Expecting to take over from January 2022, her appointment has been put forward to Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for approval to lead the Irish greyhound racing’s governing body.
Frank Nyhan, GRI Chair, praised O’Briens efforts and noted: “Dearbhla’s organisational values, vision, communication skills, and commercial and marketing knowledge makes her an excellent choice as CEO as we look to build on the significant progress made in several key areas in recent years.”
The preferred candidate is currently the CEO of WorkandTravel.ie, and she was promoted to CEO of USIT Ireland in 2010 following success as Commercial and Marketing Director over a seven-year period.
“Her progress includes areas of greyhound welfare, traceability and the overall strengthening of the sector following a difficult operating environment brought about by the pandemic,” Nyhan added.
During the intervening period, between now and the new hiring, GRI will be led by Deputy CEO Philip Peake until O’Brien takes up the position.
The GRI expects a ‘transformative year’ for Irish gambling in 2022, as the Dali settles on the final legislative framework of the ‘Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act’, to update the nation’s gambling laws that have remained static since 1931.
The organisation has licensed a total of seventeen tracks in the Republic, and nine of these are owned and controlled by the Board. The remaining are owned and operated by a private enterprise.