HSE Board Members

Since the re-establishment on 28 June 2019 of the HSE Board under the Health Service Executive (Governance) Act 2019, the Board has been the governing body of the HSE and is accountable to the Minister for Health for the performance of its functions. The CEO in turn is accountable to and reports to the Board, and is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of the HSE. The HSE exercises a wide range of statutory functions which may have significant implications both for individuals and for the general public.

The HSE Board is now approaching the end of its second year and it remains committed to ensuring openness in the HSE’s activities. Clear channels of communication and consultation are used to engage with all groups of stakeholders, including local communities or other groups about health and personal social services. Good governance in the HSE, which is overseen by its Board working closely with the CEO, ensures that the organisation is run in a manner that takes proper account of the interests of the HSE’s stakeholders, and that the intended outcomes for stakeholders are defined and achieved. The HSE Board acknowledges the importance of stakeholder involvement in the design and delivery of healthcare and is committed to the provision of public information about the services that the HSE provides, as well as its future plans.

The HSE has responded pragmatically and practically to the challenges of COVID-19. The work it has undertaken in 2020 has led to the successful delivery of a high performing health and social care service in a year of unprecedented challenges. The HSE Board ensures that the patient, service user and the public are at the core of our thinking and planning and supports all healthcare staff, including those who work in section 38 and 39 organisations. Throughout 2020 the HSE has worked in a structured way which supports frontline services and strengthens our financial and operational management.

Board member: Ciarán Devane image

Ciarán Devane – Chair

Mr Devane is the Executive Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University and Chair of Clore Social Leadership. He was formerly Chief Executive of the British Council, a £1.2b public body. He was a member of a Board of NHS England from 2012 -2015 and was also Chief Executive of the UK health charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. He was knighted for his services to cancer patients and was awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

Board member:

Professor Deirdre Madden– Deputy Chair

Deirdre Madden is Professor of law at University College Cork. Her research interests are healthcare law and ethics. She was the author of the Madden Report on Post Mortem Practice, chaired the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, and has been a member of numerous expert groups providing expertise on issues related to medical law, ethics and patient safety.

Professor Madden also has extensive experience of professional regulation. Most recently she was a member of the Independent Review Group examining the role of voluntary organisations in health and social care.

Board member:

Fergus Finlay

Fergus Finlay is a retired CEO of Barnardos, Ireland’s largest children’s charity, having worked in this position for 13 years. For around twenty years prior to that he was employed as Senior Adviser to the Labour Party. He was one of the drafters of the Downing Street Declaration and was centrally involved in the election of President Mary Robinson. He also served as a Director of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations. He is the author of four best-selling books.


He has been a life-long campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities and is currently chair of a government task force to implement a comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities. For ten years he has also worked as Chair of the Dolphin House Regeneration Board. He is also Chair of Lakers in Bray, a highly successful club and service provider for young people and adults with an intellectual disability, and is a member of the Charities Regulatory Authority. He broadcasts regularly on radio and television and contributes a weekly column to the Irish Examiner. Fergus Finlay was awarded a Human Rights Award by the French Embassy in Dublin in 2013 to recognise the work of Barnardos with Ireland’s children. He was also honoured by UCC as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2016.

Board member:

Tim Hynes

Tim Hynes, Group Chief Information Officer for AIB, has a broad range of experience across a number of disciplines, including brand marketing, operations, change management, and technology. He has 30 years’ experience in blue chip organisations where he has held both regional and global roles, leading teams spread across more than 40 countries.

Tim holds a Masters in Executive Leadership from Ulster University, is a qualified bank director, and Fellow of the Irish Computer Society.

Board member: Dr Sarah McLoughlin

Dr Sarah McLoughlin

Dr Sarah McLoughlin has a passion for ensuring patients and the public are a constructive voice in the research and healthcare conversation. She is currently a research scientist in UCD and participates in patient, clinical, health system and research initiatives in cross-disease areas in Ireland. Her work is enriched by her experiences as a cancer patient combined with her involvement in the health charity sector in Ireland. She is also a graduate of the first ‘Patient Education Programme in Health Innovation’ in Ireland by Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry.

Aogán Ó Fearghail

Aogán Ó Fearghail

Aogán Ó Fearghail was GAA President from 2015 to 2018. A former primary school Principal, he currently works as a School Placement Tutor with DCU.

As GAA President he led the association through a period of transformational change, establishing strong financial security and increasing participation rates with enhanced public confidence in the Association. He also, in conjunction with health promotion agencies, introduced a Health Promotion Unit at Croke Park and initiatives which focussed on physical and mental health issues.

Aogán has a lifetime experience of delivering transformational change at a national, regional and local level. He possesses wide experience of corporate governance, change management, financial planning and stakeholder management.

Board member:

Dr Yvonne Traynor

Dr Yvonne Traynor was vice president of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs with Kerry Group. Prior to that, she held a number of global and regional leadership positions with German consumer goods company, Henkel. She has a particular interest in organisational transformation, risk management and delivering excellent customer experience.


She holds a PhD in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin which, notably, resulted in a patent for the Nicotine Patch, as an aid for smoking cessation. Later, she obtained a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance and an MSc in Executive Leadership. She is also a chartered director and has several years board experience, including the role of chairperson of the audit, risk and compliance committee of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Board member: Brendan Lenihan

Mr Brendan Lenihan

Brendan Lenihan is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and has over 25 years of experience in the profession. His career includes being a partner in the accountancy firm Arthur Andersen, with whom he worked in Dublin and New York. In addition to a lengthy advisory career across a very broad range of sectors, he also held senior executive roles in industry as Group Finance Director at a large construction and property company (with operations in Ireland, UK and continental Europe) and also at a large care home provider. Since 2016, he has been Managing Director of Navigo Consulting, a specialist advisory firm in strategy, business planning and governance, serving private and public sector clients in Ireland and the UK by delivering advisory work on significant financial investments and business plans as well on improving board, organisational and financial effectiveness. Brendan is a non-executive Director of Bus Eireann and has held roles as an external member of the Audit & Risk Committees of the CIE Group and the Irish Dental Council.

In addition to his professional roles,

Brendan will also bring to the HSE Board his experience of the charitable sector, particularly in the areas of mental health and homelessness. He is a national Trustee of Pieta House (which provides free nationwide support in the areas of suicide, self-harm and suicide bereavement) and is Chair of Pieta’s Audit & Risk Committee. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of Good Shepherd Cork, a charity that provides emergency shelter to homeless and vulnerable families through its Edel House refuge and the Cork family hub (operated on behalf of Cork City Council) and a number of other educational, emergency accommodation and aftercare services.

Brendan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UCC, a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting from UCD, and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He holds a Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Smurfit Business School and is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Board member:

Professor Fergus O’Kelly

Clinical Professor General Practice / Family Medicine, Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

Professor Fergus O’Kelly is a retired Family Physician who formerly practiced in Rialto, Dublin.

Fergus is recognised as a leading figure in the development of Family Medicine in Ireland over the past four decades, where he has held numerous roles progressing the discipline of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

Fergus is passionate about Family Medicine training, having been involved since 1985, firstly as a Trainer, then as Assistant Director of the TCD / HSE training programme in Dublin, and as Director of the programme for 18 years.

Fergus is a Past President of the Irish College of General Practitioners (2015-2016) and was a member of the Governing Board of ICGP from 2014 to 2017. He has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for many years and was made Clinical Professor at TCD in 2006.

Fergus has contributed to his discipline of Family medicine and represented that discipline at local, national and international level. Amongst his personal achievements, he founded the first ‘Out of Hours’ GP co-op services in Ireland and established a number of nurse-led chronic disease clinics.

In 2017 Fergus was the recipient of the Fiona Bradley Award, recognizing his commitment to serving Dublin’s vulnerable and deprived communities. This was presented at the joint scientific meeting of the Association of University Departments of General Practice in Ireland (AUDGPI) and the ICGP. 

Board member: Brendan Whelan

Brendan Whelan

Brendan Whelan is CEO of Social Finance Foundation, which provides loan funding to organisations in the not-for-profit sector.  Prior to this role, he was part of  Senior Management in Bank of Ireland responsible for Operations, IT and HR.  He is a graduate in Commerce from University College Dublin,  a graduate in Management from Stanford University and a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

He has a passion for helping individuals with additional needs. This is reflected in his Chairmanship of Special Olympics  Ireland and his involvement in two local clubs. He is also Chair of St. Catherine’s Association, a Section 39 social care organisation in Wicklow and Patron of the related St. Catherine’s Special School.

Board member: Anne

Anne Carrigy

A nurse by profession, having specialised and worked in Intensive Care, she moved into nursing management as Director of Nursing and Head of Corporate Affairs at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin.  She then joined the HSE as Director of the Serious Incident Management Team and subsequently became National Lead, Acute Hospital Services HSE. 

She has served on both National and International Boards and Committees over many years including serving as President of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland; Board Member of ENDA (European Nurse Directors Association); President of FEPI (European Federation of Nursing Professions); Council Member of the Medical Council of Ireland; Board Member of HIQA (Health, Information and Quality Authority); and Member of the Governing Body of Letterkenny Institute of Technology. 

She is passionate about patients and has advocated for patient centred care, having dedicated her life to improving patient care services.