“Sport has the capacity to unite and excite the whole country like nothing else and the Olympic Games remains the biggest sporting event of them all. London 2012 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of Ireland to experience the Olympics up close and I want to ensure that Ireland does not miss out on this unique occasion”, Minister O’Donoghue said.
The group to be chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism, Philip Furlong, has been asked to examine all possible opportunities, identify the priority areas of interest and map out a strategy to ensure that Ireland will benefit from its proximity to London in 2012.
“Aside from the obvious benefits that London 2012 may bring for Ireland in terms of tourism, culture and business, this event has the potential to have a significant and long-term impact on the future of sport in Ireland, but only if early planning is undertaken and opportunities are recognised and are fully availed of. London 2012, will allow the people of Ireland to experience the excitement of the Olympic Games at close quarters. This creates a potential for raising enthusiasm and an appetite for sport in people, particularly the young and in this way our proximity to the world’s largest sporting event in 2012 could produce a lasting legacy”,Minister O’Donoghue concluded.
The members of the new Olympics task force are :
Philip Furlong (Chair) – Secretary General of the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism
Gillian Bowler – Businesswoman & Chair of Fáilte Ireland
Olive Braiden – Chair, Arts Council
Des Casey – former Honorary Secretary of the FAI & UEFA Life Member
Anne Ebbs – Secretary General of the Paralympic Council of Ireland
John Fitzgerald – former Dublin City Manager
Dan Flinter – former Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland & Chair of the Athens Review
Pat Hickey – President of the Olympic Council of Ireland & President of the European Olympic Committees
Seán Kelly – Executive Chairman of the Irish Institute of Sport
Ossie Kilkenny – Chair of the Irish Sports Council
Noel Murphy – former President of IRFU & IRB Council Member
Mícheáil Ó Suilleabháin – Chair of Culture Ireland
Paul O’Toole – Chief Executive Tourism Ireland
Peter Quinn – Businessman & former President of GAA
Ray Rooney – Businessman & former Senior Steward of the Turf Club