The Board of Connacht Rugby

 

The Board governs the affairs of Connacht Rugby. The Board is the ultimate decision-maker covering the governance matters delegated to it by the Council. This includes the affairs of both the community and professional game and all other operations. Its primary governance role is to set and oversee the achievement of Connacht Rugby’s strategic objectives within a framework of its ethical culture. The Board will conform to the governance standards set by the GNC on behalf of Council and the IRFU.

 

 

John Power – Chairperson of the Board of Connacht Rugby

John is the Founder and CEO of Aerogen, Ireland’s largest indigenous Med-tech company and the world leader in Acute Care aerosol drug delivery.

John was the 2016/17 recipient of the European Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is a highly accomplished Entrepreneur, Engineer and Innovator.

With over 30 year’s executive leadership experience, John has been a Founder/co-Founder, Board member and investor in several technology-based companies in Ireland, UK and USA.

John has also served on several industry committee’s and Boards including the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology and the Irish Med-tech Association where he has represented Ireland as an industry expert at the EU Competitiveness Council.

As a lifetime sports enthusiast and community activist John is a Director of Moycullen Community Development Association with whom he has been a member for over 20 years. He is a founder committee member of Connemara Greenway Alliance and is the industry representative on the NUIG Sports Committee.

John has been a season ticket holder and business club member of Connacht Rugby for many years and is passionate about helping Connacht navigate the next stage of its progression and development, both on and off the pitch.

Niall Dolan

Niall Dolan – Board Member and Chairperson of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Niall is a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby and also serves as Chairperson of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is a native of Ballinasloe and during his playing career he played rugby for Ballinasloe, St Marys and Buccaneers RFC. He also represented Connacht at Schools and U20 level.

Niall is a chartered account and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Masters of Accounting degree from University College Dublin. He is Chief Financial Officer and a Board Director of Applegreen plc. He has been with Applegreen since 2015 having previously held senior financial positions in other large Irish companies.

Conor O’Loughlin – Board Member of Chairperson of the Professional Rugby Committee

Conor hails originally from Athlone and played club rugby with Buccaneers and NUIG before playing professional rugby for Connacht for 8 years, winning 97 provincial caps and 1 Ireland A cap in a career unfortunately cut short by injury.

During that period Conor also represented the Connacht squad on the Board of Rugby Players Ireland and this experience prepared him well for when he transitioned to a new role as a player agent for 3 years following his retirement from the game.

Most recently Conor co-founded and currently leads a venture backed software company called Glofox, which employs over 240 people globally. Conor is the current CEO and chairman of the board which hosts a number of tier 1 global institutional investors as members.

Conor has been a member of Connacht Rugby’s Professional Rugby Committee for the last 9 months.

Robert Lahiff

Robert Lahiff – Board Member and Chairperson of the Club & Community Rugby Committee

Robert is a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby and is the Chairperson of the Club & Community Rugby Committee. He has held a number of appointments with Connacht Rugby in the past including Honorary Secretary of the Connacht Branch and Chairperson of the Rugby Committee. He is a Senior Account Manager for Coca Cola Hellenic Ireland, where he has worked since 1998.

He has been an active member of Gort RFC and held a range of positions on and off the field including Club Chairman, Club Captain, Forwards Coach and 1st Team Manager. He also played with Buccaneers RFC and won an AIL Division 3 title and a Connacht Junior Cup with the club in 1997. He managed the Gort RFC Junior Team that won the Connacht Junior Cup in 2004.

Josephine Feehily

Josephine Feehily – Board Member

Josephine Feehily is an independent member of the Board of Connacht Rugby. She has over 20 years’ experience at the most senior levels in the Irish public service and, since her retirement from full-time executive work, in leading significant change initiatives on behalf of the Irish Government.

During her career she held a wide range of positions in the then Department of Social Welfare, the Pensions Board, and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, – the Irish Tax and Customs agency. In Revenue, she was Commissioner in 1998 and executive Chair from 2008 to 2015.

Following her retirement from executive leadership, Josephine established and chaired the first Policing Authority of Ireland. She chaired the Commission on Pensions, which reported to Government in 2021 and currently chairs the governing body of the Technological University of the Shannon.

A graduate of the National College of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin, Josephine was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick in recognition of her public service career.

John Goode – Board Member and Chairperson of the Commercial Committee

John is a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby and is Chairperson of the Commercial Committee which has responsibility for overseeing all Commercial and Marketing activity in Connacht Rugby. Prior to his appointment he was a member of the Finance Audit and Risk Committee for a one year period.

John is a Senior Partner in Irelandia Aviation, the investment vehicle of the Ryan family and a lead developer of Low Cost Airlines around the world including Ryanair and Viva Air. John has substantial experience as a board member of a number of private companies including the chairing and participation of several board committees. He has also held a number of executive roles in the airline Viva Air including Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO.

Eamonn Collins – Board Member and Chairperson of the Operations Committee

Eamon is the Managing Director and Founding Partner of Collins Boyd Engineering Ltd, a firm of Registered Architects & Chartered Engineers, based in Roscommon Town and working throughout Ireland.

In his work Eamon has led multi-disciplined professional teams of experts providing planning and all engineering services from concept to completion on a varied range of high-profile projects across both the public and private sectors.

Of particular relevance to Connacht Rugby is Eamon’s experience from his involvement in the redevelopment of Hyde Park GAA pitch, numerous GAA Centre of Excellences, Multi-Use sporting facilities & many other pitch design-builds.

Away from work Eamonn has always been very active as a volunteer in the area of sport, having been involved across Rugby, GAA and Golf. Most recently he has been a member of the executive committee of Buccaneers Rugby club and is currently finishing his two-year term as President of the club.