BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Clare McGrath

Clare McGrath

Chairperson

Clare is a lifelong member of Water Safety Ireland and Swim Ireland. Having served on the Swim Ireland Munster Regional Executive in various roles including Secretary and Treasurer. She was Swim Ireland President 2009/2010. I was a Swim Ireland board member from 2012 to 2014 and served as Chairman to the SI board from 2014-2019. As Chairman of the Board, Clare played a very active role in the organisation, ensuring strong governance and good practice.

She is currently a member of the board of Water Safety Ireland, for a 5 year term and appointed as Chairman of the Lifesaving Sport Commission, responsible for all Regional and National competitions, National squads and International teams.

Clare is an international “A” Referee for lifesaving sport and has been invited to be Chief Referee and Deputy Chief Referee at World and European Championships, and European Junior Championships. Acting as director of competitions, for the, very successful, European Junior Lifesaving Championships, held here in Ireland in September 2018. She currently works with Clare County Council, Environment Team as Water Safety Development Officer. Her remit is all items relating to the beaches, supervision of beach lifeguards, blue flags, beach trading licences, beach byelaws.

Peter O’Brien

Peter O’Brien

Peter has held a number of senior positions in the youth, community and voluntary sector. He has a diploma in management from the Smurfit Business School at University College Dublin and was Director of Dun Laoghaire Youth Service until 2001. He became involved with Special Olympics Ireland as a volunteer before joining the management team of the 2003 World Games as Director of Support Services with responsibility for volunteers, families and the Host Town programme. Peter was appointed by the government in 2002 as Chairman of the National Children’s Advisory Council to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Strategy.

In 2004 he joined Special Olympics Ireland as Director of Support Services and member of their management team before taking a career break on his appointment as P.A. to the Minister for Social and Family Affairs and subsequently P.A. to the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. Peter returned to Special Olympics Ireland in 2011 as Director of Training and Volunteers with additional responsibility for Safeguarding until his retirement in 2020. He continues his interest in disability sports as a member of the Leadership Council of Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia and as a volunteer with his local Special Olympics club. A former rugby player, Peter coaches disability rugby at his club Seapoint RC where he is a member of the executive filling the role as the Club Welfare Officer and currently the Club Covid19 Safety Officer.

Peter is a member of a number of committees in the Irish Rugby Football Union including Disability Rugby and the Spirit of Rugby. He is Chairman of the IRFU Safeguarding Working Group for Mini and Youth Rugby. As a former Mandated Person and National Children’s Officer for Special Olympics Ireland he is a Safeguarding Tutor with Sport Ireland.

Maeve Buckley

Maeve Buckley

Director of Sports Marketing Agency, Line Up (Sports Media Entertainment)

Maeve has had an impact on the sports sponsorship industry over a long period, and has worked with iconic teams and major projects such as Ryder Cup, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC. She has a deep understanding of the European and Irish sport industry, and works on strategic development with national governing bodies and European/international federations. Maeve was previously a Board Member of the National Sports Campus, and was voted one of the Most Influential Women in Sport. She holds an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid and has a BA (Hons) degree from UCC.

Fergal Carruth

Fergal Carruth

(CEO, Irish Athletic Boxing Association)

Fergal was appointed CEO for the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) in 2013. He holds a BBus Honours degree in Business and Strategic Procurement and has extensive managerial experience in the private sector ranging from SME’s to Multi-Nationals. Fergal has been involved in the sport of boxing from grass roots up to board level. He was a National Intermediate Champion and a Senior International. Prior to taking up his role as CEO he was the IABA Company Secretary for almost two years. He has overseen the drafting of the IABA’s strategic plan 2017-2020 and is largely responsible for its implementation.

Mary McMorrow

Mary McMorrow

(Operations Manager, Swim Ireland)

Mary McMorrow is Operations Manager with Swim Ireland, a position she has held for three years. She is also Company Secretary for the organisation and was one of the key drivers behind the organisation’s adoption of the Governance Code. Prior to working in sport, she worked as a Sales Manager in the FMCG Sector. She holds an M.Sc. in Business and HR.

John Holian

John Holian

(Finance Director, Athletics Ireland)

John Holian has been Finance Director with Athletics Ireland since February 2006. He was educated at St Jarlath’s College in Tuam and is a Commerce graduate of NUI Galway. He qualified as an accountant in London in 1988 and returned to Dublin in 1992 to become General Manager of a cinema company.  He completed a Masters in Sport Management from UCD in 2015.

John has been a key member of the Athletics Ireland team that has grown membership from 20,000 to 56,000, hosted the European Cross Country and European Athletics Team Championships and managed their Recreational Events programme that covered 15 events and 60,000 participants.

John enjoys running in the Dublin City Marathon for his local Dunboyne Athletic Club, helping his wife manage Ratoath Childcare and attending the odd horse race meeting. He has been Chairperson of Meath Local Sports Partnership since 2013 and was appointed to the Board as Treasurer in 2015.

Tom O' Mahony

Tom O' Mahony

Tom O’ Mahony retired from the position of Secretary General of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in 2015, following a career of over 40 years across a number of Government Departments.  He holds Masters degrees in both economics and public administration.

Leo Gibson

Leo Gibson

Director, Rowing Ireland

Leo Gibson has over thirty years experience in advising over 1,200 start-ups. Following a business degree from UCD, he worked in accountancy and management consultancy with two big five firms in Dublin where he developed expertise in HR Management and Manufacturing Systems. He then set up a consultancy company which specialised in enterprise and sales training and consultancy.
On going to UCD, he took up rowing and rowed in the College Senior 8 in 1975 and 76. he then took up sculling and was top ranked lightweight sculler nationally in late 1979 and subsequently competed internationally in Germany, UK, Egypt and Switzerland. In 1981, having been Honorary Secretary of the Rowing Union for two years, he set up the Irish Lightweight Rowing Squad with John Holland as coach. He carried out a structural review of the IARU which led to the development of a series of sub-committees which proved to be central to the growing success of Irish rowing both domestically and internationally.
He also established the Leinster Branch of the IARU as a permanent working organization rather than something which simply held an AGM each year to elect its provincial representatives to the IARU. In the mid 1990’s, he revamped the structure of Veteran/Masters rowing with a new rule structure which allowed different age crews to compete side by side using a handicap system which considerably increased the number of crews competing at this level.

Enda Lynch

Enda Lynch

Head of Enterprise, Munster Rugby

Enda Lynch is a commercial and sponsorship veteran with some of Ireland’s leading brands. Enda’s current role oversees a new business venture for Munster Rugby, the High-Performance Leadership programme, in partnership with University of Limerick.
Previously Enda was Head of Commercial & Marketing with Munster Rugby overseeing all revenue generation and marketing for the organisation for over five years. Prior to that, he was a sponsorship expert, working across a number of sponsorships such as the Irish Rugby team sponsorship, The O2, GAA All-Stars, Ferrari team sponsorship, Champions League etc. for brands both domestically and internationally for over 12 years including O2, Vodafone and Digicel.

Graham Russell

Graham Russell

Head of Sport, Louth County Council

Graham is the Head of Sport in Louth County Council, a role he has held since 2014, which includes the management of Louth Local Sports Partnership. He graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1996 with a degree in Leisure Management and has 30 years experience working in the Sports and leisure industry. He managed various sporting and community facilities in Dublin and Louth, between 2002 and 2014.

In 2009 Graham was appointed to the Board of Louth Local Sports Partnership. In 2014, he was tasked with restructuring the provision of sports services in Louth to incorporate the Local Sports Partnership into an integrated Sports Unit. This unique structure has increased Louth Local Sports Partnership’s capacity to deliver by ensuring a more effective and efficient delivery of the Sports Units remit.

An advocate for the provision of sustainable sporting and physical activity opportunities for people of all abilities, Graham has overseen the development of a range of accessible facilities, with inclusive staff and a wide range a inclusive opportunities that have created a culture of inclusivity. Widely acknowledged for their inclusive culture, the Sports Unit and Local Sports Partnership in Louth have received several National awards for their integrated approach to the provision of services and opportunities for people with disabilities.

In 2019, Graham was appointed to the Board of the Federation and represents the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships.

Sinead McNulty

Sinead McNulty