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.

 

Michael Turley

Michael Turley – Interim Chairperson and Chairperson of the Operations Committee

Michael is a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby and is Chairperson of the Operations Committee. He is also Chairperson of the Stadium Committee and the Strategic Facilities Group. Throughout his professional career he has held a range of senior management positions at Chairman, CEO and Board level.

He is currently Chief Operations Officer of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the national centre for data analytics research, a position he has held since 2013. He was previously CEO of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. He has been involved with his club OLBC and Connacht Rugby at various levels on a voluntary basis.

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 accountant 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.

Barry Gavin

Barry Gavin – Board Member and Chairperson of the Professional Rugby Committee

Barry is a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby and is Chairperson of the Professional Rugby Committee. Prior to his appointment he was a member of the Rugby Advisory Board for a three-year period.

During his rugby playing career Barry played for a number of clubs including Galwegians, Blackrock, St Marys, South African side Hamiltons and UCC while studying in the college. He also played senior rugby for Connacht from 1990 to 2000. He held a professional contract from 1997 to 2000. He is a qualified solicitor and managing partner in W.B. Gavin & Co.

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 from 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 leading 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.