Our Board

Chairperson

Tom Coughlan

Tom Coughlan

Tom Coughlan has extensive senior management and leadership experience in local government having retired as Chief Executive of Clare County Council in 2016. He has wide experience of the public sector having served as chairman of various committees and boards at national and local levels.

Tom is currently non-executive Director of Shannon Group PLC where he is also the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is Chairman of the Local Government Corporate Governance Advisory Group, a lay member of the Complaints and Client Relations Committee of the Law Society of Ireland, an Associate Tutor with the Institute of Public Administration, and a member of the Institute of Directors of Ireland.

Qualifications which Tom holds include Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration), Senior Executives Programme (Harvard University), and Professional Certificate in Corporate Governance. 


Employer Nominees

Andrew Bowers

Andrew Bowers

Andrew Bowers is Director Operational Excellence for the global Renal & Contract Manufacturing Businesses of Baxter International where his responsibilities include lean manufacturing implementation, process improvement and manufacturing management systems. Prior to that he held senior positions in Environment, Health & Safety in Baxter for over 20 years in Director EHS & Sustainability for the EMEA region in Baxter and managing the corporation’s global certification programme to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. He was Chair of Ibec’s Health & Safety Policy committee for 6 years.

Dr. Michael Gillen

Dr. Michael Gillen

Michael Gillen is a Senior Executive with BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), a business sector within Ibec, where he has responsibility for environment, health & safety and energy. Michael started his career as a development chemist in the pharmachemical industry. He then lectured chemistry in the Institute of Technology Carlow before joining the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) where he worked as an inspector in the Hazardous Substances Assessment Unit and the Process industry Unit. Michael joined Ibec in February 2000 and has worked in the areas of Occupational Health & Safety, Industrial Relations/Human Resources and Science & Innovation prior to joining BPCI in 2008. He has a BA (Mod.) and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, a Diploma in SHWW from UCD and a Diploma in Employment Law from NCI.

Dermot Carey

Dermot Carey

Dermot Carey is Head of Safety and Manpower Services with the Construction Industry Federation. A graduate of Civil Engineering from University College Galway he has worked in the UK and Ireland in various construction related roles.



Employee Nominees

Pat Kenny

Pat Kenny

Pat has over 20 years’ experience in various roles in the CWU and has worked full-time for the CWU for the past ten years. In his role he deals with day to day issues in the Postal Sector. He is the Secretary of the An Post Group of Unions and is the Staff Side Secretary to the Joint Conciliation Council.

Pat is the Union Health and Safety Officer and heads up the Union Health and Safety Committee. Pat represents the CWU on the ICTU Health and Safety Committee of which he is Vice Chairman. He is also the Chairman of the ICTU Committee which organises the annual “Worker Memorial Day“. Pat also represents the ICTU on the “Work Related Vehicle Safety Consultative Panel” and the Focal Point Network.

Pat is the lead Union Representative on the Joint Health and Committee with An Post where he has negotiated numerous health and safety policy documents and guides. Pat is also a member of the ICTU Disability Committee and is the staff representative on the Monitoring Committee of the Department of Communications on the DCENR Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act, 2005. Pat is also a member of a number of Partnership Groups in An Post including the Central Partnership Forum and the An Post Health and Safety Committee. He is also actively involved in the Training and Education of CWU activists and has developed a lot of the CWU Training Modules and is responsible for delivering the Health and Safety module

Pat is a member of the following Committees:

  • ICTU Health and Safety Committee (Vice Chairman)
  • ICTU Workers Memorial Day Committee (chairman)
  • ICTU Disability Committee
  • Monitoring Committee for Department of Communications, energy and Natural Resources
  • Work Related Vehicle Safety Consultative Panel
  • Focal Point Network
  • CWU Training and Education
  • CWU Diversity and Equality
  • CWU Health and Safety
  • Central Partnership Forum An Post
  • Joint Health and Safety Committee An Post
  • Joint Equality and Diversity Committee An Post
  • Joint Training and Education Committee An Post

Christine Rowland

Christine Rowland

Christine was formerly Sector Organiser in the Membership Information & Support Centre SIPTU which concentrates on Individual Representation in a specialist Department advocating under Employment Legislation. She is currently a lay member of Complaints and client Relations Committee of the Law Society. Her education was Kilcloon Co Meath, St John’s High School Glasgow and University College Dublin. She holds:

  • A Diploma in Industrial Relations from NCIR
  • A Diploma in Employment Law from UCD
  • A Batchelor Business Studies [BBS] from UCD

In addition her experience covers all sectors/sections of Employment both Public and Private.

Frank Vaughan

Frank Vaughan

Frank Vaughan is the Director of Learning at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He is a graduate of University College Dublin, where he was awarded a Batchelor of Commerce degree.

His career has included work in journalism, publishing and health education. He has worked since 1992 with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions where his initial role was to develop and coordinate the organisation’s project work. He was subsequently appointed European Officer and later took on the senior position of Finance & Administration Officer of Congress where his work included a wider role in ensuring delivery of the organisation’s strategic objectives. His current role involves the development and coordination of education and training within the trade union movement.

Between 1996 and 2008 he also worked as senior tutor and expert with the European Trade Union College (now the European Trade Union Institute) where he was been involved in developing training courses and resource material on project management for trade unions. He has led many training courses in this area, in later years most particularly with trade union representatives from the new members of the Community. He is currently a member of the ETUI’s Pedagogical Committee which oversees the education programme of the Institute.

He was extensive experience, both at policy and project management level, of a wide variety of EU and national programmes dealing with education and training. These have included Euroform, FORCE, various strands of the Employment Community Initiatives, Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, research framework programmes, ADAPT and EQUAL. He has been a member of various national Monitoring Committees and a representative of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on the Leonardo da Vinci Programme Committee.

Since 2012 he has been a member of the Governing Board of the EU Agency CEDEFOP, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.


Ministerial Nominees

Carol Bolger

Carol Bolger

Carol Bolger is a Chartered Director and an independent Non-Executive Director. She is an Assessor with the Institute of Director’s Board Performance Evaluation Service and has significant experience in Corporate Governance and board effectiveness. Carol is a member of the Board of Guardians & Directors of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital and a Member of the Audit Committee of the Department of Justice & Equality. A Certified Bank Director, Carol has held senior leadership roles in Corporate & Business Banking in Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank where she held a variety of senior roles including Chief Operating Officer of Business Banking and Director of Strategy & Planning. She is an accredited Coach and Mentor and a Fellow of the Institute of Banking.

Deirdre Cullivan

Deirdre Cullivan

Deirdre Cullivan is a science graduate with extensive experience working the pharmaceutical sector. She is working as an HR consultant, having held the post of HR director at Pfizer Healthcare (2003 – 2008). She is a serving board member with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (where she is a serving Finance Committee member) and has completed a professional Certificate in Corporate Governance with the IPA. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland.


Stephen Curran

Stephen Curran

Stephen Curran is a Principal Officer in the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) with responsibility for Workplace Health and Safety and Chemical Regulation. He has over 30 year’s managerial experience in a variety of business environments within both the public and private sectors. His previous responsibilities included the Industrial Relations Policy Unit, the Inward Investment, North/South Unit and the Tax Policy Unit in DBEI. He was the Ministerial representative on the Board of Shannon Development while working on the restructuring of the company and the formation of the new Shannon Group.

Prior to joining DBEI he held the position of General Manager Business Strategy and Marketing in Ordnance Survey Ireland managing the business and supply departments. He was also a board member of An Post Geodirectory.  

Stephen holds a B.Eng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from Queens University and worked for a number of years as an industrial chemist in Ireland and Southern Africa. He also worked for a multinational German chemical manufacturer for several years in the area of sales and marketing. His other qualifications include an MBA in international business from the University of Ulster and a Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD.

Dr. John McCartney

Dr. John McCartney

Dr. John McCartney is Director of Research at Chartered Surveyors Savills Ireland. An economist by profession, John is well known for his research in construction and real estate economics. John also has extensive professional experience in the field of labour markets and industrial relations. For his doctorate John studied work organisation in Irish enterprises. His other qualifications include a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics and Sociology, an M.A. in Social Policy Analysis, and a B.Sc. in Human Resource Management.

Emeritus Professor James Phelan

James Phelan

Jim Phelan holds the position of Professor of Extension and Rural Development at University College Dublin. He was previously Dean of Agriculture and Head of the Department of Agribusiness, Extension and Rural Development. For the last 10 years he has had a major involvement in teaching and research on health and safety in agriculture and has made presentations on the topic both nationally and internationally.