Brian P. Burns philanthropist, businessman, and close personal friend of President-elect Donald Trump is a front runner to be Ambassador to Ireland. Florida resident Burns, grandson of Irish immigrants, and his wife Eileen were guests of the Trump family over Thanksgiving at Mar a Lago.
He is a member of the Irish America Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into along with Vice President Joe Biden in 2013.
IrishCentral understands, from a close associate, he is actively seeking the job as Ambassador to Ireland. Ironically, his father was a trusted confidante of Joseph P. Kennedy, father of President JFK.
The Burns family and the Trumps have been close for some time. Before the Republican Primary in Florida, in March, Burns, speaking from Mar a Lago, said Trump was going to be successful.
The Palm Beach Daily News quoted him saying “I’m certain that Donald will take Florida easily, and if Marco (Rubio) comes in third he should give it up, but the problem with him is that he’s stubborn. He’s got no business taking on Trump. When he got in that name-calling fight with Trump they should have sent him home to his mother to wash his mouth out with soap.”
Added his wife, Eileen Burns, “I am totally in love with this man. He’s hoping to take Florida and Ohio and then he’s going all the way. He’s taking back this country and there’s going to be big changes in the way things work in Washington.”
The 80-year-old Burns is a nationally regarded Business Executive, Attorney and Philanthropist. He is the chairman of BF Enterprises, Inc, a publicly owned real estate holding and development company.
A Massachusetts native, he is the fifth of seven children born to John J. Burns and his wife, Alice. Burns traces his roots to County Kerry and is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross. He also graduated from Harvard at the age 23.
He was the leading fundraiser behind the effort to restore the world-famous Marsh’s Library, at St. Patrick’s Close in Dublin, the oldest public library in Ireland. He also founded an American Law Library at University College Cork.
Additionally, Burns has established or donated significantly to many cultural and scholastic institutions. In 1986 he founded The Honorable John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College in memory of his father, who was a prolific lawyer and Joseph P. Kennedy’s attorney and closest advisor.
Works from his renowned personal collection of Irish art have been exhibited at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Yale Center of British Art in New Haven, Connecticut , and the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona.
He was a principal benefactor of the first Irish Famine memorial in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was dedicated in July 1997 by former Irish President Mary Robinson. In 2012 he donated a key Famine-era painting from his collection to Quinnipiac University’s Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, in Connecticut.
He seems a likely frontrunner for the job given his close personal ties to Trump and his stellar Irish record. However, other contenders may well emerge for what is a plum posting usually announced by St. Patrick’s Day.
Here’s a video of Burn’s induction into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2013: