John Boyle (61), founder of the largest independent bookmaker in Ireland, Boylesports, has announced for the second time this year that he will be retiring as chief executive of the company.

Boyle has been at the company since he founded it in 1989 and since then, the bookmaker has grown into a network of more than 200 retail shops, making it the largest independent bookmaker in Ireland. He has been involved in the industry for more than 30 years, since 1982, when he purchased his first small betting shop in Markethill, Co Armagh.

Boyle stood down from his position once already, but promptly returned; however, he has now announced his successor as Conor Gray, his son-in-law. Gray has worked at Boylesports for 16 years, beginning as a cashier trainee at the Baggot Road, Dublin brand shop in 2001. In 2003, he moved to the headquarters of the Information and Media department of the company in Dundalk, County Louth.

For the following ten years, he held executive positions in a number of departments, including IT, Trading and Digital. In 2013, he moved to Asia to oversee relationship development work for the bookmaker, and then returned to take up the position of chief operating officer in the beginning of 2014.

“After 35 years building Boylesports from one shop into Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker, it would not be possible to step back if I were not confident that I was handing the reins to the right person,” announced Mr Boyle.

“In Conor I am confident I have a successor who can bring not only experience and expertise, but also a passion for all things related to bookmaking in general, and Boylesports in particular.”

Boyle’s daughters, Orla and Jenna, hold senior positions within the company.