Catherine Martin


Catherine Martin is the Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. She is only the second woman at cabinet level to oversee sport after a short spell under Mary Hanafin in 2010.

This is the second year she has appeared on our list.

The resilience funding which sporting bodies received over the past two years of the pandemic has been instrumental in giving the entire sector the confidence to carry on and emerge what could so easily have been a devastating blow.

She has overseen the discussions that have obviously taken place at the cabinet level and steered a path for sport through these difficult times, keeping the ambitions of the National Sports Policy on track.

She is Deputy Leader of the Green Party, and served as a Councillor on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council between 2014 and 2016 and was elected to Dáil Eireann in the constituency of her predecessor as Minister, Shane Ross.

As a teacher and a parent, she will be aware of the importance of grassroots sport, and again the financial backing of Sport Ireland contained substantial markers towards this being an important priority.



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?


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