Familiar Face Making Progress In Revitalising Irish Basketball


Bernard O’ Byrne is the current CEO of Basketball Ireland but little has been made or written about the man who is in charge of Irish basketball. O’Byrne was the man in charge of the FAI when things started to go downhill for that particular organisation. He fulfilled that role until he was ultimately succeeded by current CEO John Delaney in 2005. O’ Byrne has also held high profile positions with Coca-Cola, Nestlè and CRH.

Speaking back in 2011 when he announced that Bernard O’ Byrne would become the new face of basketball in the country, then chairman of the organisation Paul Meany had this to say.

“Bernard’s extensive knowledge of business, finance and sport means he is ideally qualified to help us to establish clear priorities for our sport, based on a sound understanding of the market, and to establish a sustainable framework for the delivery of basketball at local, regional, national and international levels.”

O’ Byrne believed that he was the right man to get basketball back to were it should be and with a CV that included being one of the main men in the development of the Luas , few argued with him.

It is now over two years on since the appointment was made and things are slowly beginning to improve in basketball circles. While it is rare that O’ Byrne comes out and speaks openly to the media or the basketball public, his ideas are clearly being implemented behind the scenes.

This is something that became evident over the summer when it was announced that the Superleague was to be renamed “The Premier League” with two divisions consisting of ten men teams each. People who follow basketball along with the FAI’s League Of Ireland will soon have realised that the basketball version of the Premier League was set to be fully based on the Irish soccer version.

However it must be noted that Basketball Ireland took a gigantic risk that maybe was not the smartest thing to do seeing as O’ Byrne was forced to accept an early retirement package from the FAI’s  Board Of Management. One of the reasons why the board felt that it was best they bid farewell to O’Byrne was due to an investigation that had been carried out by it’s finance committee.

The committee allegedly found that O’Byrne was among those responsible for a number of financial irregularities including the misuse of a company credit card.

Despite all that there has yet to be much controversy surrounding his reign at the top of basketball although it must be noted that it took the FAI five years to uncover the issues that had occurred. Let’s hope O’ Byrne’s problems are long behind him and he helps to drag basketball back up the pecking order to were it belongs.

Picture courtesy of irishexaminer.com

    • Donal Greene
    • November 18th, 2013

    This article is flawed. John Delaney has been CEO of the FAI since 2004.

    • Thanks for noticing that error. Have amended it to read 2005 as it was then that John Delaney was handed the role on a permanent basis having served as acting chief executive for a brief period.

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