Jordan just the latest to smash sport's glass ceiling

New Tyrone GAA chief one of several recent female trailblazers in men's sport

BY Raf Diallo 16:55 Wednesday 10 December 2014, 16:55 10 Dec 2014

New Tyrone GAA chairperson Roisin Jordan (right) - photo:

Tyrone have elected the GAA’s first female county board chairperson in Ireland this week, but Roisín Jordan is not the only woman to make an advancement into sporting worlds traditionally dominated by men lately.

Referee Helen O'Reilly ©INPHO/James Crombie

Helen O’Reilly became the first female to join IRFU’s referee panel this week.

The former Ashbourne and St Mary's player O'Reilly has been refereeing for less than four years but this is a move that could eventually see her officiate in Guinness Pro12 and European Champions Cup games.

"Helen's appointment is based solely on merit but as the first female referee to make the panel she must be congratulated," said IRFU referee development director Owen Doyle.

Republic of Ireland's Stephanie Roche ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Stephanie Roche is in contention to become the first female winner of FIFA's Goal of the Year.

The Dubliner made the final three for the award last week, and will be up against male superstars Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez when the winner will be announced on January 12.

Roche's sensational strike came when playing for Peamount United against Wexford Youths in the Women's National League in October 2013.

Derval O'Rourke at London 2012 ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Derval O’Rourke was appointed as Munster Rugby’s player development manager last month.

The 33-year-old former world indoors sprint hurdles champion’s role works on a part-time basis on players' personal development and general well-being.

Cork woman O’Rourke won silver medals at the European Athletics Championships in 2006 and 2010.

Lisa Fallon (centre) ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Lisa Fallon’s role as opposition analyst for Northern Ireland and Cork City isn’t a recent development but is most definitely breaking new ground in women’s involvement in the male sporting sphere.

She is also director of football at Castleknock Celtic in Dublin and is Ireland's foremost female coach working in men’s sport.


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