Women fill key sports management positions in Limerick

In a significant further development of strong female representation within sport, two key positions in Limerick have been filled by women.
Dearbhla O’Brien has commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Limerick-based Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI), while Emma White takes up the reins as Limerick Racecourse General Manager on Monday next.
GRI Chairman Frank Nyhan stated: “Dearbhla’s organi-sational values, vision, communication skills, and commercial and marketing knowledge make her an excellent choice as CEO as we look to build on the significant progress made in several key areas in recent years, including greyhound welfare, traceability and the overall strengthening of the sector following a difficult operating environment brought about by the pandemic.”
Emma, meanwhile, moves to Limerick from a similar role with Sedgefield Racecourse in Northern England.
“I got a phone call just to see if I might be interested and when I got to have a good look at the track to see what sort of facilities they had, the grandstand and that they were doing non-race-day business as well, it really interested me,” explained Emma.
“I’m really excited about the position,” she continued. “I love racing and National Hunt (NH) racing in particular, as it’s where my passion lies.” On that note, Emma will be pleased that Limerick’s next meeting (Tuesday, February 1st) is an NH card.
“Limerick has really progressed over the last decade or so and I think there is a lot more to come. It’s a watch-this-space kind of thing. Everyone at the course is really forward thinking. I’m hoping to push that as far as I can.
“I’d love to get some better racing there on a regular basis, but we’ll see what we can do. There has to be a place for lower grade racing as well and I’m really passionate about that grassroots side of the game.”
She concluded: “It’s a big move because it’s not just me, it’s my husband, my daughter, three dogs, seven horses and three ponies. It’s going to be like some sort of military operation!
“I can’t wait to get started. It’s a big adventure and new challenge and I love a challenge.” Emma and her family will reside in one of the former stud worker’s homes on Greenmount Estate.
Claire Keating of Croagh is Business Development Manager with Limerick Racecourse since last September and will be keen to attract extra business across 2022, particularly to two attractive Sunday meetings in March (13th and 27th).