The IRB is under fire after a senior official claimed the process for finding a new chief executive was undermined when candidates were lied to.
Peter Boyle, the former president of the Irish Rugby Football Union, submitted his resignation from the interview panel claiming that “the [application] process is fundamentally flawed and not open, fair and transparent”.
Former CEO Mike Miller resigned from his positionback in January and the IRB appointed head-hunters Odgers Berndston to lead the search for his replacement. The Times claims that 20 applicants were long listed with a view to that being whittled down to a shortlist of four.
A letter was sent to those who failed to make the cut saying that following a meeting of the selection panel – consisting of IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset, Oregan Hoskins and Boyle – their credentials were deemed to have fallen short of what was required for the role. Boyle disputes this explanation, claiming the candidates were not properly considered.
“The contents of this letter were a total fabrication and lie – no such meeting had even taken place,” Boyle told the Times. “Following further inquires it has emerged the recruitment agent agreed the final four candidates with [Lapasset] and they were notified to attend a meeting in London on May 4 and 5 without reference to the other panel members.
“In my opinion the process is flawed and the reputation of the IRB stands to be damaged. You don’t have a reputation if you do not have integrity and the integrity of the process is clearly flawed.”
It had been hoped the process would have been completed in May, but now discarded candidates have all been invited to re-apply, although at least two are understood to have refused.
A spokesman for the IRB claimed “there is a process in place and that process is on-going. At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further.”