O’Byrne’s new Euro role set to boost Irish game

Basketball Ireland’s secretary general, Bernard O’Byrne, has landed a prestigious role with the sport’s continental governing body, FIBA Europe.

O’Byrne’s new Euro role set to boost Irish game

O’Byrne has secured a four-year appointment on the powerful Finance Permanent Commission, which he believes will be hugely beneficial for Irish interests.

O’Byrne said: “While the appointment is obviously a personal honour which I greatly appreciate, it is even more important that Basketball Ireland now has a voice and opinion at the centre of this great European and worldwide sport. I’m looking forward to making whatever contribution I can over the period of my appointment.”

Basketball Ireland chair Jackie Dunne added: “The appointment to FIBA Europe’s Finance Commission also reinforces that the path we as an organisation are on is the right one financially, and it gives us a voice at the highest levels in European basketball.”

FIBA Europe’s Finance Commission, among other duties, has responsibility for putting together the audited accounts of FIBA Europe and advises on the appointment of external auditors.

Meanwhile for the first time since 2008, Irish U18 basketball teams will feature in European Championships.

Six years after being forced to exit the competitions due to the financial crisis in the sport, the national teams are this summer preparing for games in Bulgaria and Romania.

“We are delighted that we are back in a position to showcase our elite athletes on the European platform,” said Basketball Ireland’s International Affairs Committee chair, Noreen O’Connell. “Significant work and effort has been applied by all involved to take us to this level.”

The move indicates a growing confidence within Irish basketball that better times lie ahead and brings to four the number of teams competing this summer at the official FIBA European Championships. Joining the U18 teams are the two Irish U16 squads, with the men headed for Macedonia and the women bound for Estonia.

The championships take place across July and August. Each team will first aim to qualify out of the group stages before challenging for higher honours.

The U18 men face a group of Denmark, Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Scotland while the U18 women have been drawn versus Germany, Latvia and Estonia.

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