Former Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has been appointed as the Irish FA’s first ever Head of Public Affairs.
Lyttle, who served as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for over a decade from 2010 until 2022, will take up the role next month and will lead on actively managing the Irish FA's relationship with government at all levels. He will work within the organisation’s Communications team and report to Danny Lynch, Director of Communications.
Lyttle, a qualified UEFA B Licence Football Coach, was chairperson of the Education Committee from 2020 to 2022 and deputy chairperson of the All-Party Assembly Group on Sport. He is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Frank Knox Fellow in Public Policy and Public Administration.
“It is an exciting privilege to join the Irish FA team to support the huge potential football has to unite and empower people of all backgrounds in Northern Ireland,” said Lyttle.
He further pointed out: “Football, from grassroots to the men's, women's and disability national teams, is transforming Northern Ireland for the better. The game is contributing to better physical and mental health, improved educational outcomes and a shared and safer community, and with the support and partnership of government and business can achieve even more.
“There are exciting opportunities that a restored Northern Ireland Executive must grasp particularly for women and girls by supporting the Northern Ireland team at the Women’s Euros next month and delivering the long overdue football stadia funding that will help clubs across Northern Ireland to be community hubs and support our bid to host Euro 2028 games in Northern Ireland.”
Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson said: “Chris’s government experience and football credentials make him the perfect fit for this new role.
“I am confident he will help us further our links with key groups and individuals from our political stakeholders both here in Northern Ireland and further afield, too.
“He will join an experienced and welcoming staff team who will ensure he hits the ground running.”