Whelan is a former international hooker who won 19 caps for Ireland between 1975 and 1981 during his career.
The Garryowen clubman and Limerick native also represented Munster, being a member of the side that famously defeated New Zealand in 1978 at Thomond Park.
As well as an impressive playing record for both province and country, he also has served Irish rugby with distinction in various roles as an administrator, including selector and manager to the Ireland team.
He was instrumental in the establishment and the ongoing development of the professional provincial Academy structures in Irish rugby.
Whelan was also part of the IRFU management groups that worked on the development of both the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park Stadium, acting as Chairman of Thomond Park Stadium Company Ltd since its inception in 2008, overseeing the €40 million redevelopment programme.
He is a member of the IRFU Management Committee and Performance Committee that reviews professional and representative team performances.
He became one of the Ireland representatives on the Six Nations Council in 2008 and also the Ireland representative on the International Rugby Board where he sits on the rugby sub committee of that council.