The Irish Rugby Football Union is pleased to announce that Declan Madden will become Chairman of the IRFU Management Committee and Ian McIlrath will become Chairman of the IRFU Rugby Committee, from July 17, 2015.
Declan, who will succeed Finbarr Crowley, has been a member of the IRFU Committee since 2013 and has worked on the IRFU’s Finance and Rugby Sub-Committees, chaired the Age-Grade Sub-Committee and Club Assistance Sub-Committee and is a member of the IRFU Charitable Trust Committee.
A former senior commercial branch manager with Bank of Ireland (retired 2013 after 40 years of service), Declan is a native of Rathkeale, Co. Limerick.
Declan joined Garrowen FC in 1973, captained the club during the 1982/83 and 1983/84 seasons and won Munster Senior Cup, Senior League, Junior Cup and All-Ireland League medals with the club. Declan also served as forwards coach for a number of years.
Chairman of rugby for Garryowen from 1999 to 2007, Declan was Treasurer and Honorary Secretary at the club before joining the Munster Branch IRFU Committee where he held the position of President for 2009/10 and chaired the Finance Committee for 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Declan and his wife, Geraldine, have two adult children, Deirdre and David.
Congratulating Declan on his role, outgoing Chairman Finbarr Crowley said: “The Irish Rugby Football Union is pleased to announce Declan Madden as the incoming Chairman of the IRFU Management Committee.
“The Committee represents our clubs and provinces in making decisions on the future of our game. Irish rugby has never been more popular, and with that comes opportunities and challenges for our sport.
“As outgoing Chairman, I am confident that Declan will continue to develop rugby from grassroots to international level and wish him the very best of luck for the years ahead.”
Speaking about the new position, Declan commented: “I am very pleased to have been selected as Chairman by the members of the Union Committee. I congratulate Finbarr Crowley on the development of the game during his tenure as Chairman and thank him for everything he has done for Irish rugby.
“I am looking forward to taking up my new role and hope that my time at club, provincial and IRFU level will help me in this new position as Chairman.
“I wish to acknowledge my wife Geraldine and my children, Deirdre and David, who have allowed me to spend so much time in the sport I love, and have supported me in each role that I have taken on.”
Ian, who will succeed Stephen Hilditch, has been a member of the IRFU Union Committee since 2008. He has worked on the IRFU’s Management and Rugby Committees, chaired a number of IRFU Sub-Committees and working parties, and is a trustee of the IRFU Charitable Trust.
A retired school principal, Ian is a native of Ballymena where he lives with his wife Pamela. He is a former Ireland international – capped five times between 1976 and 1977 – and also captained Ballymena RFC before moving into coaching both at school and club level.
Having served as Chairman of Rugby Development for Ballymena, Ian became Chairman of the club in 1987 before taking up the position of club President from 2000-2008. he has been a club representative on the IRFU Ulster Branch since 2000.
Congratulating Ian on his role, outgoing Rugby Chairman Stephen Hilditch said: “The Irish Rugby Football Rugby is pleased to confirm Ian McIlrath as the incoming Chairman of the IRFU Rugby Committee.
“Our domestic game is the bedrock of Irish rugby and I know that it is in safe hands as I have worked with Ian for many years and I wish him every success in the years ahead.”
Speaking about the new position, Ian stated: “I am delighted to have been selected as Chairman of the Rugby Committee. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Stephen and congratulate him on the developments that have taken place in our game during his time as Chairman.
“I wish to thank my ‘rugby widow’ Pamela, my daughter Anne and all our family for the support they have provided over the last 40 years, and for sharing me with my rugby family.”