
Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
The statement Ambassador Rooney offered read as follows: “In reference to recent media reports, the role of Ambassador from the United States of America to Ireland is extremely rewarding work. It is a privilege to serve President Obama and the country, and to support and expand the excellent relationship we enjoy with Ireland. On July 4, 2012, I will have served three years in Dublin. There is no specific date for departure.”
Rooney was appointed by President Obama in 2009 after having campaigned for him and helping him to secure Pennsylvania, where Rooney was a resident at the time, for the vote in the 2008 US Presidential election.
Should Rooney want to campaign for Obama in the upcoming 2012 election, he will be forced to retire as Ambassador. The role has no time limit set to it, though incumbents usually hold the position for three years, which Rooney is approaching.
Appointing ambassadors is at the decision of the current President. Should Obama not get re-elected in November, all ambassadors would be required to resign, though “some are retained by a new administration”.