Message from IRFU President

Ian McIlrath, the former Ireland centre, was elected President of the Irish Rugby Football Union at their annual Council Meeting on July 13, 2018.


A long-standing stalwart member of Ballymena RFC and club President from 2000 to 2008,


Ian played for Ulster between 1970 and 1978 and won five international caps for Ireland between 1975 to 1977.


McIlrath is the second member of Ballymena Rugby Club to hold the highest office in Irish Rugby, following in the footsteps of Syd Millar in the 1995/96 season.


A school teacher by profession, he was head of PE from 1974 to 1989 at Ballymena Academy and was then Head of Buick Memorial Primary School from 1989 to 2006.


Appointed to the Ulster Branch of the IRFU in 2000, he joined the IRFU Committee in 2008 and since then has played a key role on a variety of committees. These include Chairman of the Rugby Committee and Chairman of the All-Ireland League Sub-Committee, the IRFU Management Committee, the Referees Sub-Committee, the Irish Exiles Committee, the Club Sustainability Working Party, and as a Trustee of the IRFU’s Charitable Trust for seriously injured players.


Married to Pamela, he has one daughter Anne and granddaughter Beth.


Ian McIlrath


Irish Rugby Football Union