Sport for Business, in partnership with Liberty Insurance, has begun the publication of our 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.
If Cora Staunton was a man there would be statues built of her in every corner of the country. There should be regardless.
Two weeks ago she was the star of the show, kicking the winning point as the clock ticked down on the first Lidl Ladies Football National League game to be played at Croke Park.
At the age of 35 she is entering into her 23rd season of competitive action for Mayo, a record unlikely ever to come close to being beaten. She made her senior inter county debut at the age of 13 and has won four All Ireland titles for her County as well as five for her club Carnacon.
Hers is an astonishing level of competition but also of sheer talent. She holds ten All Star Awards and also plays to a high standard in soccer and rugby.
As a role model for sticking with sport and inspiring those around her and those following her into the team she is without compare.
Sky Sports recognised this when inviting her to become an ambassador for their Living for Sport initiative, a role she combines with her day job as a liaison officer with the HSE.
She is also a regular contributor to events aimed at encouraging sport at every level and recently took part in a Mayo Sports partnership gathering to discuss the place in sport of young girls and in a history talk as part of the St Patricks Festival in Dublin.
She’s some woman for one women and deserving of being the first athlete to join our list of the Most Influential Women in Irish Sport in 2017.
Mary Davis, Special Olympics
Sonia O’Sullivan, Olympian
Sinead Galvin, Galvin Sports Management
Louise Kidd, AIG Insurance
Ellen Keane, Paralympian
Siobhan Earley, Gaelic Players Association
Maeve Buckley, Line Up Sports
Suzanne Eade, Horse Racing Ireland
Sinead Heraty, Irish Ladies Golf Union
Sinead Kissane, Journalist at TV3
Irene Gowing and Sorcha Fennell Sheehan, Bord Gais Energy
Jo Donnellan, Sponsorship Manager at Heineken
Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer Three Ireland
Sarah O’Connor, Head of Sport at Wilson Hartnell
Georgina Drumm, President at Athletics Ireland
Sue Ronan, Head of Women’s Football at FAI
Fiona Hampton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ulster Rugby
Karen Campion, Head of Business Partnerships at FAI
Miriam Malone, CEO at Paralympics Ireland
Cliona Foley, Journalist
Cliona O’Leary, Head of TV Sport at RTÉ
Edel McCarthy, Sponsorship Manager Electric Ireland
Lisa Browne, Head of Marketing Electric Ireland
Sarah O’Shea, Honorary General Secretary at Olympic Council of Ireland
Helen O’Rourke, CEO at Ladies Gaelic Football Association
Kelli O’Keefe, Teneo PSG
Jennifer Gleeson, Sponsorship Manager at Diageo
Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport
Carol McMahon, Ulster Bank
Deirdre Ashe, Liberty Insurance
Sian Gray, Head of Marketing at Lidl
Roisin Glynn, Social media Manager at AIB
Michelle Tanner, Head of Sport at Trinity College
Gemma Bell, Sponsorship Manager at Bank of Ireland
Tracey Kennedy, Chair Cork County GAA Board
Katie Taylor, World Champion Boxer
Joy Neville, Referee
Niamh O’Donoghue, FAI Board Member
Joan O’Flynn, CEO Camogie Association
Lindsay Peat, Rugby Player
Annalise Murphy, Olympian Sailor
Dee Forbes, Director General at RTÉ
Emma Byrne, Footballer
Fiona Coghlan, Grand Slam Rugby Winning Captain
Dr Una May, Head of Participation at Sport Ireland
Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone
Cora Staunton, Ladies Gaelic Footballer
Sarah Keane, President Olympic Council of Ireland
Jessica Harrington, racehorse trainer and Irish Times Sportswoman of 2017