Our Board

Our Board

Our board is voluntary and elected by members to serve a four year term under our Constitution.

Mark Dowdall (Chairman)
Mark was elected Chairman of Epilepsy Ireland in September 2013. He has served on the Board since 1999 having initially become involved as a result of a family member’s epilepsy diagnosis. He has also served on the Finance & Audit sub-committee for several years and is a former Treasurer. Mark’s professional background is in technology, financial services and banking.

Cathy Grieve (Secretary)
Cathy joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and was elected as Company Secretary in 2016. She is also a member of the Remuneration and Governance & Nominations sub-committees. Cathy has had epilepsy for 10 years. Her background is in journalism and having spent 16 years with BBC News, she set up her own media production company in 2009.

Mr. Paul Kehoe (Treasurer)
Paul joined the Epilepsy Ireland Finance & Audit sub-committee in 2017 and was elected to the Board in 2018. He currently serves as Treasurer. He is an experienced accounting and finance professional who has worked for over 40 years in the Financial Services sector including many years at AIB Global Treasury.

Vincent Savino (President)
Vincent is a retired Irish Army Major General who has an interest in epilepsy through a family member. Vincent Savino is the Honorary President of the Association. His involvement with Epilepsy Ireland goes back to the 1980s when he played a key role in establishing fundraising activities needed to support the work of the charity.

Tony Caravousanos
Tony joined the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2017, having previously volunteered with Epilepsy Ireland for many years in our awareness and communications activities. Tony is an experienced advertising professional and is Account Director at the Havas agency where he has worked since 1990. He has a personal family interest in epilepsy and the work of Epilepsy Ireland.

Tessa Dagge
Tessa has been involved with Epilepsy Ireland for almost four decades, beginning her involvement when her son was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age. She is a former Chair of the Board of Directors. She is also a current member of the Finance & Audit sub-committee.

Mary Fitzsimons
Mary Fitzsimons is a funded Investigator with the FutureNeuro centre at RCSI and is the Director of the eHealth Ireland Epilepsy Lighthouse Project. She was previously Principal Physicist at the Department of Neurophysics at Beaumont Hospital, where she was responsible for the development of the Epilepsy Electronic Patient Record. She has a long history in the field of epilepsy research and joined the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2018.

Derry Gray
Derry, who has a family member with epilepsy, was elected to the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2014 and currently serves on the Remuneration sub-committee. He is a Partner and Head of the Management Consulting Department at BDO and served as the company’s Managing Partner from 2011 to 2014. He was elected as President of Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

Dr Michael Hennessy
Dr Hennessy is a Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist at University College Hospital, Galway. His research interests have involved the medical and surgical management of patients with uncontrolled seizures, mortality issues in epilepsy and EEG. He joined the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2002.

Ambrose Kealy
Ambrose joined the board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2018. An accountant and qualified compliance professional, he recently retired from the role of Chief Compliance Officer with VHI Group.  He holds professional memberships of the Institute of Directors, CIMA and the Association of Compliance officers and brings valuable skills to the charity in areas such as risk management, compliance, corporate governance and strategy.

Michael McLoughlin
Michael was elected to the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2013, having been a member of the Finance & Audit sub-Committee for a number of years previously. He is a former Treasurer of the Association and has served on the Quality & Safety and Governance & Nominations sub-committees. Michael is the Chief Executive of Amárach Research since 2000 and also has a background in banking, financial services and politics.

Dr. Brian McNamara
Brian is a Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at Cork University Hospital since 2001, where he leads the hospital’s team of neurophysiologists. He joined the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2002.

Clare O'Dea
Clare joined the Board of Epilepsy Ireland in 2017. Her 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. She holds an MBA from the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School and a Higher Diploma in Psychology from UCD.

Carol Saarsteiner
Carol has been Board member of Epilepsy Ireland since 2008 and has played a key role in the charity’s fundraising and awareness-raising efforts for many years. She became involved initially when her daughter Nikki was diagnosed with epilepsy. She is also Director of a leading cargo inspection and certification business.

Dr. Joyce Senior
Dr. Senior is Director of the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology at UCD. She was previously a primary teacher and educational psychologist. She became involved with Epilepsy Ireland after the sudden death of her brother in 1997 and became a board member in 2002. She has published extensively on epilepsy, particularly in relation to educational needs.

Finance & Audit sub-committee

The sub-committee assists and advise the Board on the organisation’s finances, business activities and strategic direction.

Voluntary Members: Michael Sheehy (Chair); Mark Dowdall; Tessa Dagge; Paul Kehoe; Tony Rhatigan, Derek Heffernan
Staff: CEO & Finance Manager

Nominations & Governance sub-committee

The sub-committee advises the Board on all matters of governance including on the composition of the board and board recruitment.

Voluntary Members: Mark Dowdall; Ambrose Kealy; Cathy Grieve

Remuneration sub-committee

The sub-committee sets the CEO’s objectives, appraises and reports to the Board on performance and sets policy on management remuneration.

Voluntary Members: Mark Dowdall; Cathy Grieve; Derry Gray

Quality & Safety sub-committee

The sub-committee oversees accountability for quality, safety and risk management in our services and across the organisation.

Voluntary Members: Clare O'Dea; Michael McLoughlin
Staff: CEO, Director of Services

Sustainability & Business Development sub-committee

The sub-committee assists, supports and advises the Board in ensuring that the organisation’s income generation activities are sufficient to meet the financial, strategic and operational needs of the organisation into the future.

Voluntary Members: Clare O'Dea; Michael McLoughlin; Carol Saarsteiner; Ambrose Kealy; Tony Caravousanos
Staff: CEO, Fundraising & Communications Manager

Epilepsy Ireland Management Team

Chief Executive, Peter Murphy
Director of Services, Tara Smith
Fundraising & Communications Manager, Michael Carty
Finance Manager, Andrew O’Dwyer
Training Manager, Paul Sharkey