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Irish Huawei boss dies suddenly in China

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Prominent Irish businessman Joe Kelly has died in Shenzhen, China.

Kelly, from Letterkenny in Co Donegal, was the vice president of corporate communications for telecom giant Huawei.

Kelly, 55, is married to his wife, Una. The couple has two children, Aidan and Junan.

He grew up in a family home in Wolfton Place, Glencar.

The family lived in China but planned to build a house in the garden. Kelly’s mother is from Glensville. His father was from Oldtown in Letterkenny.

Kelly joined the Letterkenny Post Office in 1980 and left in 1987, graduating in 1992 with a degree in Media Studies from the University of Ulster.

He then moved to London, where he worked as a journalist for several publications covering business and technology.

He eventually moved on to corporate communication with some of the world’s most famous technology companies, such as Xerox, Marconi and BT.

Kelly flew from London to China in 2012 before moving to Huawei.


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Due to the busy time and distance, Kelly did not return home as much as she would like, but kept in touch through social media.

In a recent interview, he said living far away from home has deprived him of clean air, speed of life, people and the scenery of Donegal.

“Donegal is a place you have to give up to be fully appreciated,” he said.

When asked what Donegal’s best is, Kelly said it’s undeniably people: “You always get a warm welcome, no matter where you go or how far away you are.”

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