16 Aug 2022

Dermot McGranaghan lands new national role with Athletics Ireland

The Finn Valley AC man says he will work closely with clubs across the country after being appointed as Athletics Ireland’s new National Club Development Manager

Dermot McGranaghan lands new national role with Athletics Ireland

Dermot McGranaghan coaching at Finn Valley AC. Photo: Sportsfile

Dermot McGranaghan can’t wait to get his teeth stuck into his new role as Athletics Ireland’s new National Club Development Manager.

The Finn Valley AC man takes up his new post, which has a strong focus on grass roots clubs and coaching. next week.

In November 2018, McGranaghan was appointed as Regional Development Officer for the North West, a role that saw him cover five counties, including Donegal. He has also been a member of the Juvenile Committee and Coaching & Development Committee.

Now, he wants to put the last four years of work into practice on a national level.

“I want to roll out the model of good engagement from my RDO role to the rest of the country,” he said.

“As part of my RDO job, I put out a survey a few months ago, which was effectively a health check for clubs, checking their status pre and post-coved.

“I received 96 replies to that survey and my number one goal now is to address them all. One promise I will make is that I will contact every one of those clubs.

“‘I am looking forward to this job. I know it’s a big role, but athletics is my passion. I am very excited to be going into the job and I want to bring my experience to help grow the sport right across the country.

“National means national and while I have no magic wand, I will work closely with clubs and personnel to develop and improve.”

This job will play a key part in delivering strategic objectives set out in the Athletics Ireland Strategic Plan 2021 to 2028.

McGranaghan will work with the Regional Development Team on club governance, coach education and mentorship as well as athlete development.

In 2013, McGranaghan began working as Schools Development Officer with Finn Valley AC.

He said: “I am always grateful to Patsy McGonagle for giving me that opportunity to advance in athletics.

“I saw first-hand the success of school engagement through Finn Valley AC, where school sports has been so important to the club over 50 years.

“I will work to foster and develop schools links, to work with clubs on sourcing funding and liaise with various stakeholders in the sport and other agencies and bodies whose expertise we may be able to use in the future.

“I have seen in Donegal and in Ulster a model that is working well and, working closely now with clubs, county boards and regional committees, I hope that we can develop our sport strongly.”

He comes from a family steeped in the traditions of athletics having been introduced first to the sport by his father, Peadar - who remains an integral part of Finn Valley AC - at Porter’s Field in his native Castlefin.

McGranaghan was an Irish Under-13 and Irish Under-15 National Cross Country gold medalist with Finn Valley AC teams in 1980 and 1981 alongside Gregory Harris, Greg McGee, Seamus McGranaghan, Paul Marley and Paul McDermott.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, he rolled out a successful challenge for athletes, which gained popularity all over the country.

A coach with the Ireland team for the 2019 European Games in Minsk, he was team coach and relay manager for the 2021 European Junior Championships and led Irish Youth teams at five Celtic Internationals. 

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