Chairman: 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.
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: Kieran Meehan
Kieran joined the Irish Red Cross in 2005 and was one of the founder members of the North Clare Branch, serving as Branch Chairperson until 2009. At area level he has been Branch Chairperson for five out of the last six years. He was first nominated to Central Council (now General Assembly) in May 2011 and was seconded on to the Training Working Group during the latter stages of 2011. He has a particular interest in the provision of training and development for Branch officers and the use of technology to aid the Society’s training and volunteer work. In the first aid sphere, Kieran completed his Emergency Medical First Responder (EMFR) training in 2007 and qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 2011. During 2007 he also completed his instructor training and has taught Branch First Aid and Cardiac First Response (CFR) courses. He is currently an Irish Water Safety lifesaving instructor. Professionally Kieran has been a post-primary teacher for the last 20 years. He has undertaken postgraduate studies in the areas of educational management and leadership and school development planning. The latter focused on developing skills in the areas of facilitation, presentation and observation, while this course also looked at policy formation and development.
Board Member: Dr Muiris O'Ceidigh
Has experience as a Board Member in Medical Scientists Registration Board and Cooperative Housing Ireland.
Dr Muiris has experience as a Commercial Lawyer and a Director of Governance, has a doctorate in Governance and specialised in Data Protection Practice. He has previously held the position of Director (appointed by UK Gov.) at the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland.
Dr Muiris has previous financial experience as an Examiner in Financial Management for the Institute of Incorporated Public Accounts and has experience as in Corporate Governance & as an Audit Committee Chair.
He has been a Board member of Cooperative Housing Ireland, he lectures in economics, business and commercial law in NCI. He is currently CEO of National Microelectronics Application Centre and has both a Master’s in Public Management and Business Administration as well as a Doctorate in Governance.
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: Claire Rush
Claire Rush is a qualified solicitor with a vast amount of experience and knowledge in policy development and international human rights law. She has over 8 years of experience in the areas of policy development, scaled policy enforcement and legal challenges relating to content shared online and how it can impact upon the rights of others. She currently volunteers in her spare time with a local charity in Dun Laoghire that works with elderly people in the area.
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.
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.
Treasurer: Sheila Callan
Sheila Callan is a General Assembly member representing the Dublin Borough Area and is the Dublin Borough Area Chairperson. Sheila previously served on the Board and has been the Area Treasurer and Branch Treasurer. Sheila is the chairperson of the Finance Working Group. Sheila has completed seven missions overseas for the Red Cross and was the Country Director for the Society’s operations in Sri Lanka for a year and a half. During her working life Sheila has worked within the financial team and completed a Women in Management Course in IMI and recently completed a Charity Law, Governance and Trusteeship with the Law Society.
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: 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, a member of the Finance Working Group, and Dublin Borough Area Treasurer.
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: 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: Mareike Eccleston
Mareike is the General Assembly Representative for the Waterford Area.Having joined the Irish Red Cross Portlaw Branch in 2011 to establish a Cardiac First Response Group and Public Access Defibrillators, Mareike has served as Branch Secretary and Area Treasurer. She was involved in the youth group and this was followed by the position of Deputy Unit Officer and now Unit Officer. As an active member of the uniformed unit, Mareike progressed to the level of Emergency Medical Technician and instructor to CFR Advanced Level, as well as Community Psychological Provider. Mareike is passionate about utilising and sharing these skills not only when providing medical cover for events but also in a variety of Health and Social Care activities, including welcoming migrants in the reception centre in Waterford, providing support to the local soup kitchen and taking part in hospital visitations and more.
Professionally, Mareike has a strong hotel and catering background as well as childminding and secretarial experience. She currently works in customer service. Community support and resilience are very important to Mareike who has been active in various other community organisations and projects since arriving in Ireland from Germany. Her husband and two children are also active members of the Irish Red Cross. Mareike has recently joined the Board of Directors with the aim of continuing on and contributing to the tremendous progress made within the Irish Red Cross in recent years.