THE Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has found its new chief executive in the pharmaceutical world.

Darragh O’Loughlin, a pharmacist from Co Galway, will start in the role on June 29th, filling a post left vacant last September when Denis Egan took early retirement. Cliodhna Guy was acting CEO in the interim.

O’Loughlin was secretary general of the Irish Pharmacy Union from 2013 until April 2022, having been president of the IPU for a spell before then. During his time representing the country’s 1,800 community pharmacists, he was used to challenging the Department of Health publicly.

A pharmacist who has worked alongside the new IHRB boss described O’Loughlin as “straight, very bright and good to deal with. He doesn’t take any nonsense or suffer fools gladly.”

IHRB chairman Martin O’Donnell said: “Darragh combines proven strategic, organisational and people leadership with impressive regulatory credentials and extensive stakeholder engagement experience. We look forward to him leading the IHRB and our top-class committed team as we enter our next strategic planning phase.

“This will guide the organisation’s priorities in addressing the evolving needs of Irish racing and ensuring the continued positive reputation of the sport and ongoing confidence for all stakeholders.”

O’Loughlin said: “I am honoured to have been appointed to this vital role for horse racing and look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“Ireland is rightly at the forefront of global horse racing and has an enviable reputation thanks to the great work of all stakeholders, including the excellent team at the IHRB, who have been acknowledged as best in class at what they do.

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues to ensure Irish horse racing and its reputation continue to thrive over the coming years.”