Walshe Steps Up as FAI Interim CEO

The FAI has promoted Rea Walshe to the role of interim CEO, starting this morning, after John Delaney’s stepping down from the role on Saturday night.

Walshe featured in our Sport for Business 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport last year in her role at the time of Corporate Affairs and Licensing Director.

Last month she was promoted internally to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer and took over a number of key departments as well as overall responsibility for governance.

She had been in charge of the review of that sensitive subject that was published last month and endorsed as a positive step forward by Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

She will continue to oversee the implementation of the changes suggested in that report regardless of the change in the plate on her desk.

Walshe graduated with a law degree from UCC in 2003 and then advanced her trade with Greene Solicitors in Dublin for four years.

Her next move brought her to Liberty Insurance where the headquarters in Blanchardstown could, at a stretch have given here a view of the FAI’s new Headquarters on the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.

She joined the Association in May of 2014 as Head of Legal and Licensing, stepping up to Corporate Affairs and Licensing Director in April 2018.

When she joined the Association she took over the legal reins from Sarah O’Shea who had herself stepped up into the role of Deputy CEO and is now the Honorary General Secretary of the Olympic Federation of Ireland and a Governance consultant in demand across the sporting spectrum.

Walshe will be a contender for the permanent position and will likely be part of the delegation heading to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport next month.

There will be a formal and transparent process to make a permanent appointment and strong names including Noel Mooney of UEFA have already been put into the frame.

For the time being though the job in safe hands with Walshe backed up by a number of new appointees in recent months including Mark Russell who joined as Commercial Director in 2018, Karen Campion who stepped up to the role of Director of Business Partnerships and Strategy, Cathal Dervan who joined as Director of Public Relations and Communications only weeks ago and Alex O’Connell the incoming Director of Finance starting early next month as well.

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