News 2016

Title:  Mountaineering Ireland welcomes Murrough McDonagh
Date:  17/08/2016


During the Summer months, Mountaineering Ireland completed a recruitment process to hire a CEO leading to the appointment of Murrough McDonagh, commencing the position on the 22nd July 2016. Prior to taking up this role Murrough has maintained his professional career within the Irish sporting landscape, having first engaged with the Irish Rugby Football Union while studying fulltime in University, on a yearlong Thesis in 1999, focusing on young people’s participation in sport. Murrough then moved on to fulltime employment with the IRFU Connacht Branch and then on the IRFU Head Office for nine years to lead the newly established National Rugby Camps Department.

In more recent times, and directly prior to his appointment with Mountaineering Ireland, Murrough moved on from Irish Rugby into National Community Games, as their National Development Officer and more recently as the Planning & Development Manager. “Having commenced my eighth year with National Community Games and looking back over that period of time, I’m delighted with the changes and new direction that the organisation has embraced and completed. It’s satisfying to reflect and feel that I had some small part to play in that process and helped to add value to the company. Moving on from Community Games was a major decision, however I strongly felt that the Chairperson of Mountaineering Ireland, Paul Barron, was an excellent advocate of what Mountaineering Ireland is all about and also in sharing his vision for where the organisation can go in the future. To that end the decision was easy but still extremely difficult to say goodbye to some amazing and wonderful people in Community Games, some of whom you build strong relationships with spanning many years. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities offered and time given to me by both the IRFU and National Community Games, but moving on, I’m really looking forward to my next chapter and getting to know everything about Mountaineering Ireland and hopefully adding value to the organisation as a whole.

Originally from the west of Ireland, Murrough grew up in Cleggan, Co. Galway, and enjoyed all the natural amenities on his doorstep that a thriving farming, fishing and tourism village offered. “Looking back on where I spent the first half of my life, Connemara was a wonderful place to grow up, you experienced all the seasons first hand, was totally involved in rural community life and from an early age understood the economic benefits of living and working in a tourism area.” Murrough completed his Leaving Certificate in Galway City and from there completed his third level education in Dublin and Wolverhampton, in the business sector, before returning to Ireland and taking up a Development & Marketing position with the IRFU Connacht Branch.

In Murrough’s leisure time, he enjoys the natural environment, be it walking along coastal routes or on forest trails with his wife and two young children. In previous years and when leisure time was more widely available, Murrough did enjoy an active pastime climbing all the peaks in Ireland with his wife, which first cast his gaze towards Mountaineering Ireland and its Mission, Vision, Purpose and Goals. “I remember coming to the end of my team sports playing days and looked into finding an alternative pastime, one that I could enjoy and share with my wife, that lead me towards Mountaineering Ireland and really since than I have kept a running brief on Mountaineering Ireland’s development over the years.”

The Board of Directors of Mountaineering Ireland wish to congratulate Murrough on his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer and are looking forward to growing the organisation in the future.


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