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Fran Rooney

FORMER Baltimore Technologies tycoon, FAI boss and practising legal eagle Fran Rooney still has some skin in the tech game and a major company launch on the way.

Rooney started out as a public servant in the Eighties, training as an accountant and taking a degree in computer science in his spare time.

He did a stint in banking, but it was when he got hooked in with financier Dermot Desmond that his career really took off. Desmond acquired Baltimore Technologies in 1996 and Rooney became chief executive. Under his stewardship it went from being a tiny entity with six staff to a FTSE 100 company listed on the Nasdaq and valued at €7bn, and made Rooney a multi-millionaire.

The dotcom bust did for it, however, and it lost 90 per cent of its previously soaring share price by 2001. Rooney became Football Association of Ireland boss in 2003, but moved on 18 months later.

He was chairman of mobile software firm Vimio when it listed on the AIM in 2005. He also chaired Ice Broadband. Run by his daughter, it was liquidated with debts of €1.8m.

He is now a junior counsel, working on commercial and civil litigation and some criminal case work. He's currently involved in a sports-related suit. He's president of Sport Law International, a group of lawyers that provide legal services to sports people.

Rooney is preparing to launch a new company with an eight-figure investment later this year (see page one).

He had a small share in Norkom and some other technology ventures and is eyeing up egaming opportunities.

Ahead of Ireland's Euro 2012 match against Italy tomorrow, he's hopeful that the team can put on a good performance, "especially for the fans. After tomorrow night we'll have to look to the future, there's a massive rebuilding programme ahead."

Sunday Indo Business