Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

18.45 20 Jul 2021


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Former Government Minister Dermot Ahern has been appointed chair of the FAI's National Leagues Committee.

The committee oversees the running both the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland and the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

Ahern served as Minister for Justice and Law Reform under Brian Cowen from 2008-2011, was Bertie Ahern's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

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His football background is with Rock Celtic, for whom he's been a player, manager and committee member.

Meanwhile, Sally Horrox has been confirmed as the chair of the Women’s Football Strategic Committee.

Horrox is managing partner of Y Sport, who have clients like UEFA, the FA and the FIGC (Italian Football Federation).

The Bristol native has played a key part in the expansion of the FA Women's Super League, coupled with its securing of lucrative media rights deals.

Addressing the appointments, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said, "On behalf of all the staff I want to wish Sally, Dermot and all our chairs the very best of luck with their roles.

"I can promise all our committees that the staff and the Association will support them to the very best of our ability for the betterment of our game.

"I know the experience offered by the chairs of all 10 Committees, Football and Business, will really benefit the Association and all our stakeholders.”

Ahern said, “I am delighted to take up this role, particularly given my own football background.

"If it wasn’t for football and campaigning on behalf of the fledgling Rock Celtic all those years ago, it is fair to say I would never have entered politics so this appointment feels absolutely right for me.

"As a passionate League of Ireland supporter, I am excited by the potential of the League and the Women’s National League as our committee continues to support professional and elite level football in Ireland.

"I am excited by this role and look forward to working with all the League of Ireland and Women’s National League clubs to develop and improve our Leagues for all involved, on and off the pitch.”

While Horrox echoed those sentiments, adding, "We will work with the whole football family - the girls and women that want to play, the coaches, clubs, fans and all other stakeholders that want to support and get involved in this great game.

"The potential to grow women’s football at all levels in Ireland is huge and I look forward to the challenge ahead, with confidence that my experience in football and women’s sport will make a real difference.”

FAI Committee chairs: 

Football Committees
International and High Performance: Packie Bonner
National Leagues: Dermot Ahern
Amateur & Youth: John Finnegan
Underage: Tom Browne
Women’s Football Strategic: Sally Horrox

Business Committees
Commercial: Gary Twohig
Exec. Performance and Remuneration Committee: Liz Joyce
Governance Committee: Catherine Guy
Nominations: Gerry McAnaney
Audit, Risk, Compliance and Finance: Robert Watt

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