Miriam Malone is to be the new CEO of Paralympics Ireland. She will take up her new role in May having served for 11 years at the FAI as Business Partnerships Director and a member of the senior management team.
Prior to that Malone headed up Kilkenny Local Sports Partnership, and also worked for Special Olympics in a development role. She takes on the role from Liam Harbison who left last month to take on the role of Director of the Institute of Sport.
They are big shoes to fill but Malone is a great appointment. She has proven experience in drawing people together and getting them working for the common good.
A confident operator Malone represented the FAI at a number of Sport for Business events and was also the key driver between the FAI’s Community programmes and Stakeholder Conference linking together the different elements of grassroots football.
She began her career with the FAI as the Unit Manager of the FAI Grassroots Programme and in 2008 she was promoted to the role of Technical Department Manager responsible for the implementation process of the Technical Development Plan.
Over her time she developed strong relationships with Sport Ireland, Local Authorities, UEFA and FIFA.
This led to her appointment to the position of Business Partnerships Manager in August 2013, where she focused on strategic planning and increasing Sports Development participation, assessing future funding applications and managing major funding relationships.
There are certainly challenges to be faced, not least of which will be Ireland’s hosting of the 2018 European Paralympic Swimming Championships at the National Sports Campus.
She will also have to develop the commercial proposition that Harbison and Patrick Haslett have crafted over the last two Paralympic cycles and strike up a winning relationship with key partner Allianz.
“I am honoured to take on the role of CEO for Paralympics Ireland, ” said Malone yesterday.
“I look forward to repaying the trust shown to me by the board recruitment and se-lection committee.”
“I believe that Paralympics Ireland is an important part of the Irish sporting landscape. I know that with Liam Harbison at the helm for the last number of years it has grown greatly, and had a very successful Paralympics Games in London and Rio.”
“One of the challenges for me and all the staff will be to maintain that trajectory of growth, progression and recognition for the athletes.”
“I hope to bring my experience from the FAI and other organisations to this position and I also look forward to learning from the wealth of experience in Paralympics Ireland.”
“I am really looking forward to working with the board, staff and athletes as well as members, and the various partners of Paralympics Ireland as we embark on the next phase of the journey”.
“My focus will be on continuing development of this well-established organisation, and to prepare for hosting the 2018 Para-Swimming European Championships in Dublin, and of course the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020”.
Malone’s appointment continues a strong vein of change within the leadership of the Olympic and Paralympic movements with Sarah Keane and Sarah O’Shea elected to become President and Honorary Secretary of the Olympic Council of Ireland last month.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Miriam on board,” said Paralympics Ireland President Jimmy Gradwell.
“We were overwhelmed by the interest in the role and are so pleased to have someone of Miriam’s calibre and extensive experience in the sector leading us into Tokyo and beyond.”
“There is a lot of work on the horizon not least the Para Athletics World Championships in London this Summer and the inaugural Para Swimming World series which kicks off in March. Furthermore, after winning the bid recently we’re set to host the 2018 Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin next Summer so that is a huge focus for us.”
FAI CEO John Delaney paid warm tribute to Malone as the news broke.
“I would like to thank Miriam for her many years of dedication and loyalty to the Association. She has brought with her professionalism and expertise that will be sorely missed at this level.”
“On behalf of everyone, I’d like to wish Miriam many years of success as CEO at Paralympics Ireland, the next natural progression in her career.”