Board of Directors


Mr. Mark Dowdall has been Epilepsy Ireland's Honorary Secretary and, more recently, Honorary Treasurer and was elected Chair of the Association in September 2013. He has been involved with the Association for several years on fundraising projects such as Roseweek and the Horse Show Ball. As Treasurer, Mark has been a member of the Finance & Audit sub Committee and will continue as a member in his capacity as Chair. He has been involved in fundraising initiatives and in the development of Epilepsy Ireland's website. Mark works in the field of IT and brings business skills to Epilepsy Ireland. Mark served on Epilepsy Ireland's Constitutional review sub-committee and is a member of Epilepsy Ireland's PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations) group.

Mr. (formerly General) Vincent Savino is a retired Army officer who has an interest in epilepsy through a family member. Vincent Savino is Vice-Chair of Epilepsy Ireland. Vincent has been active in Epilepsy Ireland's fundraising activities for many years and is also the Association's President.

Mr. Michael McLoughlin was elected as Honorary Treasurer at the 2013 AGM. He has been a member of the Finance & Audit sub-Committee for a number of years. Michael is Chief Executive of Amárach Research – the leading independent business market research agency. Prior to joining Amárach in 2000, Michael worked in banking and financial services. In the course of his work he has undertaken a range of market research projects on consumer and business attitudes to products, services and the state of current affairs. He led an important research project into Public Awareness of Epilepsy for Epilepsy Ireland in 2005-2006. He has recently led the expansion of Amárach into the United States of America with the launch of a new monthly research programme on Irish America. He has been interested in politics and current affairs since he was a child, and was the Political Director of Fine Gael (on secondment from Amárach) between October 2008 and October 2010. He holds MA and MBA degrees from UCD.

Mrs. Tessa Dagge has been involved with Epilepsy Ireland for over 30 years. Tessa became involved in the Irish epilepsy movement when her son, who has epilepsy, was very young. She retired as Chair of the Association at the 2013 AGM following 12 years spent leading Epilepsy Ireland. She is a member of the key Finance & Audit subcommittee, which she chaired for several years. Tessa has also been involved with most of Epilepsy Ireland's major fundraising campaigns.

Prof. Norman Delanty is a Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist at Beaumont Hospital and runs the Epilepsy Service there. Dr. Delanty spent a number of years in the United States at Cornell Medical Centre in New York and the University of Pennsylvania. Norman has been a speaker at several Epilepsy Ireland conferences and has organised frequent epilepsy events at Beaumont. Dr Delanty in conjunction with Epilepsy Ireland produced the video "Leaving the Shadows". Prof. Delanty is President of the Irish Epilepsy League and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious 'Ambassador for Epilepsy 'award by IBE and ILAE.

Mr Derry Gray is a Partner and Head of the Management Consulting Department for the last 13 years, and served as BDO's Ireland Managing Partner from 2011 until May 2014. Derry has led BDO teams in projects ranging from: the Masterplan for the development of the Docklands in Dublin: to project specific planning and development projects with a number of county councils and public/state bodies. Derry is a council member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, having been re-elected for a second term earlier this year. He is also a director of the BASE, an innovative youth services centre in Ballyfermot employing 40 youth services staff, and pioneering a 21st century inclusive approach to youth development. Derry has a personal interest in epilepsy.

Ms Cathy Grieve  Is a member of our Board and was elected as Secretary in November 2016, Cathy is also Chair of the EI Awareness sub-committee. She has worked in front line journalism with the BBC for two decades, she worked on the BBC news website ww.bbc.co.uk/news where she was a senior editor in charge of commissioning, she was involved in the development of content gathering worldwide for emerging digital media platforms for over a decade from the early start up days of the website during its phenomenal growth phase. Cathy has had epilepsy for the past 6 years.

Dr Michael J Hennessy is a Consultant Neurologist at University College Hospital, Galway.

Dr. Bryan Lynch is Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at the National Children's Hospital, Temple Street. Dr. Lynch worked for a number of years in the United States before returning to take up his post at Temple Street. Bryan has presented several important papers on epilepsy internationally and is also author of the book "A Guide to Diagnosis, Investigation and Treatment of Epilepsy". He has been a keynote speaker at Epilepsy Ireland's National Conference.

Dr. Christine Linehan is a lecturer with the School of Psychology, University College Dublin. Christine is an active researcher in the epilepsy field, commencing with her doctoral research which examined the prevalence of epilepsy in Ireland. Christine's current research in epilepsy centres on epidemiology trends in epilepsy and on providing appropriate supports to individuals with epilepsy and intellectual disability. Christine is a former member of the Joint ILAE IBE Task Force Working Group on the prevalence and cost of epilepsy in Europe and is a current member of the ILAE Intellectual Disabilities Task Force of the Neuropsychiatric Commission.

Dr. Brian McNamara is a consultant Neurophysiologist based at Cork University Hospital.

Ms. Norma Mitchell was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 24, while canvassing in her husband's first General Election campaign. Married to former Minister for European Affairs and current MEP for Dublin Gay Mitchell, Norma was the organisation leader for his successful four City Council, eight Dail and two European Parliament campaigns. She continues to manage his busy Dublin office during his absence in Brussels and Strasbourg. A former Lady Mayoress of Dublin, she has been a youth leader and sports enthusiast and continues to be a community worker and volunteer with a number of organisations. A mother of four, Norma has been a political activist in her own right and has held officer positions in the Dublin South Central organisation of Fine Gael where she was constituency secretary for many years. Norma has been associated with Epilepsy Ireland for many years and attended the European Congresses in Porto in Lisbon in 2010 and Copenhagen in 2006.

Ms. Carol Saarsteiner has been a member of Epilepsy Ireland for a number of years. She holds a BSc after successfully completing courses in Sociology, Health & Social Welfare and Law. Carol's daughter Nikki has epilepsy and they have both been actively involved with Epilepsy Ireland. Carol has done numerous radio, newspaper and television interviews on behalf of Epilepsy Ireland discussing Epilepsy awareness. Carol is also involved in our Fundraising events such as look who's cooking charity event and our Charity lunch.

Dr. Joyce Senior is an academic educationalist with years of experience as a primary teacher in Dalkey, Co. Dublin. As well as her postgraduate work in psychology and special needs Joyce has been engaged in continuing research into epilepsy at the Education Department, UCD. She became involved with Epilepsy Ireland after the sudden death of her brother in 1997, and is now a member of its Executive Committee. Dr. Senior wrote a book on "Educational, Medical and Advisory Provision for Children with Epilepsy in Ireland" which was widely welcomed by parents of children with epilepsy. Dr. Senior was also involved in developing the "Teachers Pack" which is aimed at both primary and secondary schools in Ireland. Dr Senior was part of the editorial team who adapted "Epilepsy and the Young Adult" for people in Ireland.

Dr. Brian Sweeney is a Consultant Neurologist at Cork University Hospital.

Dr. David Webb is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Tony Caravousanos joined the board of directors of Epilepsy Ireland in 2017. Tony has volunteered with Epilepsy Ireland for many years previously, as a key member of our Awareness sub-committee which developed awareness campaigns such as the TEAM seizure first aid campaign and International Epilepsy Day. Tony is an experienced advertising and marketing professional, Client Service Director and Head of Advertising at the creative agency Havas Ireland, where he has worked since 1990.

Tony is a Marketing graduate in Retail Business Studies from D.I.T Dublin, a former IAPI board member and well known in Ireland's adland network. As many of our board members, Tony has a personal family interest in epilepsy and the work of Epilepsy Ireland.

Clare O'Dea joined the board of directors of Epilepsy Ireland in 2017. Clare's interest in the work of Epilepsy Ireland emerged when her son was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy. She brings a wealth of experience gained in corporate strategy, finance, investments, marketing and fundraising. Clare is a director of Select Strategies, a management consultancy, which helps Irish companies grow. Her earlier career included investment management with Ulster Bank and KPMG. She is currently on the board of Orbis Ireland, a non-profit organisation that transforms lives through providing access to quality eye health in developing countries. She has a BA (Science) from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is currently studying for a Higher Diploma in Psychology at UCD.