On 10th July 2020 Atlas Ireland became a registered charity in Ireland - Registered Charity Number (RCN) 20205774


Rugby Champion and former Lion Shane Byrne Chairs the Board in Ireland. He is supported by a team with expertise in rugby, finance, law and medicine.



Focusing on rugby as a tool for social inclusion, Shane reflects on his experience of rugby as a uniting power for peace and reconciliation between the North and South of his country. Atlas Ireland is proud that rugby has a history of playing across borders irrespective of underlying tensions. 

The first programmes will work to achieve a higher level of social inclusion in the sport with a particular emphasis on helping marginalised youth people. This includes those recovering from trauma, those with physical disabilities, life-limiting illnesses and mental health issues. Participating alongside able-bodied people in Mixed Ability Rugby Sessions aims to create an inclusive, representative and fun environment that breaks down barriers and stigma, and creates strong supportive bonds. 

With Shane's touring history for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, he is very aware of the poverty that he saw overseas. Therefore Atlas Ireland will also focus on addressing similar issues in other continents. 

Shane has already visited Zimbabwe and Zambia where he handed out boots and balls to the children there who otherwise played barefoot. 


After being forced to cancel our launch event in May of this year due to Covid-19, Shane Byrne will be launching Atlas Ireland by hosting the Rugby Legends Golf Classic on Friday 25th September 2020 at Druids Glen Golf Resort, Wicklow alongside a host of rugby legends from the Six Nations.