Our Board Members

Members of Barnardos Board

  • Chair: David Begg 
  • Treasurer: Gerry Murphy
  • Grainne Burke
  • John O'Reilly
  • Helen Kelly
  • Phelim O'Leary
  • Miriam Hughes
  • Jane Forman
  • Gary McGann
  • Louise Crowley
  • Sue Lamon-Diver
  • Martin Dobey
  • Maria Kelly
  • Trevor Spratt

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

Detailed Terms of Reference for all Barnardos Board Sub Committees are also available.

David Begg, Chair 

David BeggDavid Begg is Chairman of The Pensions Authority. He is a former General Secretary of ICTU and spent five years as chief executive of Concern Worldwide, an international disaster relief and development agency.

He has held non - executive positions in Aer Lingus, the Central Bank and The Irish Times.

He also served on the National Economic and Social Council from 2001 to 2015. He is currently a governor of the Mater Misericordia and Childrens' University Hospital company. He has a PhD in Sociology from NUI Maynooth.


Gerry Murphy, Treasurer

Gerry is from Co. Wicklow and is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), an AITA Chartered Tax Adviser and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). 

He is Managing Director of GDAC Partners Limited (GDAC), a Chartered Accountancy practice specialising in the provision of Financial Planning and Advisory services to corporate and private clients.

Prior to the establishment of GDAC, Gerry held a number of senior executive positions in both industry and finance. Most recently he was Group Finance Director of Jacob Fruitfield Foods. Prior to that, Gerry held a number of roles in financial services including CEO of the HypoVereinsbank group operations in Ireland and Assistant Treasurer at Intel Corporation.

Gerry acts as non-executive Director to a number of international financial services companies, he also became a Barnardos Board member in 2012.

Grainne Burke

Grainne BurkeGrainne Burke has held management roles in voluntary organisations working with children and families for over 30 years. She has a strong interest in the development of outcomes focussed and needs led services for children and families in Ireland.

She held a senior management role as an assistant director of children's services with Barnardos for 26 years. She has had responsibility for the setting up, development and delivery of a wide range of targeted services for children and families experiencing significant disadvantage in urban and rural settings including family support, early years, teen parent support, bereavement counselling and residential childcare.

Within Barnardos she was part of the management team that led out on the development and delivery of the National Springboard Family Support Initiative and was a member of the National Evaluation Committee for this Initiative.  She led and hosted with colleagues across sectors and with young people, the strategic development of the organisation Empowering People in Care EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) from its inception through to its strategic launch as an independent organisation.

She has held the role of chair on interagency committees including Fingal County Childcare Committee and Dunlaoghaire Rathdown Drugs Task Force.

She is currently working in a senior management role with youngballymun which is an area based approach to addressing child poverty in this urban area.

She has a Masters Degree in Equality Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from University College Dublin. She has previous qualifications in nursing and has worked abroad in Australia in this field of work.  Grainne became a Barnardos Board member in 2013.

John O’Reilly

John, from Dublin, is a Chartered Accountant,  He retired as CEO of Paddy Power PLC in December 2005 having been with the company since its inception.  He served a variety of roles and was fundamental in the development of the business and its diversification into new business channels.

Since his retirement, John has taken a keen interest in the charitable sector with a particular emphasis in the area of homelessness. John became a Barnardos Board member in 2013.

Helen Kelly

Helen KellyHelen Kelly has over 25 years of banking experience with Barclays in London and Dublin. Helen has spent the last 9 years providing specialist banking services to large Irish corporates and was appointed Head of Large Corporates – Ireland in Jan 2009. She leads a team of Relationship Directors who deliver banking solutions to many of Ireland’s largest companies (public and private), semi-State entities and key players in niche sectors with a strong predominance in the agrifood sector. Prior to returning to Ireland in 2004, Helen had a variety of roles in Corporate Banking in London.  

Helen joined the Board in 2014.

Phelim O’Leary

Phelim O'LearyPhelim O’Leary was born in Cork, where he attended Presentation Brothers College, and subsequently UCC, where he graduated in Psychology and Economics.

He trained at Irish Marketing Surveys, and thereafter joined Lansdowne Market Research where he became Director of Qualitative Research.

In 1985 Behaviour & Attitudes Limited was founded by Des Byrne, Graham Wilkinson and Phelim.  It went on to become Ireland’s leading independent market research agency.

Phelim is a specialist in qualitative research, and has been at the forefront of the development of the methodology in Ireland.  He has presented many papers on the subject, including one on innovation to ESOMAR (the global market research body).

In addition to carrying out many domestic qualitative studies in his role as a Director of Behaviour & Attitudes, he has managed and conducted many qualitative projects internationally.

He is also a big rock music fan.

Miriam Hughes

Miriam HughesMiriam is from Dublin and is a seasoned Marketer and Communications Specialist. She has over 15 years experience in client marketing from FMCG brands like Kit Kat and Nivea to Financial Services and has a breadth of experience across the Agency side where she has been for the last 15 years.  She began her marketing career in AIB Financial Services and moved on to a brand position with Smith & Nephew. She was Marketing Director of Nestle in Ireland and before joining DDFH&B in 1999; she was Head of Communications, Sales & Marketing at the Bank of Ireland.  At BOI, she was responsible for all above, below the line and internal communications programmes for the bank.

Miriam’s current role at DDFH&B covers all elements of a truly integrated communications strategy. They are currently the only group that concurrently holds four Grand Prix, one for every communication discipline: advertising, digital, activation and Media. DDFH&B have many award winning campaigns like Rainbow for the National Lottery, the Big Switch for Bord Gáis, the Fáilte Ireland Fun Starts Here and Supervalu Hello. Miriam and her team have also worked on a pro bono basis for the Jack and Jill Foundation, and Laura Lynn’s Sunshine Home just to name a few.

Miriam is a graduate of UCD and holds a BComm and MBS in Marketing.  She is a past president of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and past chairman of the Advertisers Association of Ireland.  She was also a past board member of the Irish Hospice foundation and a current council member for the IMI.

Jane Forman

Ursula KilkellyJane is currently a Programme Executive with The Atlantic Philanthropies in Ireland. Jane has a background in vocational training and education and has fulfilled a number of senior management roles including general management, programme development and business development with the Rehab Group and FAS. She spent ten years as Chairperson of the Tallaght Partnership and has significant board experience in the community and voluntary sector. She holds an MA in French language and literature from St Andrew’s University in Scotland and also holds an MBA from The Open University. She recently secured an IoD Diploma in Company Direction.

Gary McGann

Gary McGannGary McGann is the former Group Chief Executive Officer of the Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG), one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world.

Before joining the (then) Jefferson Smurfit Group in 1998 he held various executive positions at senior VP or CEO level in Irish industry in both the private and public sector. In 1968 he joined the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office as an auditor. He joined LM Ericsson Limited as Management Accountant in 1978 and later became Group Financial Controller of the Irish companies of LM Ericsson Group. He joined Gilbeys of Ireland Group as Group Finance Director in 1988 and was appointed Chief Executive in late 1991. He was also Chief Executive of their IFSC Company “Grand Met Finance Ireland” which he helped found in 1990. In early 1994, the Irish Government appointed him as Group Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, a position he held until 1998. He joined the Smurfit Group as Chief Financial Officer in August 1998. He was appointed President & Chief Operations Officer in December 1999, and was elected to the Group’s Board in January 2000. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2002.

Gary is Chairman of Aon Ireland and Paddy Power plc. He is also a Director of Green Reit plc, Sicon Ltd (Sisk Group), a Director and former President of IBEC (Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation), and a Director of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. He is also a former member of the ERT (European Round Table of Industrialists) and Chairman of CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries).

Gary obtained a Bachelor of Arts from U.C.D., is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Accountants (FCCA), and holds a Masters degree in Management Science (MScMgnt). He is also an Honorary Fellow of the National College of Ireland.

Gary is married to Moira and they have 3 daughters and two granddaughters. He enjoys golf, music and theatre.


Dr Louise Crowley

Dr Louise Crowley is a Senior Lecturer in Family Law at the School of Law, UCC where she is the Director of the LLM (Child and Family Law), the LLM (Practitioner) and the Family Law Clinic. Louise’s research centres on the Irish family law regulatory framework, with particular focus on changing family formations, relationship breakdown and the inter parte financial obligation that arise, and separately, the adequacy of domestic violence laws and interventionist processes both nationally and internationally. Louise is widely published and is the author of the leading Family law text for students, practitioners and the judiciary in Ireland.

Louise has developed and maintains a dedicated online information hub relating to all aspects of family law which seeks to provide a reliable a comprehensive source of material for the community. She has worked with MOVE (Ireland) and the participants of its perpetrator programmes, to critically assess the impact of the Irish domestic violence laws and processes.

More recently Louise has introduced a module on bystander intervention to UCC, to encourage a greater understanding and awareness of the normalisation of sexual misconduct and to empower students to challenge the perceived behavioural norms relating to gender based violence on university campuses.

Louise is a member of the national advisory committee for the Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education project being led by the National Women’s Council of Ireland. Louise is also a member of the Governing Body of UCC.


Martin Dobey

Martin is a Chartered Accountant, and was CFO at KPMG Ireland from 2006 to 2017. He retired from KPMG in May 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 continues to be a trustee of the KPMG Staff Pension Schemes and has recently taken on a number of other non-executive Director roles.

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


Sue Lamon-Diver

Sue has worked in the communications industry since 1987, when she began hercareer in London with Hill and Knowlton. 

She currently holds the position of Director of Marketing Communications for the Taste & Nutrition division of Kerry Group.  Sue has been with Kerry since February 2014, where she initially held the role of Director of Employee Communications and Engagement, before transitioning into her current position.

Before joining Kerry, she was with Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland (MRPI) for over seven years, as Head of Communications for MRPI and their two retail brands SuperValu & Centra.  Prior to that Sue was on the board of Fleishman-Hillard, where she played a key role on the Consumer & Brands team.

Her areas of expertise include retail and food marketing, sponsorship negotiation and management, crisis communications, corporate & public affairs, as well as event management, sports marketing and consumer focussed communications programmes.

In 2000 she won her first Public Relations Consultants Award (PRCA), with a Supreme Award for work undertaken for Diageo on the Budweiser Frogs & Lizards campaign, She has won several PRCA awards since, for campaigns such as the SuperValu’s ‘Kids in Action’ programme, SuperValu Tidy Towns 50th Anniversary Celebration, Centra’s Action Breast Cancer Campaign and SuperValu’s Commitment to Ireland Inc.

Sue is a fanatic sports fan following Leinster RFC, Liverpool FC, the Chicago Bears and her beloved Dubs.  She has her own horse and enjoys riding, reading, the movies, good food and great wine.  She is married with a teenage daughter.


Maria Kelly BL 

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 

 Having worked as a child and family social worker and service manager for some 10 years, Trevor took up his first academic position in the University of Ulster in 1997. He moved, subsequently, to Queen’s University Belfast in 2000. He took up the position of Professor in Childhood Research and Director of the Children’s Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin in 2014.

Trevor’s research interests emanate from his experiences of social work practice. Initially an interest in professional decision-making developed into a broader concern to study the impact of social policies on both professionals and families, in relation to the systems designed to afford children protection. The challenges facing children as they develop have encouraged collaborations between professionals and researchers representing different disciplines, so much of his work is interdisciplinary. One of Trevor’s main research interests is how the experience of adversities in childhood come to be expressed over the life-course in physiological, psychological and social outcomes. His current work is concerned both with establishing what constitutes good childhoods as well identifying those children who are vulnerable to the impact of adversity in order to assist policy makers and professionals in providing effective interventions.

Trevor is married to Hilary, has a daughter called Katie and a dog called Dexter. To relax he enjoys walking, talking and visiting faraway places



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