The Swim Ireland CEO was elected on Thursday night
Sarah Keane was named as the new President of the Olympic Council of Ireland on Thursday night, after a decisive victory in the election to replace Pat Hickey.
Keane, the Swim Ireland CEO won 29 votes, compared to 12 for Willie O'Brien and two for Bernard O'Byrne. She become the first woman to lead the Olympic movement in Ireland.
Speaking to the press after her election, Keane said that her election to the role of President, along with other new appointees to the OCI Executive Committee gave the Association a bright future.
"What you're seeing tonight is a lot of people with a lot of different expertise to offer. That's what Irish sport needs. You're seeing that across the organisations, in terms of term limits and independent directors... I think that's just good for sport."
"For me this is a team effort. There's a board and a staff. I hope other people who did not get elected tonight will come and still be involved and offer their services to Irish Olympic sport because we need good people, and people who are willing to offer their time."
Voting for OCI President break down.— Team Ireland (@olympiccouncil) February 9, 2017
Sarah Keane 29 -ELECTED
Willie O'Brien 12
Bernard O’Byrne 2
After a tumultuous 2016 for the Olympic Council, Keane added that the Association need to gain the respect once more of the general public.
"The movement has been through a very difficult time over the last six months. We now have got to look forward and do it bit by bit. We have got to be honest and direct, address our challenges and work together. There are so many talented people in Irish sport and we have to do good by them."
As CEO of Swim Ireland, Keane will split her time between both bodies, beginning with a Committee meeting on Friday by conference call. She added she was looking forward to the challenge.
"I absolutely love sport. I love every type of sport. I think think that every child, woman and man in this country should have an opportunity to play some form of sport. From my perspective, I'm happy to give my time to that. I work a lot with volunteers so I'm happy to show I can be a volunteer as well and do my bit on the board of the Olympic Council."
Keane becomes the first OCI President since Pat Hickey was elected in 1989. She used her election to praise the work Mr. Hickey had done for Ireland on the international stage.
"Pat has delivered on the international stage and has done a lot for Irish Olympic sport."