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Chairman: Pat Carey

Pat Carey Pat was a TD for nearly 14 years and has extensive experience in public policy at national and international level and has chaired or been a board member of many organisations. Pat is the first independently appointed Irish Red Cross chairperson. As a minister Pat was responsible for community development policy, social inclusion, Irish language policy, cross-border matters in the area of language, culture, waterways and rural development, the National Drugs Strategy and family, equality and integration policy. Pat also had responsibility for charities regulation and developing dormant accounts.

National Secretary: Barry O'Donovan

Barry joined the Bandon Branch of the Irish Red Cross as a youth member in 1992 and became a National Youth Working Group member just six years later. In 1999, Barry headed to Barcelona, Spain for six months working for the European Voluntary Service with La Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross) in a centre for refugees and asylum seekers. In 2002, Barry was elected as Honorary Secretary of the Irish Red Cross Bandon Branch and in 2008 was co-opted to the Cork Area Committee. Over the last four years, Barry has served as Cork Area Vice-Chairman and Cork Area Honorary Secretary. In 2012, Barry served as a member of the Organisational Capacity Assessment Team and a member of the Strategy Development Team. 

Board Member: Cepta Dowling

Cepta Dowling is from Dublin and holds a master’s degree in social enterprise and innovation (2014) and a bachelor degree in further education management (2003), both from DCU. Having taken time out from her employment with AnCO to rear her three children, Cepta returned to the workforce in 1997 to start another phase of her career with FÁS. She subsequently moved to Northside Partnership where she held responsibility for researching and implementing many innovative projects. Cepta has a wide range of experience, in areas which include human resources, policies and procedures, business start-ups, project management and, in recent years, governance and compliance. Since her retirement in 2013, Cepta has worked as a consultant in the community and voluntary sector. She is married to Jim, has three adult children and three grandchildren.

Board Member: Rosemarie Hayden

Rosemarie joined the Clane Branch of the Irish Red Cross as a youth member in 1990 and has served for approaching 30 years in a variety of volunteer roles in the society including National Chair of the Community Service Working Group 2010-2013 launching the second edition of the Society’s Carers Manual while in 2012 she served as a member of the National Strategy Development Team. Rosemarie is currently serving her third term as Area Director of Units for Kildare and is an active Emergency Medical Technician volunteer.

Professionally Rosemarie is a qualified solicitor with over 15 years’ experience in-house and in private practice with a strong interest in education and corporate governance matters. Rosemarie has served on a number of Boards both professionally and in a voluntary capacity in Ireland and internationally; currently serving as a member of the national board of the Irish Women Lawyers Association.

Board Member: Sunil Kurup Krishnankutty

Sunil joined the Irish Red Cross in 2009 and has been a member of the Cork City Branch. At Branch and Area level he has been an active volunteer and has served in various positions like First Aid and Cardiac First Response Instructor,  Branch Secretary, Branch Treasurer, Area Secretary, Area Vice Chairman, Assistant Area Director of Units, Deputy Area Director of Units (all Cork Area).

Sunil has been involved with Volunteer Ireland and has over 28 years of volunteering experience with different organisations.

At the national level, Sunil is a member of the Volunteer Support and Development Working Group and Governance committee. Sunil is currently employed with the National Ambulance Service as a Paramedic and before his tenure with National Ambulance Service he has been a quality management consultant. He has a particular interest in Governance and Volunteer Management.

 Vice-Chairman: Olivia Mitchell

Olivia Mitchell is a well known and regarded national politician. She is qualified with a Bachelor in Arts in Economics and Politics. She began her career teaching economics and became involved in politics as Councillor and later Chair of the Local Authority. She was elected to the Dáil in 1997 and has served on the Fine Gael front bench as spokesperson on Housing, Health & Children, Arts, Sports & Tourism, Communications and Transport. 

Interim National Treasurer: Brian Byrne

Brian has been a member of the Irish Red Cross for 37 years. In that time he has held various positions at Unit, Branch, Area and National levels including; Deputy Area Director of Units, Area Chairman, member of the Training Working Group and member of the National Unit Management Committee. Brian is the General Assembly representative for Dublin Borough, Dublin Borough Area Treasurer. and recently been appointed to our audit and risk committee and as result he has retired from the Finance Working Group. 

Brian has been employed by RTÉ for over 30 years and presently works in the Radio Advertising Production Department. He is also a member of RTÉ’s Advertising Copy Clearance Committee, ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements. He has also held the voluntary positions of Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of the RTÉ Credit Union and Treasurer of the RTÉ Childcare Co-operative.

Board Member: Ted Noonan

Ted joined the Irish Red Cross in 1968 as a member of the Cork City Branch and later joined the Mallow Branch.  As a branch and unit member, Ted is a very active volunteer and has served in various positions such as Area Vice chairman, Unit Officer, Assistant Area Director of Units and Area Director of Units Cork .At a National level, Ted is currently the Chairperson of the Volunteer Support and Development Working Group, and holds the position of Regional Director of units (RDU) South. Ted is currently the Irish Red Cross representative on the Voluntary Emergency Services South (VES South) and was the first elected chairperson of this forum (2009 -2011). This forum is set up under the Framework For Major Emergency Management. Ted is very proactive in developing community resilience programmes in his region. During the winter crisis, floods and emergencies from 2009 to 2018 he coordinated the IRC crews in the Southern Region which responded to many calls outs. In 2010 he received the REHAB Cork person the year award for his voluntary work with the Irish Red Cross. Ted recently took early retirement from eircom after 42 years’ service where he started as a technician and was promoted to various managerial roles and held positions in the access operations, HR , Health & Safety and change management.

Board Member: Julie O’Brien

Julie joined the Irish Red Cross in 2004. She is a member of the Bailieborough Branch in Cavan. Since joining the Irish Red Cross, Julie has been actively involved in the Society at both Branch and Area level. Julie is the current chairperson of the Bailieborough Branch, the Area Treasurer for Cavan, and is the current General Assembly Representative for Cavan. Julie is also on the Finance Working Group and the Health and Safety Forum.

At all these levels, Julie has taken on responsibilities to always help seek to progress the Society with a view to securing its long-term future. Julie holds many First Aid qualifications. She is an EMT and holds many other qualifications including CFRC, CFRCI, CFRA and OFAI. Julie is also a People Moving and Handling Instructor. Julie is the current Deputy Area Director of Units in Cavan.Professionally, Julie is the owner of her own healthcare-training company, teaching various healthcare and childcare courses in adult education. Julie has served on the Board of Management at both Killinkere National School and Bailieborough Community School.

Board Member: Donal Lawlor

Donal has extensive experience over a 30-year career in accounting and finance in a broad range of industries.  After graduating from university, he joined AIB where he worked in financial control.  Later he became Finance Director of an international HR Consulting organisation.  In 2001 he joined the Irish Management Institute (IMI) as Finance Director and Company Secretary.  In this role, he was instrumental in many significant projects, including the planning and construction of the 50-bedroom IMI Residence.

He then joined Autoglass as Head of Finance and IT.  In 2013 he was appointed Managing Director of Autoglass and set about transforming the company with a strong emphasis on the use of IT and automation.

Donal has also served as Chairman of the Audit Committee of both the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the National Disability Authority (NDA) along with serving as a director of the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF).He has a degree in Accounting and Finance, is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA/CGMA).  He has a MSc. in IT and is in the final stages of completing the Chartered Director qualification with the Institute of Directors.