Tom Ryan expected to be named as new director general of GAA

Carlow native is current director of finance with the Association

Tom Ryan is expected to be named as the new director general of the GAA. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tom Ryan is expected to be named as the new director general of the GAA. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Tom Ryan is expected to be ratified as the GAA’s new director general in succession to Páraic Duffy on Saturday.

Sources have indicated that the association’s current director of finance, who had already been identified as the hot favourite, has emerged from the selection process as the successor to Duffy, who steps down at the end of this month after more than 10 years in charge of the GAA.

Well regarded for his work in guiding the organisation through the economic downturn of recent years, Ryan is seen as a safe pair of hands for one of the most demanding sports administration jobs in the country.

A member of the GAA’s management committee, one person who has worked with him described him as “very smart, very bright and very intellectually capable,” he is rarely in the media spotlight apart from on the occasion of the launch of his annual financial report

His task for much of his term as director of finance was to keep a strict eye on expenditure at central level and liaise with distressed clubs, who had got into difficulties during the recession, generally because of the collapse of property values.

From Carlow, he has been working in Croke Park since 2007 when he joined the GAA headquarters staff from retailers Brown Thomas. A chartered accountant, Ryan was faced with daunting challenges within months of taking up his role as finance director, as the Irish economy collapsed.

Good week for Carlow

Living in Dublin, Ryan, who is 48, has been an active member of Faughs GAA in Templeogue and is currently club treasurer.

The selection process for the director general’s position was driven by current GAA president John Horan and his immediate predecessor Aogán Ó Fearghail.

That process concludes this afternoon with Ryan going before Central Council for formal ratification.

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