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Board Members

Our Board Members have all signed up to our Board Code of Conduct

Detailed Terms of References for all Barnardos Board Sub Committees are also availble 

Audit & Risk Committee

Fundraising & Finance Committee

People & Culture Committee

Services Committee

Martin is a Chartered Accountant, and was CFO at KPMG Ireland from 2006 until he retired from KPMG in 2017.

Martin studied Commerce in UCD graduating in 1977. After completing his training with KPMG he has worked at senior management and board level in a wide range of industries including printing and Publishing, Transport; IT and Professional Services in Ireland and Germany.

He was Finance Director of the Sunday Tribune from 1983 to 1992. He was Finance Director for Securicor in Ireland and European Finance Director based in Germany from 1992 to 1997. On his return from Germany he joined the Dell in Bray where he headed the finance team for the UK Ireland Direct Sales and Marketing business.

He joined Vision Consulting as CFO in 2003 and then returned to KPMG as Head of Finance in 2006.

Martin has been associated with Barnardos since 2004. He is Chair of the trustees of KPMG Staff Pension Schemes and has a number of other non-executive Director roles.

Married with 3 children, Martin is a regular golfer and a keen supporter of Munster rugby.

Gary is Managing Partner and co-founder of Genesis, a business advisory firm established in 1995, that helps organisations grow and thrive by reimagining and redefining their strategy, brand and organisational culture. 

Alongside her advisory work, Gary is an executive, leadership and teams coach,  working with people to enable them to be the best they can be.

She has extensive non-executive director experience on the boards of private sector, public sector and not-for-profit organisations.  She has chaired several industry and political taskforces on behalf of government and state agencies.

Gary is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisors and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

Qualifications:  B.Soc.Sc (UCD); M.Sc. Executive Coaching (UCD 2024); Dip. Women’s Studies (NCI); Cert. Company Direction (IoD); Dip. Company Direction (IoD);  pursuing Chartered Director designation (2024).

Ivan Fox has over 30 years experience in financial markets.  He is currently an active private investor focused on financial services.

In 2014 Ivan co-led the buy-out of Merrion Capital Group.  The business was successfully sold to Cantor Fitzgerald in 2018. He continues to serve on the boards of a number of regulated entities within the Cantor group.

In the past 7 years he has co-founded and successfully exited two fintech businesses.

Ivan has served on the board of Barnardos for a number of years and is currently Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Ivan holds an MBA and BA from University College Dublin and a CDipAF from the ACCA.

He also holds a Diploma in Company Direction and is a Certified Investment Fund Director.

Professor Louise Crowley is a family law expert at the School of Law, University College Cork (UCC) where she is the Director of the Masters in Children’s Rights and Family Law.

Louise is the author of the leading Irish text Family Law (Roundhall Thomson). Her research focusses on the regulation of family formations and intimate relationships in a modern and diverse Ireland. Louise is a national voice on intimate partner violence having published widely on the adequacy of legal and educational responses to the challenges of gender-based violence.

Louise was a member of the Government appointed expert group that developed the National Framework to end Sexual Harassment and Vioelnce at Third Level and continues to advise on law and policy reform. At UCC, Louise has developed the campus-wide Bystander Intervention initiative which seeks to educate and empower staff and students to challenge the normalisation of sexual abuse and to recognise their role as pro-social bystanders to effect change and bring about a new normal of safety and respect.

Sue has been working in the communications industry since 1987, starting her career with Hill and Knowlton in London. Currently, she holds the position of Group Director, Employee Experience and Internal Communications at Smurfit Kappa Group, bringing extensive knowledge in marketing and communications to the Barnardos Board.

Prior to her current role, Sue served as Director of Marketing Communications for Kerry Group’s Taste & Nutrition division, transitioning from her initial position as Director of Employee Communications and Engagement. Before Kerry, she worked for over seven years with Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland (MRPI) as Head of Communications, overseeing the SuperValu & Centra brands.

Sue’s expertise spans internal communications, retail and food marketing, crisis communications, corporate & public affairs, sponsorship negotiation, event management, and sports marketing.

She has won several awards for her campaigns, including PRCA awards for projects like the SuperValu’s ‘Kids in Action’ programme and Centra’s Action Breast Cancer Campaign. Sue is passionate about sports, particularly Irish rugby, Leinster RFC, Liverpool FC, and the Chicago Bears, as well as her beloved Dubs. Outside of work, she enjoys horse-riding, reading, movies, good food, and good wine. Sue is married with a daughter.

Maria Kelly is a barrister practicing mainly in employment law.

She has over twenty-five years’ experience working as a senior executive in Human Resources, and general management. Maria started her career in Aer Lingus where she worked in sales and human resources. She held the positions of Head of Staff Relations, General Manager HR and Director of Change – Airline. Maria was appointed as Staff Secretary (Director of HR) at Trinity College Dublin in 2002 with responsibility for academic, administrative and general staff. She worked with the General Council of the Bar of Ireland for ten years having responsibility staff and several general management functions before returning to private practice.

She is currently a member of the College Fitness to Practise (Student) Committee at Trinity College Dublin.

Trevor Spratt is a Professor in Childhood Research, Trinity College Dublin.


Having worked for some years as a social worker with families and children, this experience has both informed and fuelled his research career, which included positions in the University of Ulster and Queen’ University Belfast, before taking up his present role in Trinity College Dublin. Trevor’s research is largely concerned with examining interventions by state and voluntary agencies in the lives of children and their families, including measuring the impact of services designed to improve family outcomes


Irene Gunning is a former CEO of Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) and prior to that Irish Preschool Playgroups Association (IPPA). 

ECI is one of the largest organisations in the early years sector. Its 3,800 childcare members support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool, and full day-care provision nationwide. Her work focused on quality enhancement, publications, advocacy, training, business support & information for a sector that employs over 25,000 people. 

Over the years, she has worked in many positions and situations. She inspires a strong practitioner perspective having worked directly with children and delivering professional support, teaching, tutoring and lecturing early childcare professionals. Developing training, especially accredited training from foundation level modules to level 7 and 8 full degree courses. In addition to training, she has hands-on experience across business management, amalgamation-merger, communications, team leadership, partnerships, media relations and training, research, events, advocating, negotiating, issues and crisis management. 

While she started her working life as a health professional in clinical biochemistry, her main commitment over 45 years has been in early childhood education and care. Currently, she is an independent consultant and is a member of several boards: – CORU, Regulating Health & Social Care Professionals serving on the Speech and Language Therapist registration Board, Irish Group Analytic Society and European Early Childhood Education and Research Association (EECERA) 

Since completing studies in Group Analytic Psychotherapy in the School of Psychotherapy at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and the School of Medicine, UCD, she has a keen interest in facilitating groups to promote attunement and bonding between parents, their babies and toddlers.

Paul O’Faherty is an actuary and is an independent non- executive director of a number of companies in the financial services and not-for-profit sectors. He also acts as a strategy consultant and an executive coach. 

Paul started his career in New Ireland Assurance and then worked with Mercer for 33 years in a range of business and consulting roles in the investment, pensions and health fields. He became Chief Executive of Mercer Ireland in 2001 and retired from that role in June 2013. He is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors. He is a Fellow and a past president of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. Mr O’Faherty Is also a past chair of the Irish Association of Pension Funds.

Ken has worked in the IT industry for over 30 years, starting with Bank of Ireland in their Information Technology centre in Cabinteely. 

Ken is currently Information Technology Director with Sisk Group, the family owned Construction business, with operations in Ireland, UK and Europe. Prior to joining Sisk in 2005, Ken worked with Hewlett Packard and Perot Systems in service delivery and customer relationship roles. 

His areas of expertise are leading teams and change agendas, with a key focus on customer satisfaction and service delivery. 

Ken is married to Suzanne, with three daughters Eva, Ruth and Lucy (and of course our dog Tiki!). An avid trail runner, Ken has competed in several Ultra mountain events and marathons (very slowly) and enjoys sea swimming and golf.

Denis Lucey has over 36 years of experience in the technology sector, including 26 years of global executive leadership across professional and customer services, engineering, and supply chain.

Denis is a professional Executive Coach, inspiring people to reach their full potential. He is passionate about helping customers’ achieve their objectives while championing an inclusive and diverse workplace where everyone can bring their authentic self to work. He believes a culture of personal development with continuous process improvement creates great outcomes for team members, customers and the business. Through people, skills and technology, Denis strives to create a positive social impact within the communities where we work and live During his career with Dell Technologies, Denis served as a Vice President in Global Services and also as the Dublin Executive Site Leader. He led a team of global and regional multi-award-winning professionals who delivered innovative, best in class, customer support services across a large and complex range of technical solutions. A recognised change leader, he closely collaborated with colleagues and customers to create and implement digital transformation and structural change.

Denis is an Engineering alumna of the University of Limerick, and more recently is associated with Trinity College Dublin Business School. He has been involved with Barnardos since 2018.

Denis is married to Ann-Maria, and they have a son Denis Jr. He is a GAA, Rugby and Golf fan and is interested in culture and history.

Kenneth Burns is a senior lecturer, Deputy Director of the Master of Social Work course and Director of Practice (social work) at University College Cork.

He has worked as a social worker and social work team leader in child protection and welfare. His main research and teaching interests are in child protection policy and practice, staff retention, social media abuse in social work, child care proceedings in the District Court / voluntary care / informal kinship care, and community-based participatory research. He was twice awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Kenneth was the Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary research team that won the UCC Research Team of the Year Award. Kenneth was a co-author of a paper that won the European Social Work Research Association’s outstanding publication award. Kenneth is a CORU registered social worker (reg. # SW003803). Kenneth is also involved in sports with Waterloo AFC, Grenagh LGFA, and Mid Cork LGFA.

Personal UCC page


Gary McGann is the Chairman of Sicon Ltd (Sisk Group) and Aon Ireland.

He is the former Group Chief Executive Officer of the Smurfit Kappa Group plc, one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world. He is also former CEO of Aer Lingus Group and Gilbeys of Ireland, a former Chair of DAA, Aryzta AG, a former director of Green Reit Plc and a former NED/SID of UDG Plc. Gary has recently retired from his position as Chairman of Flutter plc (Fanduel) which he held for 9 years. Chair of The Ireland Funds in Ireland. 

Gary is a former President of IBEC (Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation). In the “not for profit sector”.

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