US President George W Bush has announced that he intends to nominate a prominent Chicago businessman, James C Kenny, as the United States Ambassador to Ireland.

This follows a gap of several months in which the post was left vacant following the retirement of Ambassador Richard Egan.

Democrats on Capitol Hill had complained to the administration about the failure to fill the job.

Mr Kenny will now have to attend US Senate hearings to confirm his nomination.

James Casey Kenny is Vice President of the Kenny Construction Company in Wheeling, Illinois.

He currently serves on the Illinois First Task Force, appointed by Governor Ryan.

He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Bradley University, Children's Memorial Hospital, and Illinois Business Roundtable.

Former President George Bush appointed Mr Kenny to the National Corporation for Housing Partnerships.

He has been a finanical supporter for the Bush election campaign, and was a delegate to the Convention that nominated him as candidate.