Legal director Sarah O’Shea named as the FAI’s first deputy chief executive
The newly-named FAI deputy chief executive Sarah O’Shea has been working for the association since 2006 when she joined fresh from completing a Fifa- backed Masters degree in sports law at Milan and Neuchatel universities
The FAI’s legal director, Sarah O’Shea, has been named as the organisation’s first deputy chief executive, a move that appears to copper-fasten her status as John Delaney’s most trusted ally out in Abbotstown.
O’Shea, a solicitor, has been working for the association since 2006 when he she joined fresh from completing a Fifa- backed Masters degree in sports law at Milan and Neuchatel universities. She was in general practice in Galway between qualifying in 2000 and starting the Fifa Masters in 2005.
She has since been involved in major projects including the staging of the Europa League final, while overseeing legal issues such as the battle, ultimately settled by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS), with the IFA over the rules governing the international eligibility of players born in the North.
Her growing status within the association and close working relationship to Delaney has been reflected over the last few years in her growing range of responsibilities and appointment to various external bodies.
She became the chair of the Federation of Irish Sport in 2013 after four years on its executive committee, became a panel member for CAS in the autumn and is the association’s representative on Uefa’s Hat-trick programme committee, which oversees the administration of a fund worth around €9 million to each of the European body’s national affiliates .
She has also served as the FAI’s company secretary since September 2010.
“Since Sarah’s appointment in 2006 she has made a substantial contribution to the management team,” said Delaney in a statement yesterday. “She has been an excellent legal director, establishing the legal department and reforming the association’s disciplinary processes.
“Sarah brings her considerable skill sets to the role as deputy CEO, and her appointment will enhance the management structure as the Association continues to develop all strands of the game.”