Micheál Martin TD, An Taoiseach

Micheál Martin was born in Turners Cross, Cork. He attended University College Cork where he qualified with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He became Taoiseach on 27 June 2020.
Previously, he has served as Lord Mayor of Cork in 1992-93, and on the Fianna Fáil front bench and in four cabinet posts:
• Minister for Foreign Affairs (2008-2011)
• Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2004-2008)
• Minister for Health (2000-04)
• Minister for Education (1997-2000)

Dave Walsh, Chairperson, An Bord Pleanála

Dave was appointed in October 2018, having previously served as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in a civil service career spanning 23 years in the Custom House. As Assistant Secretary over the Planning and Housing Policy Division, Dave had primary responsibility for planning policy (including development and delivery of the National Planning Framework) and housing market and rental policy, with a key focus on coordinated implementation of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

Prior to this, Dave headed up the Department’s Environment and Climate Division, leading the negotiations for Ireland and the EU on climate change during Ireland’s 2013 EU Presidency and has also previously worked on national waste policy, environmental legislation and compliance with EU environmental law, spatial planning policy, franchise, and local government.

P J Rudden, Managing Director, Aengus Consulting Ltd and Chair, Innovation and Digital Adoption, Construction Sector Group (CSG), Dept. of Public Expenditure & Reform

PJ is also a member of the Institute of Directors. He is also a former UCD Lecturer, a former President of Engineers Ireland (2011 – 2012) representing some 26,000 members and former President of UCD Engineering Graduates Association (2012 – 2016) with some 10,000 members globally. PJ was elected a member of the Engineering and Computer Science Committee of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and is the current RIA Chair of the Climate Action Conference Working Group. Up to July 2019, he was a Director of RPS Group Ltd from 2002 to 2019 in various roles including Director Strategy/Business Development/Marketing and Director Waste, Energy and Environment and prior to that he was Director of MCOS Consulting Engineers from 1999 until acquired by RPS in 2002. From 2014 to 2019, PJ was Chairman of the RPS Gas and Utilities Group across the UK and Ireland. He has lectured widely in several policy and infrastructure sectors in Ireland, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. He holds many national and international awards for planning and development of infrastructure, innovation and media communications. He has been interviewed extensively by national radio and TV including Morning Ireland and Prime Time over the past 20 years. PJ has also chaired several national bodies including Engineers Ireland.

Deborah Smyth, Country Partner, Tempohousing UK & Ireland

Deborah has been in the land and property business for over 15 years with extensive experience in real estate development in the UK and Ireland.
She owns Tempohousing UK & Ireland partnering with Tempohousing Netherlands who specialise in social value modular schemes globally.
Deborah has risen to the challenge of providing modular homes that deliver on comfort, space, cost and quality, and net zero carbon emissions in use. She has embraced digital technology that allows for accountability and quality control that manufacturing provides, to build defect-free homes that will complement the housing stock.
Tempohousing’s latest scheme in Ireland will set new levels of environmental excellence.

Dean Kimpton, Transformation Director, Construction Sector Accord, New Zealand

Dean leads the Transformation Delivery Group (TDG) in New Zeland’s Construction Sector Accord – a joint commitment from government and industry to work together to create a high performing construction sector for a better New Zealand. He is responsible for leading the design and delivery of the initiatives in New Zealands Construction Sector Transformation Plan. The Group brings together leaders with specific sector expertise in each workstream. Dean has served as the COO for Auckland Council and the President of Engineering New Zealand. Finishing both roles in May 2019 he founded the wonderfully named Tūhura (te reo ) for “investigate, discover, explore”) Consulting.
Prior to his time at Auckland Council, Dean was managing director of AECOM NZ.
He has also held numerous governance roles including chair of QuakeCoRE, board member of Infrastructure New Zealand and member of MBIE’s Building Advisory Panel.
Dean is rich in governance experience, organisational understanding, industry knowledge and leadership experience and through Tūhura, provides advice to infrastructure and utility owners and operators, and the construction sector in NZ.

John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, the Housing Agency and Chair designate, Commission on Housing

John O’Connor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Agency. The agency supports and provides services to, among others, local authorities, approved housing bodies and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in the delivery of housing and housing services; in addition to a range of other services.
John was recently appointed by Minister Darragh O’Brien as the Chair designate for the Commission on Housing.
John was previously CEO of the Affordable Homes Partnership and Executive Manager in the Housing and Communities Department of Dublin City Council.
John is a structural engineer with a wide range of experience in both the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in the development, provision and direct delivery of housing, particularly in the areas of social housing, affordable housing and regeneration projects.

Phil Kane, Country Manager for Eaton in Ireland

Eaton is a diversified power management company operating for over 100 years. The company operates through various segments, including electrical products, electrical systems and services, aerospace, vehicle, and most recently, e-mobility.

In this role, Phil is responsible for implementing Eaton’s commercial strategy and managing relationships with Eaton’s key customers and distribution channels in the region. She has over 11 years’ experience in business-to-business sales and project management and has comprehensive knowledge of technology solutions having specialised in this area since 2008.

Phil was previously country manager for Cooper Industries plc and director of Cooper Industries Trading ltd. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries in 2012. Prior to this, Phil worked for Ingram Micro, provider of technology and supply chain services, for 12 years.

Ivan Yates, former broadcaster, entrepreneur and government minister

Ivan has had unique life experience in politics, business and media. A former government minister and Wexford TD for more than 20 years; an entrepreneur who founded and developed Celtic Bookmakers to employ 400 people, with €200 million turnover.
He bounced back from bankruptcy in Wales in 2012 to become a highly successful national broadcaster presenting The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk and co-presenting The Tonight Show with Matt Cooper on Virgin Media1.
In 2014 he published his best-selling autobiography,Full On  with acclaimed reviews.

His original forthright style of entertaining punditry and analysis on the full range of current affairs and sport has made him a much sought after motivational public speaker at corporate and formal events. He also acts as a versatile conference facilitator/moderator, MC with a flair for asking the questions that need answering.

Ciaran O’Connor Dip. Arch; B.Arch; FRIAI, State Architect and President, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Ciaran qualified from the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has architectural and landscape experience in Germany and Canada prior to joining the Office of Public Works where he is now the State Architect with responsibilities for a wide variety of new build, conservation and landscape projects. He is presently completing the government’s Green Public Procurement document for Construction. Completed projects have been published in Europe, India, China and Japan. Ciaran is an occasional visiting lecturer and critic. Citations include 2 European, 25 Irish Annual, triennial Architectural Awards and 3 Landscape Awards. He is co-author of 5 books. Ciaran is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and is currently serving as President.

Paul Nicholls, Director, Jones Engineering

Paul joined Jones Engineering as a Project Engineer in 2000 and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2020. He holds a Building Services degree, together with a diploma in Project Management and is a member of CIBSE and Engineers Ireland.

Paul has delivered some of the most advanced and complex projects in the company’s history, particularly in the building services and healthcare sectors including St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Microsoft’s EMEA campus in Dublin, One Microsoft Place. Paul is responsible for the delivery of Mission Critical Colo Data Centres in Ireland, UK and Europe along with the Building Services and Maintenance Divisions.

Marie Hunt, Executive Director and Head of Research, CBRE Ireland

25 years ago, Marie established the research department at CBRE Ireland, which is now regarded as one of the most authoritative sources of property information in the Irish market. A regular commentator in the Irish media on property matters, Marie produces a range of publications on all sectors of the market and carries out specialist consultancy work on behalf of a broad range of institutional, private and public sector clients of CBRE’s Irish business, helping occupiers, developers and investors make location and investment decisions.

Marie is an Executive Director of CBRE in Ireland and a member of CBRE Ireland’s Executive Committee. Qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, she is a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland. In 2018, she was awarded Businesswoman of the Year by Image Magazine in Ireland.

Martin Searson, CEO, Quality Positive Ltd

Martin’s company specialises in providing support services and technical advice to the engineering and construction sector in the areas of operational excellence, sustainable construction, modularisation and process automation. He has over 20 years’ M&E industry knowledge, with a qualification and background in the biopharma industry. Previously Martin was Group M&E Quality & Lean Manager for a large M&E engineering and civil construction firm for 8 years. He has extensive quality management experience following work on key projects across a range of sectors including Semiconductor, Data Centres, Biopharmaceutical, Windfarms, Substations up to 400kV, Industrial Manufacturing, Commercial fit-outs and Residential projects, across Ireland, UK and Mainland Europe. He has won six National Quality Awards and a Lean Business Ireland Award in 2019, for his approach and implementation of quality management and lean principles across a company, operating in Ireland, UK & Europe. Martin currently holds a Masters in Quantity Surveying and an Honours Degree in Applied Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Michael O’Flynn, Chairman and CEO, O’Flynn Group

O’Flynn Group was established in 1978 as a house building company and which progressed into one of the largest property development companies in Ireland. The group has extensive investment, development and asset management capability in the core property sectors (especially residential, offices, industrial and retail). The Group has an established and strong reputation overseas particularly in the UK but also across Europe. It also has expertise in property backed operating businesses such as student accommodation and senior living.

Michael is a leading figure in the Irish and UK property sectors and is widely recognised for his experience and expertise. His insights on the Irish property market and construction sector are often sought by print and broadcast media. Michael is actively involved in representing the policy objectives of the property sector in Ireland. He is a founding member of Property Industry Ireland and is a former Chairman of the Cork branch of the Construction Industry Federation.

Tom Parlon, Director General, Construction Industry Federation

Before joining the CIF, Tom served as a TD for Laois – Offaly and as Minister for State at the Department of Finance from 2002 until 2007. As Minister he was responsible for the Office for Public Works (OPW).

From 1997 to 2001, Tom was President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), having previously held several other positions with the association.

Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Simon is a native of County Wicklow and has been involved in the community all his life.
Simon first became involved in politics through his work as a disability advocate. Before entering politics, Simon established the Wicklow Triple A Alliance, a charity to support children and families affected by Autism. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in the 2011 General Election and was the youngest member of the 31st Dáil. During that Dáil term, Simon served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Co-Convenor of the Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Mental Health, before being appointed in July 2014 as Minister of State in the Departments of Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of the Taoiseach with Special Responsibility for OPW, Public Procurement and International Banking (including IFSC).
Simon was re-elected as TD for Wicklow and East Carlow in the February 2016 General Election and subsequently appointed Minister for Health.

Claire Solon, Managing Director, Greystar Ireland

Greystar is a global vertically integrated residential platform specialising in private rented residential accommodation.
Prior to joining Greystar in 2019, Claire was Head of Property at Aviva Ireland where she managed property funds of over €600m in Ireland and the UK.
She was previously Head of Estates Management at ESB Ireland, which is the largest landowner in the country, and prior to that was Development Director in Bennett Construction.
Claire is an active Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and was the youngest person to be elected to the role of President in 2016. She is currently Chair of the Practice and Policy Committee within SCSI and a Fellow of RICS. Previously she has lectured extensively in valuations and feasibility analysis in Technological University Dublin degree and master’s courses.
Claire serves as a non-executive board member of state-owned Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) and also on the board of Clúid, a not-for-profit housing charity providing homes for those in need.

Eugene O’Shea, Managing Director, Walls Construction

Eugene joined Walls Construction on completion of his BE Civil degree in UCD in the early 1980’s and progressed his career with the company into senior management roles prior to being appointed Managing Director in 2006. He has overseen the sustained and progressive development of the business, including an investor backed management buy-out in 2015, while ensuring that the company’s reputation as a customer focused business, delivering quality construction projects for an international and indigenous client base across a range of sectors, including commercial, residential, industrial and fit-out, is maintained. The company’s growth has been especially evident during the past five years, when turnover and employee numbers have more than doubled, and to help achieve this, Eugene relies on a collaborative, solutions-based approach to managing relationships, while leading a dedicated, professional team.

Stephen Garvey, Co-Founder, CEO & Executive Director of Glenveagh Properties PLC

Stephen Garvey has over 20 years’ experience in the construction and property industry in Ireland. Under his guidance, Glenveagh has scaled its operations to deliver more than 2,000 homes in Ireland since an IPO in 2017 and the business is on track to reach it’s target of 3,000 homes per year by 2024. Prior to founding Glenveagh, Stephen founded Bridgedale, which built residential developments in the GDA from 2003 and managed Oaktree’s residential projects in Ireland. His substantial experience also includes working with many of the large Irish property developers, including Menolly Homes, Schelester Properties, Glenman Corporation and McCabe Builders.