Fran Rooney, former CEO of FAI and Baltimore Technologies, dies at 67

The former League of Ireland player went on to manage the Ireland women’s football team before forging a career in the technology industry and then leading the FAI.

The Dubliner started with Home Farm and was part of several other League of Ireland clubs. He rose to management when he was appointed head of the senior women’s international team in 1986, a position he held until 1991, when he was succeeded by Linda Gorman.

He then made a name for himself in the business world, working with Baltimore Technologies since 1996. His work in that field led him to return to the FAI when he was hired as CEO in May 2003.

Rooney was the first to take over as FAI chief executive, replacing the general secretary position previously held by Brendan Menton, as one of the key recommendations of the post-Saipan Genesis report.

He agreed a three-year contract with the FAI and in his appointment said he would “provide leadership for the FAI and the football community across the country”.

Rooney made a number of changes to the association, adapting a new logo and a name change, from FAI to FA Ireland, and at a difficult time for the national team, Rooney was seen as a patron of manager Brian Kerr. But Rooney left 18 months after a series of internal disputes.

Dublin Mayor Carmencita Hederman meets Irish captain Marian Leahy and coach Fran Rooney before the UEFA Championship match against Sweden at Dalymount Park in May 1988. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

At a meeting just before his departure, only three members of the FAI’s 60-member board backed Rooney, who left in November 2004 and was replaced by John Delaney, who arrived as interim chief executive before for that appointment to become permanent.

Rooney then pursued a career in law and qualified as a solicitor in 2008, at the age of 52. He maintained his link with sport and football and established a practice, Sports Law International, “to provide professional legal, administrative and financial services, advice and support to ensure that athletes across Europe receive all the necessary assistance to enable them to participate fully, appropriately and effectively in their sport and their career.

In 2011 he represented then Monaghan United manager Roddy Collins in his battle with the FAI when an FAI disciplinary committee imposed a punishment for “derogatory comments” made by Collins on RTÉ radio, a six-match ban and a fine of 1,000 euros.

Rooney re-emerged in 2019 following the departure of his controversial successor, Delaney, when he was highly critical of the original deal which would have seen Delaney step down from his CEO role but retain another role at the FAI, as well as his position on the FAI Executive Committee. UEFA.

Rooney had a huge impact on the Irish business world, heading up one of the country’s first tech giants.

The company he helped build, computer security firm Baltimore Technologies, was listed on the Nasdaq in the United States during the first big dot-com boom in the late 1990s. At its peak, markets valued it at $13 billion. dollars, a level rarely reached by any Irish technology company before or since. The company’s meteoric rise was recognized in Ireland, and Rooney received several business honors, including Business & Finance’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2000.

However, Baltimore Technologies was one of several technology companies that saw its valuation drop after the stock market crash in the early 2000s.

Prior to IT Security, Rooney held a number of senior positions across a wide range of companies and institutions including National Irish Bank, An Post and Quay Financial Software.

After leaving Baltimore Technologies in 2001, he helped develop Ice Broadband with one of his daughters. In recent years, she became involved in blockchain technology.

He is survived by his children Yvonne, Dave, Laura and their spouses, his ex-wife Mary, his partner Jackie, two grandchildren and four siblings.

A funeral notice on said he died peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

The notice read: “He will be sadly missed by his children Yvonne, Dave, Laura and their spouses Brian, Emma, ​​Gary, his grandchildren Seán and Daire, his ex-wife Mary and his beloved partner Jackie. Beloved son of the late John and Dolores and Dear brother of John, Joe, Dermot, Imelda and the late Raymond. A special thank you to St Vincent’s Hospital for their long term care of Fran and the staff at Beaumont Hospital who looked after him well in his final days.”

Mr Rooney will lie in state at Cunningham’s Funeral Home, Church Avenue, Blanchardstown, on Thursday afternoon from 5pm to 7pm, and will be moved to the Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock on Friday morning at 11 am, followed by cremation at Newlands Cross Crematorium.