co kerry

Our Board

Our Board of Directors is charged with providing strategic leadership and oversight of the organisation.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is governed by a Board of 10 directors. Appointments are made by Ministers responsible for natural resources (three positions), the Minister responsible for rural affairs (one position) and by a Joint Oireachtas Committee (four positions). The remaining two positions are occupied by the Chief Executive Officer (ex-officio) and elected staff nominee.

The Board is responsible for shaping our priorities, providing strategic leadership and overseeing the implementation of organisation's statutory functions.

The Board has established a standing Audit and Risk Committee to oversee our key areas of financial and risk management.

Members of the Board 

Prof Tom Collins, Chair

Prof Collins has extensive experience of working in areas cognate to that of Inland Fisheries Ireland. These include work on the conservation of Atlantic salmon which culminated in the banning of drift net fishing in Irish coastal waters. He has served as Chair of the Rural Water Monitoring Group and Chair of An Foram Uisce.   His professional activities required Leadership, Faciliation and Change Management skills.  He has also been active in university governance contexts at chair level since 2013. Professor Collins brings a vast and invaluable wealth of experience to the role. 

Maria Graham

Ms Graham is a retired civil servant with a strong background in corporate governance, strategic planning, financial management, collaborative working, including through stakeholder engagement and specific experience in infrastructure provision, water environmental and planning issues, including the interaction between development and environmental issues including the relevant EU Directives.

Ms Jackie Maguire

Ms Maguire has experience across both service delivery and strategic policy development at regional, county, town and urban level. She has held the position of Chief Executive of two Local Authorities (Meath and Leitrim) spanning 17 years and has a long career immersed in local government. She has provided leadership to deliver for citizens from an economic, political, social and environmental perspective. To do so she has influenced key stakeholders to deliver what is required for the county(ies) and doing so from a base of knowledge of the county, local, regional and national policy and the framework and workings of local authorities.

Raymond O’Dwyer

Mr O’Dwyer has 40 years’ experience in Local Government Management and in Engineering and Civil Engineering projects. His skills include corporate Governance and leadership, problem solving with a solutions driven approach, project management, team building, multitasking and he has a wide experience in dealing with Public meeting, high level engagement with senior politicians, Board and national committees. 

Aebhín Cawley

Ms Cawley is a CEO of Scott Cawley Ltd with a background in ecological consultancy. She is experienced in the assessment of ecological  impacts of public and private sector projects including infrastructure projects of national importance, and in the delivery of training on biodiversity and ecology to the public and private sector. Recognised as a leading authority in Ireland on the implications and application of the EU Habitats and Birds Directives. Successful track record in setting up and running a leading ecological consultancy. Four years’ independent non-executive director (INED) experience and 16 years’ corporate governance experience as director.

Dr Jonathan Derham

Dr Derham has over 36 years national and international working experience in both the public and private sectors.  He has worked in a management role in the Environment Protection Agency from 1995 to 2022. He has key skills in and experience in public sector governance; EU and National environmental policy; stakeholder engagement; regulatory and legal affairs; climate disruption; natural capita; water protection; land use management; and sustainability. The corporate services experience includes development and implementation of strategy; work programming; organisational design; HR policy & recruitment; change management; performance management; budgeting, finance, procurement and grant management; efficiency & effectiveness reviews; and risk management. 

Karin Dubsky

Ms Dubsky is an Environmental Scientist and Citizen Science Expert and Director of Coastwatch and Sustainable Water Network (SWAN).  Her main Fisheries policy experience is in the marine environment and she can bring scientific and social expertise to the Board. As a zoologist and estuarine ecologist she has worked on a range of wetland projects at home and internationally, including a recent stream biodiversity EIP (European Innovation Partnership) project.  She has designed several marine invasive alien species ID and control projects.   

Dr Paul Leo Connolly

Dr Connolly retired from the position as CEO of the Marine Institute on 30th June 2023 after 33 years of service to the organisation. In that time, he worked on the national and international stage as a scientist, manager and leader. Key areas he has been involved in include the formulation of advice on the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks, aquaculture research, implementation of conservation measures, scientific support for government policies, leading and developing applied research projects, crafting corporate strategies, facilitation of meaningful stakeholder engagement, formulation of Budgets and Corporate Governance.  

Lorraine O’Donnell

Ms O’Donnell is a dedicated manager working with teams across various functions in IFI for over 25 years.  She has key skills in leadership, Communication, Adaptability and Strategic thinking. 

IFI staff voted on 10 October 2023 to elect Lorraine as a staff representative in line with section 13 of the Inland Fisheries Act, 2010 and appointed by the Minister as set out under Section 12 (1) (f) of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010.  Ms O’Donnells appointment to the Board will be from 16 January 2024 for a period of 5 years or until the date of termination of her appointment, whichever is the earliest