Officers and Council
Conor O’Dowd, Chamber President
Conor is an Audit Director with KPMG in Galway. He has been with KPMG all of his working life and worked in Dublin until moving to Galway seven years ago. Conor chairs the Audit and Strategic Review committees and is a member of the Business Support and Econominc Strategy committees. A native of Roscommon, Conor is interested in golf, horse racing and GAA.
Frank Greene, Vice President
The Kilkenny native, living in Galway for past 16yrs, comes from a farming background and has worked with AIB all his working life, more recently as Senior Manager of Change & Risk Assurance, Mid-West Regional Retail & SME Manager, and as Branch Manager. He has been awarded LIB, QFA, & APA Professional Designations.
Frank also holds a Diploma in Company Direction (Dip IoD). Served as President of Galway Chamber of Commerce 2014-16, and as President of Castlebar Chamber of Commerce 1996-1998. Current V-President of Galway Chamber. Is current Chairperson of Galway Technology Centre Limited. Also sits on the Board of Chambers Ireland, is an Alternate on the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC) 2015-2020, and member of National Monitoring Committee of Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. He has a keen interest in Hurling, Rugby and Golf.
Maurice O’Gorman, Deputy President
Maurice O’Gorman is Vice Chair of the Enterprise Strategy Group and a member of the Business Support Committee. Maurice returned to Ireland in 2014, having spent 23 years in the Gulf. Maurice spent 15 years with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Central Bank) and 7 years with as Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy at NCB Capital. Maurice was a member of a number of boards including Eastgate Capital Group, a leading private equity and real estate firm. Maurice started his career with the London Stock Exchange. Maurice is a non-executive director of Altocloud, a Galway based technology company.
Peter M. Allen, Company Secretary
Peter is the Principal in the Law Firm of MacDermot & Allen. He is the Chairman of the Connacht Tribune Group of Newspapers and Galway Bay FM. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Galway Race Committee. He serves as a Board Member of The Kylemore Trust and The Galway Music Residency and is a past president of Galway Chamber. Outside of business his interests are horse racing, rugby and golf.
Aengus Burns, Treasurer
Aengus is an Advisory Partner with Grant Thornton in Galway. Originally from Dublin he moved to Galway five years ago. He has chaired the ACCA Connaught panel for the last two years. Aengus chairs the Finance and Membership committees. He has a keen interest in Rugby and is a recent fan of Connacht Rugby.
Mary Bennett is Managing Director and Chair of Treasure Chest Ltd, founded in 1966. She has been involved in many organisations over the past years including directorship of Aer Lingus, Bord Failte Eireann and the Irish Goods Council. Mary has been involved in the promotion of tourism for many years and chaired Ireland West Tourism for 8 years and was elected World President of Skal International (Professionals in Tourism) for the years 2002-2003. President of Galway Chamber for 2 years and President of Chambers Ireland for 2 years, she also received the Freedom of the City in June 2011.
Dr. Chris Coughlan
Chris is a member of the senior management team at Hewlett-Packard Galway. He manages the worldwide Cloud Innovation and Data Analytics Centre for HP’s Software Professional Services. Previously he worked for Compaq, Digital, Nixdorf and Aer Lingus. He was educated at UCC, INSEAD and the University of Keele. He is a Chartered Physicist, a Member of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Marketing Institute and Hon. Fellow of the Sales Institute. Chris is past President of Galway Chamber and past Chairman of Galway Arts Centre. He is Chairman of WESTBIC, a director of the Galway Technology Centre, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland and President of the Ireland-Poland Chamber of Commerce. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Cairns Business School at NUIG. He writes, lectures and broadcasts regularly on new media and future technologies. His most recent book was launched in 2013.
Brian Carey joined Bank of Ireland in 2007 and is currently Head of Bank Of Ireland Galway City, having relocated back to Galway from Dublin in late 2014. He has worked in a variety of roles in Bank of Ireland including Business Manager, Senior Business Manager, Regional Business Manager and also Branch Manager Eyre Square. He is an ACCA Qualified Accountant and is a current Member of ACCA Connacht Members Panel and a former member of the ACCA Ireland Executive Council. He is a member of the Galway Chamber Tourism, New Members and Invest in Galway Committees. Brian, a native of Ballinasloe, is married with 2 kids and has a strong interest in sports, mainly soccer, golf and rugby.
Jim Fennell has served as Secretary/Financial Controller of GMIT since 1993 and as Acting President from Dec 2010 – Apr 2011. Before joining GMIT, he was Financial Controller of a number of divisions within McInerney Properties plc in Ireland and Portugal. He has also lectured in GMIT and for the Professional Accountancy Bodies. He is a graduate of GMIT, a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and holds a MSc in Executive Leadership from University of Ulster. He holds a number of non-executive directorships, including Chair of HEAnet, and is a Member of Mayo County Council Audit Committee. He is a past President of Galway Chamber and is the current Vice President. A native of Co Clare, Jim Fennell now lives in Kinvara, Co Galway.
Captain Brian Sheridan’s seagoing career began with the Danish shipping giant A.P. Møller (MAERSK) in November 1987. He studied at the Maritime College Cork; University of Ulster Jordanstown; John Moores University Liverpool; Maritime College Glasgow and Warsash Maritime College Southampton. His career brought him from the rank of Deck Cadet to Master with A.P. Møller trading on many vessel types but his main experience is in the operation of LPG Tankers. In December 1999 he was appointed Deputy Superintendent at Galway where he fulfils a wide ranging role. He was elected to Council in 2007. Brian received an International Life Saving Award for his management of Ireland’s largest on-water sporting event, the Volvo Ocean Race 2009 & 2012. An honorary member of Galway Bay and Mayo Sailing Clubs he was elected Vice President of the International Harbour Masters Association in 2012. Brian sails his own boat whenever he can and enjoys being out on what is arguably Galway’s greatest amenity ‘The Blue Playground’, Galway Bay.
A long-time member of Galway Chamber, Declan Dooley is a native of Galway and was first elected to Council in 2008. He served as President of the Chamber from 2011 to 2013. Declan is a founding member and Managing Director of IFN Newspaper Group, publisher of the Galway Independent & Cork Independent newspapers. He is also a founding Member and Director of Magnify, a Galway based marketing agency established in 2013. Combined, his companies employ over 50 staff in Galway and Cork. Declan is Chairman of the Chamber’s Port Development & Marine Tourism Committee which recently represented the Chamber, and other key business representative organisations in Galway, at the Bord Pleanala oral hearing into the planning application for the development of the port of Galway.
Mike works through his own company, Quilly, as a business and industry executive focused on the strategic development of enterprise and the promotion of collaboration between public and private entities. He is a member of a number of oversight and advisory boards including his role as Chairman of SmartBay Ireland. He chairs the Galway Chamber Economic Development Group and is active in developing the Atlantic Economic Corridor in the Western Region. Mike has spent much of his career in the ICT industry and has a close association with Galway from his time with Digital Equipment. Mike is a native of Mayo with strong ties to the West of Ireland. He believes strongly in the right of people to work, and through their enterprise, enjoy life. As a person with a rural background he fully appreciates the values and ambitions of people on the Atlantic side of Ireland. In particular, he actively supports their ambition to develop their own natural resources and find employment for each new generation that wants to belong here.
Carmel is a native Galwegian. A former teacher and financial services professional, Carmel has been a Council Member of Galway Chamber since 2003. She was President of Galway Chamber in 2010/2011. Carmel was the first female member of Junior Chamber Galway and rose to become Vice President of that organisation. Continuing a lifetime of volunteering, Carmel became President of Network Galway in 2005. She has also served as a Board Member of GMIT. Carmel’s interests include politics, art and travel. A member of a Galway political dynasty, she is currently Chair of the Seamus Brennan Cumann, Galway.
David is the CEO and co-founder of Galway Cultural Institute, an English language school highly regarded in Europe by Language Travel Magazine and by EAQUALS, the quality schools organisation set up by the European Commission. David is the CEO and co-founder of Galway Business School, one of the leading independent third level colleges in Ireland delivering degree programmes validated by HETAC/QQI. He is chair of Nilands Limited, an investment company dealing in property and financial investments, a family firm since 1950. Honorary Consul of Mexico in Galway, David has jurisdiction in respect of counties Galway, Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal. President of Galway Chamber from 2005 to 2007 and on Council since 2004 David led a delegation to the European Parliament in Brussels and to Galway’s twin sister cities in St Louis and Chicago. He was Chairman of Galway Arts Centre for six years (2002 – 2008) and his hobbies include photography, hill walking, running and swimming
Dave is Group Chief Executive of The Connacht Tribune and has been a Chamber Council member since 2007. Dave currently chairs the committee on Marketing and Communications. He hosted and organised the Chamber’s Marketing seminars in 2013 and 2014. A native of Galway city, he previously worked in multi-national and local companies in Galway spending 12 years in the UK and Middle East before returning to Galway in 1996. He is married with three adult sons and is a keen follower of club and Connacht rugby.
Paul is a Chartered Accountant FCA in owner practice since 2008. He previously was a Partner in EY (Ernst & Young). He also acts as Independent Non Executive Director. He has been living and working in Galway for most of his adult life. He has been a council member for more than 10 years and was President in 2008-10. Paul also served as Treasurer and Director of Chamber subsidiaries Corrib Airport and Galway Technology Centre. He was a founding member of Galway 2040 and is member of the Governing Body of GMIT since 2010. Paul has a strong interest in community and sport and has been Chairman of Galwegians RFC for the past 4 years.
Niall is a retailer and owner of Claddagh and Celtic Jewellery. He was elected to Galway City Council in 2009 and again in 2014 for the West Ward of the City. A member of Galway Roscommon Educational Training Board, Border Midlands Western Regional Authority, City Joint Policing Committee and the European Union Committee of Regions, Niall is a Marketing and Public Relations graduate. He is also a member of The Latin Quarter and Chairperson of Galway City Tidy Towns. A Member of Galway Chamber since 2008, he is Chairperson of the Chambers Rejuvenation of Salthill Committee. His pastimes include working with Galway Sea Scouts, Athletics and supporting Connacht Rugby and Galway United.
Successful entrepreneur and business executive with over 25 years experience in the technology sector. Founded and led companies through start up, scaled volume, geographic growth, and sales exit. Founded and served as chairman and chief executive of Multis Group Ltd., which he led its development to a global enterprise with operations in Galway, Holland and Silicon Valley California.and numbered Digital Equipment Corporation, Sun Microsystems, HP and Network Engines among its customer and client base. Chaired, served as director and held chief executive roles at a range of companies and currently is Executive Director of QuantaBits Networks Inc. Previously held senior and global executive roles with Digital Equipment Corporation, including Director of Global Operations for the Alpha & Vax Systems Division during which time he was based in Massachusetts USA. Sean is a lifetime member of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association Is a recipient of a number of national business awards and nominations.
JP is a partner in Ronan Daly Jermyn based in Galway. Prior to joining Ronan Daly Jermyn and moving to Galway, JP worked as a solicitor in the corporate and commercial department at a leading Dublin law firm. JP is a B.Comm and LL.B. graduate of NUI Galway and has been an on Council since 2011. JP is also a member of the Galway Chamber audit committee and a member of the Galway Chamber business support committee. JP has an interest in all sports, but in particular, hurling, rugby, triathlons and swimming.
John is a career banker with AIB and is currently Head of New Business Banking for Galway and West Region. John chairs the new Galway Chamber Gift Card Committee.
Sara is the Business Development Manager for QuickTec IT Support and Services. The Galway native holds a BA Honours in Hotel and Catering Management and has worked abroad in France and Australia in a number of multinationals and SMEs. Sara is also a member of Junior Chamber International. She was recently involved in organising the Galway Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and is on the committee for the JCI National Convention 2016 taking place in Galway. She writes a monthly column called Tech Tips in the Galway Independent and is a finalist in the Network Galway Business Woman of the Year Awards 2016. Outside of business interests, Sara is involved in Marian Choral Society, tag rugby and supports Connacht Rugby.
Michael is a Lecturer in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, lecturing in innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management. He holds a Master of Engineering Science degree from NUI Galway and an M.B.A. degree from University College Dublin. Prior to returning to NUI Galway to lecture, he worked in the ICT industry for 25 years with a variety of start-up, indigenous and multinational organisations.
Shane is a Galway native and is managing partner of business law firm, MacSweeney & Company, which he founded in 2003. He holds a B.C.L from UCC and a Diploma in Employment Law from UCD. Before moving back to Galway, he was a partner in a top five Dublin law firm. He has lectured at the Law Society of Ireland and regularly speaks at events and seminars and contributes to legal publications. In his spare time, he coaches a juvenile hurling team and has a keen interest in rugby, politics and history. He speaks Irish and German.
Andrew Murphy is the Chief Commercial Officer for Shannon Group plc, a commercial semi-state company in Ireland incorporating the subsidiaries of Shannon Airport, Shannon Heritage and Shannon Commercial Properties Ltd. Andrew took up his role in March 2014 and oversees Aviation Development, Commercial Income, Marketing and PR for the Group. He is a graduate of the Shannon College of Hotel Management where he was Graduate of the Year in 1995. Previously Andrew was a Director in Ulster Bank for 4 years based in Limerick overseeing a regional team looking after challenged Business and Property loans and assets. He has spent 13 years with Ulster Bank in various management roles in Corporate Banking, Finance and Treasury all based in Dublin. During his initial years with the Bank, Andrew trained as an Accountant with the ACCA. Previous to this he owned his own Restaurant in Dublin City Centre after enjoying a 4 year career in the Hotel Industry with Jury’s’ Hotel Group based in London, Cardiff and Dublin.