The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI), the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) have announced the formation of the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), writes the GUI. The CGI is a new organisation, created to help advance the sport of golf on the island of Ireland, for the future.
The formation of this new organisation follows some 18 months of study and preparation by the associations together with the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland. The CGI will complement the work of the associations as well as providing a necessary combined approach to certain key strategic areas in the future development of golf in Ireland.
The CGI, which is a not for profit organisation, plans to accomplish the following in the coming years:
- Create and implement a development plan for golf in Ireland.
- Respond to the investment requirements of the two Sports Councils, who are seeking one single application for golf.
- Provide an organisation to interact with the Olympic Council of Ireland which wishes to deal with only one body.
- Provide support and a “spiritual home” for aspiring Irish tournament professionals in the early years of their careers.
Specifically, there is important work to be done to stop the decline in membership of golf clubs and to start the re-building process after the economic hardships of recent years. The key to this will be to bring a new focus to the game and the business of golf clubs on the island of Ireland.
To this end, the CGI is delighted to announce the appointment of John Roche as its Director of Golf and Business Development. Reporting to the Board, Mr Roche will be responsible for drafting and implementing a plan for the promotion and development of golf in Ireland.
Mr Roche will take up the position in November and will engage with various stakeholders, including Affiliated Golf Clubs, the R&A, Irish Sports Council, Sports Council of Northern Ireland and other industry bodies before the CGI launches its plan for the promotion and development of the sport in early 2014.
John Roche is an active member of Bray Golf Club and incoming 2014/15 President. He has sat on the Provincial Council of the GUI’s Leinster Branch, has worked with the ILGU on phase 2 development of a portal to support elite golfand has a deep understanding of the golf industry. Outside of golf he built and managed a successful business employing over 30 people.
The Associations have chosen Redmond O’Donoghue to be Chair of the Confederation for the next three years. Mr. O’Donoghue has been a senior business figure in Ireland for many years; additionally, he has been close to golf through his roles as Chairman of Bord Failte (1999-2001) and as Chairman of Failte Ireland (2008 - to date).
Speaking about the newly formed CGI, Mr. O’Donoghue said: “I was very impressed by the openness and willingness of the key organisations in the sport of golf to engage in such a positive way to create the new CGI. It’s important to point out that the CGI will, in no way, dilute or weaken the autonomy of the three member organisations; it will work in a complementary way to address common objectives and challenges. I very much look forward to chairing the CGI and to working with John Roche and the Board Members to advance the cause of Irish golf in the coming years”.
Mr. John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council said: “This is a very welcome and very positive development for golf in Ireland. The success of the work of the associations is at its most visible in the world class performances by Irish golfers on the international stage - particularly during the past six or seven years. The CGI will build on this outstanding success story and help to provide additional strategic direction for the sport, throughout the whole island”.
Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport added: “I am delighted to welcome the establishment of the Confederation of Golf in Ireland. I commend the Golfing Unions and the Irish PGA on their vision and initiative in bringing the Confederation together. This is a major step forward in the strategic development of golf in Ireland.
“The CGI will support the work of the Golfing Union of Ireland, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Professional Golfers Association and build on the success of Irish golf across Ireland and Internationally. I wish all involved with the new venture every success”.
The Board Members of the CGI are Pat Finn (GUI), Albert Lee (GUI), Sinead Heraty (ILGU), Rosemary Hayes (ILGU) and Liam Greasley (PGA).