Former chief executive of the Turf Club Cahir O’Sullivan dies, aged 86

During his spell running the Turf Club he was instrumental in setting up the successful Budweiser sponsorship of the Irish Derby

O’Sullivan became a member of the Turf Club in 2000, and two years later was also appointed a member of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

O’Sullivan became a member of the Turf Club in 2000, and two years later was also appointed a member of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

The death took place on Tuesday of Cahir O’Sullivan, the former chief executive of the Turf Club. He was 86.

O’Sullivan was chief executive of Irish racing’s regulatory body – or Keeper of the Match Book as the post was known – from 1976 to 1999.

He became a member of the Turf Club in 2000 and two years later was also appointed a member of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.

The son of a Garda based in Dundalk, O’Sullivan began his working life as a clerk in Dublin while studying for a commerce degree at nights.

He also qualified as a chartered secretary and a cost and management accountant.

A racing enthusiast, O’Sullivan was managing director of a small manufacturing firm in Co Limerick when applying to join the body now known as the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

During his spell running the Turf Club he was instrumental in setting up the successful Budweiser sponsorship of the Irish Derby.

The former chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, Brian Kavanagh, who succeeded O’Sullivan as Turf CEO in 1999, paid tribute to a man he described as “a mentor” to him. 

“He was someone who was respected by everyone in the industry and will be very much missed,” he said.

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