Home About Us Corporate Governance Board Of Directors

Our Board of Directors consist of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and 9 others.

Chair: 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 he was responsible for the National Drugs Strategy; community development policy; social inclusion, family, equality and integration policy; Irish language policy; cross-border matters in the area of language, culture, waterways and rural development. He also had responsibility for developing dormant accounts and charities regulation.


Vice Chair: Tom Horwell


Tom joined the Irish Red Cross in 1981 and has held several senior roles within the charity, including Regional Director of Units (RDU) for Dublin North East and Chair of the National Youth Working Group from 2001 to 2008. Tom continues to be an advocate for Red Cross Youth and for the development of the Society’s young members. Tom is employed by the National Ambulance Service as an Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer for Operations. Prior to this, he was the Senior Tutor in the National Ambulance College in the Phoenix Park for 11 years. Before joining the National Ambulance Service, Tom was a Business Studies teacher.

Tom has been the Louth Area – General Assembly Representative for the last number of years. He has also served on the Executive Committee and Chaired the Nominations Committee. His reason for seeking a Board level position is to take a more active part in the change process affecting the Irish Red Cross.

Secretary: Barry O'Donovan

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 6 years later. In 1999, Barry headed to Barcelona, Spain for 6 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 4 years, he has served as Cork Area Vice Chairman, 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.

Treasurer: Sheila Callan


General Assembly member representing the Dublin Borough Area. Sheila is the Dublin Borough Area Chairperson. She previously served on the Board and has been the Area Treasurer and Branch Treasurer. A former member of the Finance Working Group.

Sheila has completed seven missions overseas for the Red Cross. She 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. She is currently doing a Charity Law, Governance and Trusteeship with the Law Society.

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 (county) 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 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 has completed his Emergency Medical First Responder (EMFR) training in 2007 and qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 2011. Also during 2007 he 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 post graduate studies in the areas of Educational Management and Leadership and School Development Planning. The latter had focus on developing skills in the areas of Facilitation, Presentation and Observation, and study of policy formation and development. He has a special interest in school and organisational culture and on development cross curricular links in schools. He is also serving his third (three year) term on his school board. He is also chairperson of the parents association in another school.

Kieran believes he can make a positive contribution at Board level to further develop the Society, drawing on the range of experiences and skill sets outlined.

Board Member: Colin Wilson 


Colin Wilson was appointed to the Board of the Irish Red Cross in 2015. He has a B.SC (Mgmt) from Trinity College Dublin and the Dublin Institute of Technology, a Post Graduate diploma in Enterprise and Innovation (DIT) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (DIT). He is an AITI - Chartered Tax Adviser with the Irish Taxation Institute. He is an adviser member of Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Tax Enquiry Panel.

He is also a member of the Institute of Directors. Colin was appointed by Government to the Dormant Accounts Board in 2007 and appointed to its Audit Sub-Committee in 2008. Reappointed to the Dormant Accounts Board in 2010 he was made Chairman of its Audit Committee in 2012. Colin was also an advisor to the Irish delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe.

Colin Wilson’s daily work involves the provision of relevant advice to individuals, self-employed, self-assessed, family firms, companies and organisations. He is the Managing Director of Wilson Taxation, a Dún Laoghaire based firm of Chartered Tax Advisers.

Colin has also contributed articles to national Sunday Newspapers on taxation and related matters.


Board Member: Darren Ryan

Darren Ryan

Darren, a member of the Clonmel Branch, became an Irish Red Cross member in 1992, joining the youth section. Darren progressed through the structure of the Irish Red Cross in Clonmel and has served as Branch Chairperson, Asst. Unit Officer and is currently the Clonmel Branch Honorary Secretary, as well as holding positions on the Tipperary Area Committee. Darren has always been an Irish Red Cross Youth champion, holding the role of National Youth Working Group Chairperson from 2008 to 2014. Darren currently serves as Chairperson of the Irish Red Cross National Safeguarding Committee, a position he thoroughly enjoys. Darren is a Government Nominee to the Irish Red Cross General Assembly.

Darren Chaired the Societies Strategic Development Team which oversaw the introduction of the Irish Red Cross Strategy 'The Way to 2018'. Darren is involved in many community and voluntary groups in Clonmel-South Tipperary, and most recently has been appointed to the Governments National Consultative Forum on Youth Mental Health.

Professionally, Darren is currently a Childcare Manager and had worked for many years in the disability sector, he holds qualifications from UCC and more recently from NUI Maynooth, where he completed a level 8 in Child Protection & Welfare.

Board Member: Maura Lowry

Maura Lowry

Maura is the Roscommon Representative on the General Assembly and was previously on the Central Council. She is a founder member of the Ballaghaderreen Branch and set up the Roscommon Area Committee in November 2012. Maura is a member of the Health & Social Care Working Group. She is an EMT and CISM Trained and Peer Supporter. She is the Area Director of Units for Roscommon. She is a member of the Board of Directors of her local playschool.

Board Member: Sean Mason

Sean Mason

Sean Mason is a Director of Ove Arup & Partners Ireland, a leading Irish and international consulting engineering company. Sean is a qualified and chartered Civil Engineer and a Fellow of Engineers Ireland, with 30 years experience in engineering design and consultancy. He has worked mainly in Ireland, but also in the UK, US, mainland Europe and Hong Kong.

Sean has been involved with various humanitarian and development organisations for many years. He is Project Director for Arup’s charitable development work in Pajule, Northern Uganda. He served as Chair of Engineers Ireland’s Developing World Protocol, where engineering consultants, contractors and local authorities provided technical expertise and support to the main Irish Aid agencies (NGOs) involved in overseas development work, coordinated through Engineers Ireland.

Sean has also previously been a soup runner for the Simon Community in Dublin, and served on the Greystones conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Sean is married with four children, and lives in Greystones County Wicklow.

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 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 RTE for over 30 years and presently works in the Radio Advertising Production Department. He is also a member of RTE’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 RTE Credit Union and Treasurer of the RTE Childcare Cooperative.

Board Member: Julie O’Brien

julie-obrienJulie 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 and is the Area Treasurer for Cavan. Julie is the current General Assembly representative for Cavan. She 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 the other qualifications of CFRC, CFRCI, CFRA, OFAI
and 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: Cepta Dowling

Cepta Dowling is from Dublin and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Enterprise and Innovation (2014) also a Bachelor’s Degree in Further Education Management (2003), both from DCU. Having taken time-out from her employment with AnCO, to rear her three children, she returned to the workforce in 1997 to start another phase of her career with FAS.  She subsequently moved to Northside Partnership where she held responsibility for researching and implementing many innovative projects.  Her years of experience extend over areas of human resources, policies and procedures, business start-ups, project management and, in recent years, governance and compliance. Since her retirement in2013 Cepta has worked as a consultant in Community and Voluntary Sector.  She is married to Jim, has three adult children and three grandchildren.

Board Member: Mareike Eccleston

Mareike is the General Assembly Representative for the Waterford Area.marieke 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, was involved in the youth group, followed by the position of Deputy Unit Officer and now Unit Officer.  As an active member of the uniformed unit, she progressed to the level of Emergency Medical Technician and instructor to CFR Advanced Level as well as Community Psychological Provider and is passionate about utilising and sharing these skills not only when providing medical cover for events but also in a variety of Health & Social Care activities including welcoming migrants in their reception centre in Waterford, providing support to the local soup kitchen, 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 Services.  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 2 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.