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Denis O'Brien has been named as the Honorary Life President of the FAI

The billionaire businessman is the association’s first-ever Honorary President.

Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland has named Denis O’Brien as its Honorary Life President.

The decision was announced at the FAI’s AGM in the Rochestown Park Hotel, in Co Cork, last night.

“Mr O’Brien has been a vocal and valuable supporter of Irish football at all levels in recent years, and the honour was bestowed upon him by the FAI Committee,” the FAI said in a statement.

The billionaire businessman, who is the FAI’s first ever Honorary President, has long been involved with the association.

He helped to fund the contract of the current national team boss, Martin O’Neill, as well as his predecessor, Giovanni Trapattoni, who took charge in 2008.

FAI AGM Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

When that financial arrangement was brought to an end earlier this year, FAI CEO John Delaney said O’Brien had contributed almost €10 million to the association over a ten-year period.

O’Brien and Delaney appear to regard each other with a high degree of mutual respect.

The businessman previously told Independent.ie: “John Delaney could run anything. John Delaney could run UEFA easily. He could run FIFA as far as I’m concerned – certainly better than Sepp Blatter [President of FIFA], and more honestly.”

About the author:

Ceimin Burke

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