Minister announces new ISC Board Members

September 18, 2009

The new members will serve with the Council for a period of five years. Olympic Council Executive Member, and Sports Lawyer, Susan Ahern is one of the new appointments.

Congratulating the new appointees, Minister Cullen said: “Sport contributes enormously to the social, cultural, health and economic life of this country.

Sport also contributes nationally and internationally in enhancing our Irishness and plays a powerful part in our confidence as a nation. I wish the new members of the Irish Sports Council, all recognised as committed and talented individuals with a proven interest and track record in sport, every success during their term of office.

I am sure all the board members will continue the development work of the Council and meet the challenges of the future with confidence.”

Minister Cullen also said: “I would like to pay tribute to the retiring Sports Council members, Dr Tom Moriarty, Ms Marian McGennis, Mr Maurice Ahern, Ms Mary Davis, Mr Peter McLoone, Mr Tony McCarthy and Ms Tracy Piggott who have played significant roles in the Council over the last 10 years.”

The ISC has received over €314 million in Government funding since its establishment in July 1999. Its funding allocation from the Department for 2009 is almost €52m. The Irish Sports Council consists of a Chairperson and 10 ordinary members. The Chairperson of the ISC is Mr Ossie Kilkenny and the three current ordinary members are Mr Brian Mullins, Mr Michael Spain and Mr Colm Brennan.

The seven new appointments to the Irish Sports Council announced today are as follows: (Biographical notes below)

1. Ms Susan Ahern, Sports Lawyer. Executive Committee member, Olympic Council of Ireland

2. Mr John Byrne, Director of Special Projects with the Football Association of Ireland

3. Mr Eamonn Coghlan, 3-time Olympian and world championship-winning athlete

4.Ms Ginny Elliott, British Equestrian Champion, High Performance Manager of the Irish Eventing Team

5. Mr Jim Glennon, Former Irish rugby international, Chairman, Edelman Ireland

6. Ms Frances Kavanagh, President of the Federation of Irish Sport.Director of Sport for Special Olympics Ireland, Chairperson of the International Sports Rules Advisory Committee

7. Ms Sheila O’Flanagan, 25 year career in Banking and Finance. Director of Badminton Ireland specialising in strategic planning.



Biographical Notes

Susan Ahern
Susan Ahern is a sports lawyer by profession. She was elected to the Olympic Council of Ireland Executive Committee in 2005. Susan represented Ireland in volleyball and was President of the Volleyball Association of Ireland from 1999-2003, overseeing a time of rapid organisational development.

John Byrne
John Byrne is Director of Special Projects with the Football Association of Ireland where his main area of responsibility is the development of the soccer infrastructure. He was formerly Planning and Development Manager with the Association and was acting Director of the League of Ireland during the merger process between the League of Ireland and the FAI. He was one of the main authors of the FAI’s Strategy Document “One Game, One Association”. He played an essential role in the development of the FAI Club Licensing System and served on the UEFA’s Club Licensing Panel from 2001 to 2004. He served on the Board and Council of the FAI and was a member of the management committee and Board of Control of the League of Ireland. He has served at all levels of administration at Local, Provincial and National level.

Eamonn Coghlan
Eamonn Coghlan is a 3-time Olympian and world championship-winning athlete. His medals record include Gold in the 5000m at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, Gold in the 5000m at the 1981 World Cup in Rome, Silver in the 1500m at the 1978 European Championships in Prague and Gold in the 1500m at the 1979 European Indoor Championships in Vienna. He is three times World record holder for the indoor mile and he is the first and still the only man over 40 to run a sub-four minute mile. He is a former Board member of the Irish Institute of Sport and he is a member of the Board of the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. He is a regular panellist on RTÉ for athletics programmes and is presently coaching young Irish international athletes who have aspirations of competing in the 2012 London Olympics.

Ginny Elliot
Virginia Helen Antoinette Holgate (MBE), also known as Ginny Elliot, is a British equestrian. She won several national and international titles, including three individual European Championships; one individual World Championship; three times winner of the Badminton Horse Trials and winner of the Burghley Horse Trials a record five times. She has won two Silver and two Bronze Olympic medals and a total of eleven Four Star Championships. Since the 1980s, she has written several books. Ginny Elliott remains an avid supporter and contributor to the sport of eventing and she is currently (2009) High Performance Manager of the Irish Eventing Team.

Jim Glennon
Jim Glennon is Chairman of the Irish arm of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations consultancy, with offices in over 50 countries. Having been elected to Seanad Eireann in 2000 on the Industrial and Commercial panel, he was elected to Dáil Eireann in 2002 and from then to 2007, he was vice-chairman of the Oireachtas Committee for Arts, Sport and Tourism. He has worked with Edelman in their Public and Sporting Affairs departments since his retirement from politics prior to the 2007 election. Formerly an Irish rugby international, for over twenty years he served as player, coach and finally manager of Leinster. He also managed Ireland under 19s and under 21s. He is also a long-established media analyst on the game in both broadcast and print media.

Frances Kavanagh
Frances Kavanagh is President of the Federation of Irish Sport. She is the Director of Sport for Special Olympics Ireland and also served as Director of Sport and Competition for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, responsible for the planning and implementation of all sport technical elements for the successful hosting of the largest sporting event ever to take place on the island of Ireland. This included overseeing the provision of 20 sports in 21 competition venues for 7,000 delegation members. She has served on many committees and boards representing Special Olympics at national. European and international level and currently chairs the International Sports Rules Advisory Committee.

Sheila O’Flanagan
Sheila O’Flanagan had a 25-year career in Banking & Finance and 10 years as a financial opinion and analysis contributor with the Irish Times. She has been a Director of Badminton Ireland for the past ten years specialising in Strategic Planning. She was instrumental in moving Badminton Ireland to a limited company and played a major role in introducing the strategic planning process. She represented Leinster and Ireland in badminton at veteran level and still plays competitively. She is also a best-selling author of contemporary women’s fiction.

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