Helen O’Rourke is CEO of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. It is a role she has held since 1997 making her the longest-serving CEO in Irish Sport.

She has been an ever-present on our list and with good reason as every year brought new markers of success for the sport.

It now boasts in excess of 200,000 members and the victory of Meath in the All Ireland Final of 2021 will give renewed impetus to attain the highest levels outside of the more recent heartlands of Dublin and Cork.

O’Rourke came up through the volunteer ranks after playing and then helping to create the first Dublin County Board. She became President of the LGFA in the 1990s and when the decision was taken to appoint the first CEO in 1997 she left her teaching job behind to become a full-time sports administrator.

Long term partnerships with TG4 and Lidl in particular, do not continue to grow by chance and her leadership of a strong internal team has been crucial to the strides made by the sport in player numbers, player welfare, clubs, coverage and attendance over the past two decades.


Check out the others who have so far joined the list right here.




This is the ninth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.

We are proud to do so this year with a new partner in AIG, an organisation that have pledged their commitment to equality in their partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.

They are drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, partnership, storytelling and performance.

We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 per cent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.

The list we will build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.

They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.

Recognition of their contribution is rarely asked for but is fully deserved, and we want your help in identifying those who you feel should be among them.

We will start to publish the first of this year’s list on Sport for Business next week, and share them for all across social media in parallel.

So, who do you think should be on the list for 2021?


“A powerful and influential network of information and collaboration”


Download our latest membership brochure here.

Sport for Business Partners

[logocarousel id=