Paddy Dempsey to join FAI board

The change of guard on the the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) board will continue in the coming weeks as Paddy Dempsey is set to replace John Earley as the schoolboys' sector delegate.

Paddy Dempsey to join FAI board

The change of guard on the the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) board will continue in the coming weeks as Paddy Dempsey is set to replace John Earley as the schoolboys' sector delegate.

Earley ended his four-year stint as an FAI director on Thursday, admitting it was necessary for the restoration of state funding and public trust.

He, along with President Donal Conway, were the only remaining members at the top table from the era of former chief executive John Delaney, a situation which Sports Minister Shane Ross found unacceptable.

Conway has vowed to quit at an EGM on 25 January, leaving two vacancies around the table.

Four independent directors are due to be unveiled in the next fortnight and Dempsey, subject to ratification by his constituency, will join them.

Conway’s replacement as President will complete the full 12-person interim board, due to serve at the troubled organisation until July.

Dempsey was today proposed as the only candidate by his executive to a meeting of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI) council at the Carlton Dublin Airport Hotel.

Despite some late support for Vice-Chairman Padraic Clarke, the 62-year-old prevailed unopposed.

Dempsey has been chairman of the biggest league in Ireland for the past seven years.

The DDSL cater for 20,000 players aged from 6-17, producing the likes of Liam Brady, Robbie Keane and Damien Duff over their 76-year history.

The 62-year-old, a former UEFA referee, holds a senior position with O’Neill’s Sportswear as Product Manager.

He has recently began representing the FAI as a UEFA delegate working on Champions League matches.

“I’m delighted to be nominated by my peers at today’s SFAI Council meeting,” said Dempsey.

“The SFAI represents the interests of 31 schoolboy leagues in Ireland, with over 120,000 players under their umbrella.

“Grassroots football is the base for all football in this country, and as the SFAI represents and works on behalf of the majority of grassroots players, representation at FAI board level is crucial.

“Should I go forward as the representative from the constituency of Schoolboys/Schoolgirls, I will represent all grassroots players, both boys and girls, and their clubs and leagues, with equal measure.”

Dempsey’s candidature will have to be ratified by another constituency allocated to the schoolboys and women’s game which was established under the Governance Review Group (GRG) group in July.

Earley had been nominated by the 10-person constituency to be re-elected at the FAI AGM in July and the SFAI numerical power on the committee should see Dempsey formalised as his successor.

The SFAI’s eight representatives are Jimmy Hackett, Clarke, Martin Kiernan, Tom Browne, Tony Gains, Neil Cronin, Dempsey and Earley.

They hold a comprehensive advantage in the voting over the women’s sector, who have Marie-Price Bolger and Padraig Hartnett as their two delegates.

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