Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media announce Appointments to the Board of Sport Ireland

 23 Jul 2021

Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Announce Appointments to the Board of Sport Ireland

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers T.D., have announced the appointment of the following members to the Board of Sport Ireland: 

1. Ms Michelle Tanner

2. Ms Deirdre Ryan

3. Ms Miriam O’Callaghan

4. Mr Páraic Duffy

Minister Martin said: 

I am delighted to appoint these four new members to the Board of Sport Ireland. They have all demonstrated that they possess skills and expertise which will greatly benefit the work of Sport Ireland in supporting and developing Irish Sport. I wish them well in their roles.” 

Minister Chambers said: 

This is an important time for the sport sector as we continue to see a return to sporting activity following what has been a very challenging period. I believe that each of the four new members will make a valuable contribution to the board in its work to ensure that we retain a strong and vibrant sector as we emerge from the pandemic. I wish each of the new members well in their future work for Irish Sport.” 

The new appointments follow on from an application and shortlisting process run by the Public Appointments Service earlier this year. 

Newly appointed Board members  

Michelle Tanner  

Michelle works as Head of Sport and Recreation in Trinity College Dublin. Her work includes strategic development, profile, management, staffing, resourcing and promotion of sport, infrastructural projects, representation, stakeholder engagement and planning. She has responsibility for a portfolio of 67 acres of outdoor sports and 13,000sqm of indoor sports facilities. She has led on projects from inception to completion at various scales, including the acquisition, design and development of key sporting facilities at Trinity College. 

She is an active Board and committee member, holding officer positions within Student Sport Ireland spanning a 16-year period and has been involved in Volleyball Ireland in an advisory capacity. She is a current member of the World University Sports Federation (FISU) Gender Equality Working Group and she was the first Irish and first female President of the European Network of Academic Sports Services (ENAS). She has been a member of 3 European Union (EU) Expert Groups, executing the EU Work Plan for Sport, and has attended and presented at many of the annual EU Sports Forums and related events. She has a recent post graduate qualification in Governance and an MBA in Sports Management.

Michelle is a former international volleyball player with the Irish Senior Team.

Deirdre Ryan  

Deirdre is Director of Sustainability and Quality Assurance (Origin Green) in Bord Bia where she is responsible for the management and development of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance programmes with 54,000 farmer and producer members and 300 Origin Green company members. As a member of Bord Bia’s Senior Leadership Team, she contributes to the ongoing corporate governance and budgetary management of the organisation, with a particular focus on the Quality Assurance Board. Prior to 2020 she was Head of Corporate Social Responsibility with Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland and Interim Head of Communications. 

Deirdre was an international high-jumper with 13 years’ experience competing on the senior international stage of sport. She was an Irish Olympian at London 2012 and has competed at multiple European and World Championships, culminating in a 5th place position at the 2011 World Championship in Daegu. She holds the standing Irish Record of 1.95cm. 

Miriam O’Callaghan  

Miriam has been a Senior HR Executive and Project Manager with the HSE with over 30 years’ experience in the health services at senior operational level and across various facets of HR, project management & services management. Her expertise includes Hospital and Community Services Management, Employee Relations, Pensions, Recruitment and Project Management. 

She has been a member of a number of state boards – Employment Equality Agency, Broadcasting Complaints Commission, National Sports Campus Authority of Ireland - and is currently serving on CORU’s Physiotherapists Registration Board. 

Miriam has had significant involvement in sport over a long number of years as a player, administrator, referee and coach. She played a central role in the development and implementation of national strategic plans for the Camogie Association and was National President from 2003 -2006. She is currently a member of the Board of Offaly Sports Partnership and has served as Chairperson from 2010 to 2020.

"The management committee and staff of Offaly Sports Partnership wish to congratulate Miriam on her appointment to the Board of Sport Ireland".

Páraic Duffy

Páraic has a lifelong experience of active involvement in sport, as both administrator and participant. From 2008 to 2018 he was Director-General of the GAA. As Director-General he provided a strategic and analytical perspective and developed policies on a wide range of issues for the Association. 

His current roles in Irish sport include President of Ulster Schools GAA; independent member of the board of Ulster GAA; member of the Disputes Resolution Authority and Chairperson of the Judging Panel for the Federation of Irish Sport ‘Volunteers in Sport Awards’. He is Coaching Officer in his local GAA club, Scotstown.

Páraic has extensive board and corporate experience and is a current member of the Institute of Directors. He is currently a director of Enterprising Monaghan and Chairperson of its Strategy Committee. He is also a director of Sport Ireland Facilities DAC.