Coghlan to replace Hackett as Athletics Ireland CEO

MARY COGHLAN is to replace Brendan Hackett as CEO of Athletics Ireland. The chair of the Finance and Risk Committee begins her new role on May 19.

The Oxford graduate is a qualified actuary and has extensive experience in accounting and finance. Her brother Peter, 10 times a national champion, holds the Irish record for the 110m Hurdles, while the new CEO captained Crusaders AC and represented the club at 100m, 200m, and 400m.

She said: “I am delighted to be appointed CEO of Ireland’s most successful international sports organisation. Athletics Ireland is in the very fortunate and enviable position of receiving outstanding support from the Irish Sports Council.”

Meanwhile Liam Hennessy is to take the Presidency of Athletics Ireland at the annual congress in Dublin at the weekend. The Tipperary native who is Chair of High Performance will replace Michael Heery who has been President since 2002.

Hennessy boasts an exceptional pedigree. At the age of 24 he was elected chairman of the Tipperary county board, emerging from a bunch of young guns who would have a profound affect on the administration of athletics outside the country as well.

He was eventually elected to BLE’s senior activities committee and became a member of Management Committee in 1978, arriving at an exciting time. The following year John Treacy would defend his world cross-country title in Limerick and he was appointed Communications Director for the meeting. He was team manager for the Moscow Olympics and served as PRO, Hon Secretary for eight years and was Vice-President for a term before becoming International Secretary and, under the new structure, Chair of High Performance.

Thirty years on he is the longest continuous serving member of management. He was instrumental in getting the European cross-country championships for Dublin next year and will remain on as the Event Director for that meeting.

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