The Council is elected annually by the members of Galway Chamber. The Council meets monthly and it's function is to provide leadership and strategic direction for the Chamber.
Dermot Nolan, Chamber President
Dermot Nolan is the Group Finance Director for the Headspace Group. Previous to this, he worked with EY and Mazars in various roles up to partner level both in Ireland and internationally. He is a graduate of both NUI Galway and UCD, and is a Chartered Accountant.
Dermot is the Galway Chamber Deputy President, and is also the Chair of the Evolving Galway Committee. He is also a Board member of Bia Innovator, which is a food innovation and incubation hub in the West of Ireland and Baboro, the international children’s arts festival based in Galway. He is a native of Salthill, now living in Menlo, married with 2 sons and has a strong interest in sports, and is currently the President of Galway Hockey Club.
Eveanna Ryan, Deputy President
Eveanna has over 20 years’ experience within the hospitality and tourism industry, She is currently operating as the Group Sales and Marketing Manager for Connacht Hospitality Group, managing the sales and marketing for 10 of the groups brands. Eveanna also sits on the board of the Galway Convention Bureau and was recently awarded “Sales and Marketing Manager of the year” by the Irish Hospitality institute. A Galway native, Eveanna has been a member of Galway Chamber since relocating back to Galway from Dublin in 2014. Eveanna is passionate about promotinng Galway as a region to both the domestic and international traveller.
Aengus Burns, Vice President
Aengus Burns is Vice President of Galway Chamber and an Advisory Partner with Grant Thornton in Galway. Originally from Dublin he moved to Galway ten years ago. He has chaired the ACCA Connaught panel in recent years. He has a keen interest in Rugby and is a supporter of Connacht Rugby.
Pat Piggott, Company Secretary
Pat is a native of Galway and has been working with AIB in Galway for the last 25 years. He is currently Branch Manager of AIB Tuam Road, Galway, and Hub Manager to AIB Tuam, Athenry, Ballinasloe, Gort, and Loughrea. A Qualified Financial Advisor he also holds a Certificate in Marketing from the Irish Management Institute and a Professional Certificate in Consumer Protection Risk, Culture & Ethical Behaviour in Financial Services from the Institute of Bankers. He has been a member of Chamber Council for the past 6 years and a Board Member of Chambers Ireland for the past 3 years.
Pat has an interest in all sports but his passion is Rugby. He was Honorary Secretary of Connacht Rugby from 2004 -2014 and was elected President for season 2016/17.
Gemma Costello has over 20 years Banking experience and has embraced many successful roles throughout her career in Bank of Ireland.
Gemma is currently Bank Manager of the Bank of Ireland Salthill Cluster which includes the branches of Salthill and Clifden, managing a dynamic team of colleagues and a large customer base. Gemma works closely with many small businesses throughout this geography and possesses an in-depth understanding of both the challenges and opportunities that exist for businesses in Galway. Gemma holds a key role on the Bank of Ireland Leadership team across Galway and collectively this team strives to serve customers and communities in an exemplar way.
Gemma is a graduate of NUI Galway and UCD through her continuous education with The Institute of Bankers in Ireland.
Gemma is married with 2 children and enjoys all sports but particularly GAA & Rugby and loves the outdoors.
Emer Joyce, Treasurer
Emer is a partner with Laura Lynch and Associates. A Galway native, Emer is a Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having obtained a B.Comm from NUI Galway.
Before returning to Galway she worked as a tax advisor with both KPMG and Warren & Partners, a Dublin based boutique tax advisory practice. In 2009 Emer founded her own firm, Emer Joyce & Company, initially operating in Dublin and returning to Galway in 2013, before merging with EY.
Emer has strong links in the local business community across a range of business sectors, with a particular interest in advising family businesses on both corporate and personal tax matters.
Emer is an avid runner and a regular sea swimmer in Galway bay.
Enda is a former army officer and highly experienced senior manager and property professional with over 20 years’ experience. He is Vice President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors and is a dual status Chartered Surveyor and Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) Fellow practicing in the areas of Planning & Development and Property & Facilities Management, as well as a RICS, registered Red Book valuer.
He represents Galway Chamber as a member of Galway Co Co’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee, Chambers Ireland Sustainable Infrastructure and Planning Taskforce and as a member of the Board of Galway Technology Centre. In addition, he is a member of Property Industry Ireland’s Market Supply and Demand Committee as well as the CIF’s Western and Midlands Infrastructure Forum. He is a board member of COPE Galway and chairs the Property sub-committee as well as a member of the Board of Co-Operative Housing Ireland where he chairs the Development sub-committee. Enda is a frequent commentator on residential property and planning issues in the media and a regular speaker at property policy conferences.
Marilyn Gaughan Reddan
Marilyn Gaughan Reddan is an experienced Cultural Programme Manager, with over 20 years experience in cultural management and European programmes. Marilyn is a member of the panel of experts on Culture at the European Commission. She is an advisor to many organisations in the area of European programmes, policy, planning, and strategic organisational development. She has been involved in several European designations for Galway including the European Capital of Culture and UNESCO City of Film designations. She is a member of the EMPOWER advisory board and is passionate about supporting women in every way.’ Marilyn is currently Head of Programme and EU Projects at the Galway Culture Company.
Shane is managing partner of local business law firm, MacSweeney & Company, which he founded in 2003. The firm has won the Connacht/Ulster Law Firm of the Year Award for the past 3 years. He holds a B.C.L. from UCC and an Employment Law Diploma from UCD. Before returning to Galway, he was a partner in a top-five Dublin law firm. He lectures at the Law Society of Ireland, regularly speaks at seminars and contributes to legal publications. He is PRO of the Galway Solicitors Bar Association. In his spare time, he’s a bad golfer and a hurling coach. He also has a keen interest in politics, history and languages.
Patricia Philbin is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Services for Housing, Planning Economic Development, and Culture with Galway City Council. A graduate of GMIT and UCD she holds an MA in Public Management and has over 30 years experience in the public sector.
Rachael is Business Development Director with Stewart Construction, a fourth generation construction company established in Salthill, Galway in 1902. She has been a key player in the growth and development of the family business for the past 25 years, focusing on collaboration and innovation to translate client's bespoke needs into quality buildings and appealing spaces that promote business evolution.
A graduate of NUIG (BA & MBA), Rachael has been involved with many networks on a local and national level, both industry based and community based. She was a founding member of Construction Professionals Skillnet and is currently involved in the CIF Regional and Infrastructural Forum.
Rachael is committed to supporting the arts and community based projects and groups that bring practical benefit locally. She is actively involved with Architecture at the Edge (AATE), and also supports a number of varying local groups, charities and initiatives.
In her spare time Rachael loves family, food, good coffee, the arts and the sea.
Gerry a Chartered Civil Engineer, joined the Shannon Group in early 2014 as Operations and Development Director for Commercial Property and was appointed as Managing Director of Shannon Commercial Properties( previously known as Shannon Development) in 2019 . Gerry now holds the role of Shannon Group Property Director and is responsible for all Commercial Property investment for the group. Prior to this, Gerry worked across a range of sectors including Local Authority ,Civil Engineering infrastructure projects and large mixed use residential and commercial developments including healthcare and hotel projects in Ireland, Africa, Asia and the USA. Gerry resides in Barna and in his spare time enjoys participating in water sports and cross country adventure racing.
Sinead Ní Fhatharta
Sinead is the Head of Enterprise within Údarás na Gaeltachta and has over 30 years’ experience in Economic Development in the Gaeltacht areas. She managed an internet community project, worked as a European Liaison Officer in Brussels and as a development executive in the Connacht Regional office of ÚnaG prior to moving to the Enterprise and Employment Division to work with HPSUs. As Head of Enterprise she works with promoters/investors to develop and grow companies in the Gaeltacht areas. Sinead is a qualified CIMA accountant, and she holds an MBA honours degree from NUI Galway. She has Diploma (Level 8) through the International Chartered Director programme, passed with distinction, and currently in the process to becoming a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors Ireland. She has completed a 5-year term on the Governing body of National University of Ireland Galway, where she was Chairwoman of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Chairwoman of two+ Appeals Boards; Cathaoirleach ar fhochoiste Straitéis Gaeilge: Vice-chairwoman of the Finance Committee; Member of the Audit and the Standing & Strategic Planning Committees. Sinead was reappointed on the Governing body in May 2021. She is currently Chair and Board member of Westbic.
John is the MD and Proprietor of The Ardilaun Hotel in Galway. A family run 123-bedroom, 4 star property with extensive Food and Beverage, Conference and Banqueting and Leisure facilities.
John is a graduate of Business and Marketing from Dublin City University and a graduate of The Shannon School of Hotel Management. He worked with The Movenpick group, Dromoland Castle and extensively through the Forte Organisation before returning home in 1995 to The Ardilaun.
Mary is Vice President for Finance and Site Lead at SmartBear’s European Headquarters in Galway . A Galway native, Mary is a Fellow of Certified Accountants Ireland, having also obtained a B A in Accounting & Finance from AIT.
Prior to Joining SmartBear Mary spent much of her career in Senior Finance and operational roles in the Isle of Man , London , Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. She has won Network Galway business woman of the Year and is a hug advocate of women in tech and supporting fellow women in Leadership roles.
Mary is a mother to four children and spend her free time travelling with family and friends or at sporting events
Founder & Director of BRTW Group since 2016, which is involved in the Hospitality Sector & Property Development & Construction in/around Galway City & County.
A B. Comm. graduate of NUI Galway & a Chartered Accountant since 1999, he has also held senior roles in Advisory, Corporate Finance & Software Development. He has been Chair of Galway City VFI for 2020 -2022, a committee member of Galway’s Westend Traders and has acted as a Director of Galway Based charity Cope Galway and also with renowned street theatre company Macnas. A Galway native with a keen interest in all sports, the Arts & live music and enjoys a good walk or a swim.
Avril is the Centre Manager in Eyre Square Shopping Centre since 2014 and was the winner of the ‘All Ireland Manager of the Year in 2019’ and Gradam Sheosaimh Ui Ogartaigh 2017. Before working in the retail management sector, Avril worked in the property sector for 15 years within the sales and valuations department, she was Project Manager on behalf of Udaras na Gaeltachta, Galway City and County Council for the Acquisition, Disposal, and Valuation of all of their properties. Avril has strong links in the local business community across a range of business sectors and was a director of The Galway City Business Association where she helped secure funding for City Centre projects to include: City Christmas lights, Free WIFI for the City, Footfall Counter. Shopping and Dining Guide etc. Avril is passionate about promoting and growing retail within Galway City.
David is a Partner with the law firm RDJ, practicing in the area of Employment Law. Originally from Dublin and educated at UCD, where he attained an MA in History, David went on to work in banking, finance, and insurance roles before qualifying as a solicitor in 2006. David initially practiced in Dublin with a boutique employment practice and attained a Diploma in Employment Law from UCD before later moving to Galway in 2008 to take up a position with corporate law firm RDJ.
David advises a wide range of both indigenous and multinational clients, supporting in particular Galway's med-tech and ICT hubs. He is passionate about football and is an Academy Officer and underage Coach with Renmore AFC, where his two children play.
Vice President International and Engagement Galway and Mayo and Head of Galway International Hotel – Atlantic Technological University.
Cáit is an internationally experienced educator and has worked in higher education since 1995. She joined Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in November 2007 and became Head of the Hotel School in September 2008. In 2012 she became Head of the College of Tourism and Arts and in 2016 assumed strategic responsibility for International Engagement.
Before returning to Ireland Cáit was the Dean of the first International Hotel Management School in China – Les Roches Jin Jiang International, a joint venture collaboration between Laureate Education and the Chinese government organisation Jin Jiang. Cáit has also worked in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
She was awarded the Mike Butt Award in 2013 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland for services to the tourism industry.
Cáit holds a BA (Hons) in Education, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). She has successfully completed the Cornell University’s (USA) International programme “Executive Women in Leadership” in 2019 and more recently the Harvard Graduate School ‘Bravely Confronting Racism in Higher Education’ programme.
I relocated to Galway in January to take up the newly established role of Vice President for Engagement at NUI Galway. I am a member of the university management team and I play a central role in connecting the university with our local, national and global partners. Building on the University’s long tradition of deep engagement with our surroundings, I am developing strategies and plans to really maximise the impact of our research and educational activities. In holding previous leadership positions in industry, government agencies and universities, I have developed an extensive global network of collaborators and colleagues.
Among the institutions I have worked with are Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast (scientific research), Seagate Technology (R&D and Engineering Management, Derry), Science Foundation Ireland (research funding, Dublin) and IDA Ireland (FDI focused on RD&I, Silicon Valley, California). Throughout my career, I have highly valued the power of collective action through engaged partnerships. I spent the last decade in a research leadership role at one of the largest and most diverse research universities across the globe, University of California. During this time, I catalysed interdisciplinary research centers and institutes to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems – from climate change and energy-efficient buildings to global pandemics – challenges that impact Galway as much as they do California. I relish the opportunity to support the translation of great research at NUI Galway into tangible economic and societal benefit for Galway, Ireland, and beyond
Seamus is a Senior Director of Engineering at Genesys. A graduate of the University of Limerick with a BEng in Computer Engineering, Seamus has over 20 years’ experience in telecoms and software engineering.
At Genesys, Seamus leads the research and development of core routing applications on Genesys’ market-leading cloud-based customer experience platform.
Michael Maloney is the Chief Executive Officer of Galway Racecourse, Michael has worked in a variety of Hospitality and Racing Industry roles, before returning to Galway in 2015 to take up his current role Michael served as Chief Executive Officer of Plumpton Racecourse in the UK. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant FCA and has served in several board positions including Tote Ireland, Association of Irish Racecourses, and is currently a Membememberhe Horse Racing Ireland Media Rights Committee. Michael is also a Steward of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. Michael has a keen interest in many sports, but outside of racing, rugby tops the list.
Philip is the Head of Commercial & Marketing at Connacht Rugby and has over 20 years experience in the Marketing industry, within brand, sport ,and event marketing; where he has created and implemented successful marketing strategies and campaigns for many high-profile global brands. He has led the marketing on brands such as Pepsi, Robinsons, and Ballygowan, as well as run agency teams in the UK and US, advising brands and working with properties including The Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, Super Bow,l and The UEFA Champions League for clients including, British Airways, BMW, Coca-Cola, Masterca,rd and Visa.
Shane is the Finance and Development manager with the Galway Harbour Company.
A Kerry native, Shane moved to Galway from Dublin 7 years ago. Shane is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having obtained a BBS from the University of Limerick. He also completed a diploma in Management at the IMI in 2019.
Before moving to Galway he worked as a European financial accountant with Payzone. In 2013, Shane moved to Galway to take up the position of Finance Manager with MKO.
Shane has been with the Harbour Company for 5 years.
Shane is an avid golfer and GAA supporter.
Alan is currently Director of Services with responsibility for Economic, Rural & Community Development in Galway County Council and has experience in a broad range of local government services, holding senior positions for over two decades and representing the sector on numerous committees at national level. He has completed two honours degrees with a MA in Public Management and BA in Public Administration (Local Government) and has completed the City & County Managers’ Association (CCMA) Leadership in Local Government Programme.
Alan is a proud Galway man and is committed to supporting businesses and communities in his native county. He is responsible for the establishment of the Rural Regeneration Team in Galway County Council which is leading out on a number of ambitious projects that will drive economic growth, combat dereliction, facilitate reuse of old buildings into multi-purpose spaces and focus on key assets/strengths to make towns and communities more vibrant and sustainable. Alan has a particular interests in the Food, Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural industries and is responsible for the development of strategy, projects and initiatives to support these important economic sectors. Alan has championed the development of the BIA Innovator Campus CLG which is a significant asset for the West of Ireland and is currently a Director of the Company. He has been integral in all aspects of the project, bringing it from an idea to building a unique partnership that will see the delivery of a transformational piece of infrastructure for the West of Ireland.