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 Frances Lucy
Interim Chair. Professor Frances Lucy is Head of the Department of Environmental Science and Director of CERIS, the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability at the Institute of Technology, Sligo. Her main research interests are in aquatic invasive species, fisheries science, water quality and sustainability. Professor Lucy is President of Invasivesnet and is also involved in a range of environmental forums in both Europe and North America. She is President of Invasivesnet and a director of CERIS.
Mr Patrick Gibbons
Mr. Patrick Gibbons is a full-time Independent Non-Executive Director. He is also a commercial lawyer with experience on the board of several financial service companies and public bodies, including chairing several Audit & Risk Committees. Before that, he had 15 years of experience at senior executive level in charge of the compliance and legal functions of a number of leading financial services regulated entities encompassing enterprise risk management, corporate governance and regulation. A member of the Inland Fisheries Ireland Board since 2016, Mr. Gibbons chaired its Audit & Risk Committee from 2020-2021.
Bernadette Orbinski Burke is a chartered accountant with 23 years of senior financial management experience in a number of large organisations, including the international medical emergency aid agency Médecins Sans Frontieres. Ms Orbinski Burke has substantial Board experience ranging from large international Boards to smaller national Boards. She has had extensive involvement in managing change in organisations and is experienced in identifying and managing risk. She has also held membership of Board sub-committees which included chairing an international Finance Directors Group and membership of a governance change management team.
Michael McGreal has previously served on the Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland from 2010 to 2015. He is a member of the Local Authorities’ National Oversight and Audit Committee (NOAC) monitoring costs and efficiencies throughout 31 Local Authorities. He has completed extensive training in corporate governance and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Marie Louise Heffernan
Marie Louise Heffernan is a consultant ecologist and owner-director of Aster Environmental Consultants Ltd established in 2002. Her company specialises in ecological assessments and compliance with the Habitats Directive. Mrs Heffernan also provides training to other professionals (ecologists and engineers) on this topic through her training branch The Ecology Centre. She is a Chartered Environmentalist and a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecological and Environmental Managers, with an MSc in Environmental Science from TCD 1995. She has also served on the Board of Global Action Plan (Ireland) and the board of FLAGS West. Mrs Heffernan's primary interest is the protection of biodiversity.
Fiona Walsh has extensive experience in the technology, education, and healthcare sectors. Mrs Walsh currently serves as non-executive Director to five organisations and consults in venture capital. She has been appointed as chairperson to one organisation and is also a member of four Audit and Risk Committees. Mrs Walsh has a Higher Diploma in Corporate Governance and an MBA from INSEAD.
Seán Coady, Staff Nominee
Sean Coady first joined the Fisheries Service in 1978. He has wide ranging experience in Fisheries Protection from various parts of the country. His current role is as Inspector in the Galway District of the WRBD. His main focus is centred on fisheries and environmental conservation with a view to ensuring that Inland Fisheries Ireland is properly resourced to fulfil its statutory functions. Inland Fisheries Ireland staff voted on 25 November 2020 to re-elect Sean as a worker representative in line with section 13 of the Inland Fisheries Act, 2010. In line with the provisions of the 2010 Act, Minister Eamon Ryan re-appointed Mr. Coady to the Board for a three-year term with effect from 7 December 2020.