Bernard O’Byrne is stepping down from his position as CEO and Secretary General of Basketball Ireland with fast impact. The joint determination has been made by Mr. O’Byrne and the Basketball Ireland Board, to assist the organisation transfer ahead following a latest social media put up by Mr. O’Byrne from a private account.
Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt, stated: “I’m very upset that Bernard is retiring underneath these circumstances. We know that the basketball neighborhood and past has felt significantly let down over the previous few days and we are going to proceed to hearken to and deal with any issues which can be raised. Basketball Ireland takes a zero tolerance stance on any type of discrimination, and variety and inclusion are key pillars in our sport.
“Bernard’s comment on social media was unacceptable. It has subsequently cast him in an unfavourable light, which is very unfortunate as over the last decade he has been a driving force within the basketball community in Ireland in addressing bullying and negative attitudes regarding gender, sexuality and race. His brief lapse in judgement does not reflect the person I know, nor Basketball Ireland as an organisation.”
Mr. O’Byrne acknowledged: “While I am hugely disappointed that this is how my decade with Basketball Ireland has ended, I understand that stepping down is in the best interests of the sport. I am deeply apologetic over the hurt caused by my remark and I am fully cognisant of the struggles with discrimination that many people are having to deal with in day-to-day life. My comment was an off-the-cuff, extremely ill-judged attempt at humour based on wordplay only, that was never intended to be racially insensitive or make light of organisations which have done so much to help raise awareness of inclusion and discrimination.”
Mr. O’Byrne joined Basketball Ireland in 2011. During his tenure he helped clear the organisation’s legacy debt of €1.2m. In the final 5 years enjoying membership has elevated by 66% to over 30,000 in 227 golf equipment, whereas greater than 800 colleges now take part within the sport. In 2019 he grew to become the primary Basketball Ireland consultant to be elected to the FIBA Europe Board, in recognition of his stature in European basketball. The Basketball Ireland Board thanked Mr. O’Byrne for his important contribution to the organisation and administration of Irish basketball all through the nation and internationally.
Mr. O’Byrne added, “I wish the Basketball Ireland community the very best for the future and hope they continue the impressive work and achievements that I have had the honour to assist with during the last 10 years.”
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