THE Football Association of Ireland has today elected Cork's Gerry McAnaney to the role of President and Paul Cooke as Vice-President at a virtual EGM which also saw the inauguration of the new General Assembly to replace the FAI Council as the Association continues real Governance reform ahead of its Centenary.
Gerry McAnaney and Paul Cooke will now serve as President and Vice-President on two-year terms while Roy Barrett was re-elected as Chairperson by the 141 strong General Assembly delegates representing Professional Football, Amateur & Youth Football and National Bodies.
The incoming Board of the FAI was also ratified with newcomers Tom Browne, Gary Twohig and Packie Bonner joining the re-elected John Finnegan, who represents the Munster Senior League in Cork, Catherine Guy, Liz Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Richard Shakespeare and Robert Watt on the Board.
“I am proud and humbled to be re-elected to Irish football as President of the Association for the next two years as we continue our positive journey of reform," President Gerry McAnaney said.
"My congratulations to Paul Cooke and all the Board members elected today, my thanks to all who voted but also to Dave Moran and Ursula Scully for standing as candidates and I wish them well.
"I would also like to thank Martin Heraghty for his service to Irish football as a very valued member of our Board and I look forward to working with him again in the coming years.”
Vice-President Paul Cooke said: “Firstly I would like to thank Ursula Scully for standing for election and ensuring an open and transparent process was in place for this vote. I look forward to continuing the work we started in May 2019 and complete the improvement in the Association’s fortunes.”
The EGM was described by Chairperson Roy Barrett as historic.
“This is a watershed moment for Irish football,” said Barrett.
“The appointment of the General Assembly and today’s elections represent a new start for Irish football after a very traumatic time for our game. Our new Assembly and our new Board have been given a mandate by our football community to lead the transformation of the FAI and I am delighted that today’s vote and our new Governance structures reflect that.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Martin Heraghty, Ursula Scully and Dave Moran as they step away from the Board.
"Their service to Irish football over the last two years or so has been immense at a time when we needed people to step up to the plate and I thank them for that.”
The online EGM saw members ratify the re-appointment of Board members Roy Barrett, John Finnegan, Catherine Guy, Liz Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Richard Shakespeare and Robert Watt and newcomers Packie Bonner, Tom Browne and Gary Twohig.
Tom Browne said: “This is a proud day for myself and for football in Waterford. I look forward to representing all of football on the Board of the FAI and in particular the schoolboy game which is the future of our sport.
"These are exciting times ahead. We have been given a mandate for change and we must work together across football to deliver that mandate now.”
Newly appointed Independent Director Packie Bonner said: “Irish football has never been far from my mind over the last ten years. It’s early in the new regime but it’s important to be positive and constructive.
"There’s a great deal of lost time to be recovered, so as a non-executive Independent Director, I want to provide whatever guidance and oversight I can in the years ahead.”
Speaking at today’s EGM when he congratulated all those appointed, FAI Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Hill said: “On behalf of all the staff at the FAI, I warmly welcome our newly elected officers and Board members and assure them that they will have our full support as we work together to continue our Governance reform and build a new FAI that is fit for purpose and an Association of the future.
"We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but we will work with the new Board now to deliver for Irish football as we prepare to enter our Centenary Year from June 1.”