Our Speakers

Garrett Fennell
Director, Public Affairs Ireland

Garrett Fennell is a solicitor and a specialist consultant in regulatory and public affairs. Garrett has advised a large number of public bodies on compliance issues and practices. Garrett is a founding Director of Public Affairs Ireland and leads a specialist regulatory and public policy consultancy, Fennell Public Affairs, in 1997. He formerly worked with the ESB and McCann FitzGerald.

Garrett Fennell
Director, Public Affairs Ireland
Shirley Comerford
Chief Executive Officer for the Public Appointment Service

Shirley Comerford is an experienced HR executive with significant senior management experience working effectively in both operational and strategic roles across a range of sectors. She has spent a number of years in Australia working in the Education and Healthcare sectors.

Shirley Comerford
Chief Executive Officer for the Public Appointment Service
Professor Blanaid Clarke
McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Blanaid holds the McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law at Trinity College Dublin. She is the Irish representative on the OECD Corporate Governance Committee and is a member of the European Securities and Markets Authority Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group. She also serves as a Vice President of the Academic Board of the European Banking Institute. Blanaid was a member of the Irish Central Bank Commission (2010-2018) and the European Commission’s Informal Expert Group on Company Law (2014-2018) and Reflection Group on the Future of EU Company Law (2010-2011).

Professor Blanaid Clarke
McCann FitzGerald Chair in Corporate Law, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin
Alan McDonnell
Consultant, Founder & Principal, Good Governance Solutions

Alan is the founder of Good Governance Solutions, an independent consultancy specialising in advising boards on best practice in corporate governance. Having served on boards across all sectors he currently acts as Director and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Alan McDonnell
Consultant, Founder & Principal, Good Governance Solutions
Pat Downes
Managing Partner of Lionheart

Patrick Downes is Managing Partner of Lionheart, a corporate governance & risk advisory consultancy. Prior to establishing the practice he was an executive director in one of the commercial semi-state. He has over thirty years of experience at board level across the public and corporate landscape. Patrick has chaired a number of organisations and is a former chairman of the Corporate Governance Association of Ireland. He has served on a number of boards in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Pat Downes
Managing Partner of Lionheart
Louise Byrne
Senior Associate, A&L Goodbody

Louise Byrne is an associate in A&L Goodbody's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, where her practice focuses on white collar and corporate crime matters. Louise represents and defends clients in government and internal investigations and prosecutions. She also advises on all related matters, including the design and implementation of anti-bribery and corruption policies, whistleblowing complaints and money laundering issues.

Louise Byrne
Senior Associate, A&L Goodbody
Orla O'Brien
CEO Laura Lynn

Laura has over 28 years’ acute hospital experience, 18 years of which were at a management level. Orla qualified as a Registered Children’s and General Nurse in 1989 and subsequently qualified as a paediatric intensive care nurse before taking on management and leadership roles. Orla was also previously Deputy Director of Nursing in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Project Manager in the Department of Health and most recently Chief Operations Officer with the Children’s Hospital Group.

Orla O'Brien
CEO Laura Lynn
David Kinsella
Risk Advisory Partner, Deloitte

David Kinsella is a partner in the our Risk Advisory practice specialising in the provision of internal audit and risk management services to clients in the financial services, corporate and public sectors. David leads a number of the significant IA co-sourcing engagements and has also lead a number of risk advisory and special engagements for a host of national and international clients.

David Kinsella
Risk Advisory Partner, Deloitte
Níall Fitzgerald FCA CTC
Head of Governance and Ethics, Chartered Accountants Ireland

Níall, a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Consultant, has responsibility for leading the development of policy and embedding of matters relating to governance and business ethics across operations of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Níall qualified and worked with PwC as an auditor and has since also worked in consulting, advising in relation to provision of professional services, policy and internal control development, induction and board committee training.

Níall Fitzgerald FCA CTC
Head of Governance and Ethics, Chartered Accountants Ireland

PAI’s 2019 Conference sponsors / exhibitors:

 

In September 2014 the Government announced significant changes to the process for appointing members of State Boards. The changes introduced sought to increase transparency in how appointments are made, widen the pool of potential appointees and ensure members of State Boards have the appropriate skills, experience and expertise required to govern public bodies.

 

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) was given responsibility for key aspects of the process to identify a list of potential appointees for consideration by the relevant Minister.  PAS have been tasked with promoting this new initiative and ensuring that there is widespread awareness of the available opportunities.

 

Through the Stateboards.ie website there is a single dedicated point of contact for people interested in finding out about state board opportunities.  Those interested in being considered for appointment can register on the website and request to receive alerts when new campaigns are advertised online.

 

There is a wide and diverse range of State Boards in the commercial, administrative, advisory and regulatory fields.  PAS encourages expressions of interest from people with relevant experience who are willing to make a contribution to the performance of public bodies.  Details of all current vacancies and experience required are available on www.stateboards.ie.