New faces steering the path of Irish Sailing
The Irish Sailing AGM at the end of March saw the election of John Twomey as Irish Sailing President, as well as the addition of some new faces to the Board. They include David Cullen, Katie Dwyer and Mal Nowlan. They replace retiring Board members Fiona Bolger, Nikki Curran and David O’Brien.
Meanwhile, John Menton will be proposed to the Board as the new Chair of the Olympic Steering Group, taking over from Patrick Coveney.
Irish Sailing has fully adopted the Sport Ireland Governance Code based on five principles with 75 recommended board practices and obligations. https://www.sailing.ie/About-Us/Governance . One of the principles states the importance of having a Board with the relevant mix of skills and experience, and that embraces diversity and ethical cultures. The Board currently represents a wide range of professional competencies and the many facets of our sports including those from training, cruising, clubs and training centres, and classes.
John Twomey has been on the Board of Irish Sailing since 2017. Prior to his election as President he served as both Treasurer and Secretary of the Board as well as a member of both Finance and Governance committees. John is a Paralympic athlete and sailor who has represented Ireland at 11 consecutive Paralympic Games, and winning medals at three. Starting off as a track and field athlete, he moved from athletics to sailing in 1996. John brings a unique perspective as Irish Sailing’s first President who is also a Paralympian, with a vast amount of experience at the highest levels of sailing and other sports.
Katie Dwyer (Sutton Dinghy Club) has had a successful sailing career spanning several classes including National 18s, J24s, ynglings, etchells, match racing, and GP14s. She is passionate about supporting women in sailing and is a well-known speaker on the topic. Katie is a Head of Finance at Ergo, the IT services provider.
David Cullen comes onto the Board as Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA). David (Howth YC), is a hugely experienced half tonner sailor and the managing director of Euro Car Parks in Ireland, one of the largest and most successful parking operators in the country.
Frank (Mal) Nowlan (National and Royal Irish YCs) is a member of the Irish Sailing Race Officials Policy Group as well as the Governance Committee. He developed the mark laying qualification system for Irish Sailing. Now retired, Mal practised as a solicitor and continues to consult for WKN Real Estate Advisors.
New Chair of the Olympic Steering Group John Menton is an Olympic discus thrower and investor. He brings first-hand experience of the Olympics and elite performance to the OSG, as well as a different perspective from a non-sailing sport. John is a former partner at the legal firm Arthur Cox and has served as a board director of several companies including Paypal and Cisco.
John commented: “ It is an exciting time to join the OSG, particularly in light of the strong squad of performance-focused athletes, coaches and management that has been assembled for the Paris 2024 Olympic campaign which creates the necessary platform for Irish Sailing to add to its Olympic participation and medal tally.”
The Board will be joined shortly by Bill O’Hara from Ballyholme YC who represents the Olympic Steering Group. Bill has worked with Irish Sailing since the late 1980s and set up the Academy Team. He represented Ireland at the LA and Seoul Olympics and is now an international judge, umpire and race officer. Bill was awarded OBE in 2021.
Read more about the Irish Sailing Board of Directors here: https://www.sailing.ie/About-Us/Board-of-Directors.