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Government explain reappointment of Kieran Mulvey as Sport Ireland Chair

Mr. Mulvey is not in breach of Sport Ireland’s two-term board limit, having previously served as Chair of the Irish Sports Council.

Kieran Mulvey.
Kieran Mulvey.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE DEPARTMENT FOR Sport says the reappointment of Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey is not in breach of the two-term limit, as Sport Ireland is considered a separate entity to the Irish Sports Council, whose board Mr. Mulvey previously chaired. 

Mr. Mulvey was last month reappointed to the position by Minister Catherine Martin for a further two years, up to 30 September 2022.

As Sport Ireland is a State body, it must comply with a governance code of practice.

Under this code, it is recommended board members do not serve more than two terms, each a maximum of five years.

Meanwhile, all National Governing Bodies in receipt of state funding from Sport Ireland are required to introduce term limits to their boards by the end of 2021 in order to remain eligible for funding.

Mr. Mulvey was appointed as chairperson of the Irish Sports Council in 2010, and was then appointed to the same role with the newly-formed Sport Ireland in October 2015. 

Sport Ireland was established as an amalgamation of the Irish Sports Council and the National Sports Campus Development Authority.

The Department have confirmed to The42 that Mr. Mulvey is not in breach of the two-term limit in extending his stay to 2022 as Sport Ireland is treated as “a new and separate body” to the Irish Sports Council. 

Minister Catherine Martin has also extended the contract of CEO John Treacy to the end of 2021, citing the upheaval and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I felt it important that the experience and expertise brought by Mr Mulvey as Chairperson and Mr Treacy as CEO are retained to support the sector through the Covid-19 pandemic”, said the minister on 16 October. 

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The Department confirmed to The42 that Mr. Treacy did not undergo any interview process prior to this contract extension. He was due to retire from the role this year, after the Tokyo Olympics as they were initially scheduled. The Olympics have been postponed to 23 July next year.

Mr. Treacy was appointed as CEO of the Irish Sports Council in 1999, and was then appointed as CEO of Sport Ireland upon its formation in 2015. He was initially appointed on an interim basis, and signed a four-year contract for the role in October 2016. 

The Minister has also reappointed Olive Loughnane and Roger O’Connor to the board of Sport Ireland for a second term, while Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh has been appointed to the board for the first time. 

Sport Ireland yesterday announced an €85 million funding package for Irish sports bodies as they respond to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Gavin Cooney

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