Women in Sport 2017 – Niamh O’Donoghue

Sport for Business, in partnership with Liberty Insurance, is publishing our third annual list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Irish Sport.

This is not about Women’s sport, it is about the influence that women are wielding across all sport.  We will identify leaders on and off the field of play.  They will include those who are role models in terms of their abilities on and off the field of play.  They will come from teams and individual sports, from sponsorship partners, from the media, from the administrative corridors of power and from places where influence may be subtle but no less powerful.

Niamh O’Donoghue 

At the 2017 AGM of the FAI, it was announced that Niamh O’Donoghue has become the first woman appointed to the FAI Board of Management.

The current chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee, O’Donoghue has been hugely influential in Irish football over the past three decades as she was part of the organising team for the UEFA Under 16 European Championships in 1994 and has helped to drive women’s football on to a new level.

Involved in football administration as a volunteer since the early 1980’s, O’Donoghue was elected as chair of the Ladies Football Association (subsequently renamed the Women’s Football Association of Ireland, WFAI) and joined the FAI National Council in 1991 when the LFAI achieved formal recognition from the FAI.

With that appointment, O’Donoghue became the first woman to be appointed to the FAI Council. She has served in both capacities ever since, in addition to playing a pivotal role on various committees, appeal boards and working groups under the aegis of the FAI.

As part of the process that saw the WFAI dissolved and women’s football integrated within the FAI by the creation of the Women’s Football Committee, the Association gave the commitment to appoint its chairperson to the FAI Board by 2018.

That commitment has now been honoured and it is fitting that O’Donoghue should be in place to become the first woman to join that top table group.

She used her speech in Kilkenny to press for further advances in equality.

As Secretary General of the Department of Social protection she has long been recognised for her talents as an individual in a wider world and she will remain one of the strongest voices for Women’s Sport in Ireland and one of the finest examples of how Women can achieve recognition in administration through talent

See the others in our list of the most Influential Women in Irish Sport including Joan O’FlynnLindsay PeatAnnalise MurphyDee ForbesEmma ByrneFiona CoghlanDr Una MayAnne O’LearyCora Staunton, Sarah Keane and Jessica Harrington

Save the Date of Thursday November 30th for our Third Annual Women in Sport Conference taking place at the Fitzgerald Chamber in UCD.  Find out more here

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