Thursday 20 June 2019

Padraic joins board of Sport Ireland

Minister said boccia champion will bring invaluable knowledge

Padraic Moran and service dog Gail
Padraic Moran and service dog Gail

Mary Fogarty

Bray man Padraic Moran has been appointed to the Board of Sport Ireland.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross announced this week that three new members would be appointed to the board.

Along with Avoca Drive man Padraic, Olive Loughnane and Roger O'Connor are the other new members.

Padraic is a two-time Paralympian and a former world champion in the sport of boccia. With over 20 years national and international competitive experience, he has a wealth of knowledge across the sports disability sector.

Apart from extensive experience in existing disciplines, more recently he has been assisting in developing power chair football within Ireland. He has worked with Youth Sport Trust UK and is currently working with East Coast FM and Sky Ireland.

'It was a difficult interview process,' said Padraic, who received mentoring from Gavin Duffy prior to the interview.

Hundreds applied and only eight people made the shortlist. Padraic said that Senator John Dolan and Ciaran Delaney had spoken to the minister about including representation for people with disabilities on the board.

Padraic said that the role will mean giving people with disabilities a voice within Sport Ireland, and he will also focus on inclusivity for all.

'Commitment-wise I want to achieve something within my term,' said Padraic. 'I'm not going to just sit there and make up the numbers. I'm looking forward to the challenge - it's a great opportunity.'

Race-walker Olive Loughnane from Cork has represented Ireland at four consecutive Olympic games and is also a statistician in the CSO. Roger O'Connor is CFO of the Curragh racecourse.

The athlete and broadcaster attended government buildings earlier this year when in February he addressed a joint committee of the Oireachtas on access to public transport for people with disabilities and said that decreasing the notice period from 24 hours to four hours is not sufficient.

He has been highlighting issues with public transport for people who use a wheelchair and has previously met Minister Ross to discuss those matters.

'I sought candidates with specific skills and experience in the areas of finance, disability advocacy and an involvement in sport,' said the minister, on the sports appointments.

'Each of the three people I am appointing bring excellent skills and a breadth of knowledge and experience which will be invaluable to the work of Sport Ireland in supporting and developing Irish sport.'

Bray People