Chair: Paul Ledwidge
Paul has worked for 35 years in the area of learning disability and has extensive experience in the management and development of services for people with a learning disability. He has also developed costing systems to enable service providers to analyse their costs down to individual service users. Paul is a Chartered Accountant and runs his own distribution business, specialising in telecommunications and lighting, which he established in 1987.
Paul joined St. Michael’s House as Financial Controller in 1978. St. Michael’s House is a community-based voluntary organisation providing a range of specialised day and residential services to over 1,600 children and adults with a learning disability and their families, in over 170 locations throughout Dublin city and county.
In 1993 he was appointed Chief Executive of St. Michael’s House, a position he held until his retirement in 2011. During this period he expanded the organisation, particularly in the area of community-based residential and respite care increasing, from 120 to almost 500 beds and staffing levels from 400 to 1,700.
Paul was nominated by the Minister for Health to the Board of the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Boards of the Northern Area Health Board and the Eastern Area Health Board for a five-year period. He was Chairman of Board of the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies from 2003 to 2006 and sat on the Board of the Disability Federation of Ireland from 2007 to 2009.
Paul joined the Board of NCBI Group in 2013.
Senator Martin Conway
Martin Conway was elected a Fine Gael Senator in 2011. He is the government spokesperson on Justice, Disability and Equality in the Seanad and is the first visually impaired member of the Oireachtas.
He was first elected to Clare County Council in June, 2004, representing the North Clare and re-elected in 2009. Martin is the third generation of his family to be born with congenital cataracts. When he was just six months old he was taken to London for a series of ground-breaking eye operations, which left him with 16% vision.
Martin attended local schools with his brother and first joined Fine Gael whilst at school in Ennistymon. His interest in politics continued throughout his college career, and in 1998 he graduated with a degree in Economics and Politics from University College Dublin.
One of his proudest moments was to receive the prestigious University College Dublin’s Presidents’ award for Excellence in recognition of his commitment for campaigning and advocacy, for people with disabilities.
Martin campaigns tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities for the provision of adequate housing, improved education and employment opportunities and proper sport facilitates.
Martin is a founding member of AHEAD-The Association of Higher Education Access and Disability which endeavours to make education accessible to all. He is particularly proud of the WAM-Willing Able Mentoring programme which has successfully placed over 150 graduates with disabilities in employment over the last seven years.
Martin joined the NCBI Group Board in 2013.
Nancy purchased her first Foodmarket store in Galway in 1987 and by 1995 had added four more stores to the company. She is now operating under the Londis franchise at Mervue in Galway.
Nancy was first appointed to the Board of Directors of Londis in 2003 and is currently the second longest serving Non Executive Board Director. She oversaw the transition from a cooperative society to a private company in October 2004 and is active in a number of the organisation’s committees, including remuneration (staff salaries & pensions), rebate (loyalty schemes), strategy (future direction of Londis chain) and audit (compliance with all accounting procedures).
Nancy joined the board in 2013.
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin and an accountant by training, David was employed as a Financial Controller for 10 years in both the public and private sectors. He joined the Golden Horseshoe Limited, a facilities management company to the Fitzwilliam Card Club in July 2003. More recently in July 2010, David completed his post graduate diploma in company direction under the auspices of the Institute of Chartered Directors.
David is currently Managing Director of the Golden Horseshoe Limited, servicing one of the largest private member gaming clubs in Ireland. Established in 2003 by a group of investors and card enthusiasts, it currently turns over in excess of €20 million per annum, employs 112 people and has in excess of 80,000 members.
David joined the Board in 2013.
Seán, who joined the Board of NCBI Charitable Foundation and NCBI Group in 2013, founded Seán Costello & Company solicitors, a medium sized law practice comprising of six solicitors and support staff, in 2001.
Seán was a Director of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company from 2005 to 2007, when he became Chairman, a role he held from 2007 to 2012.He is also a Director of Irish International Diaspora Centre Trust Limited.
Sean joined the Board in 2013.
David Keegan is a Consultant Vitreo-retinal Surgeon at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital/ Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin since October 2006. He also leads the Retinal Transplant Group, UCD/Catherine McAuley Centre, Dublin. He is Chair of the Ophthalmology Division, Dublin Centre for Clinical Research, Molecular Medicine Ireland, Dublin and is a member of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists Council.
He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1994 and attained a Masters in Anatomy from UCD in 1996. He trained at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital London on their higher surgical training scheme in ophthalmology and attained his PhD (retinal transplantation) from University College London in 2002.
His clinical interests include management of surgical retinal disease including complex retinal detachment, paediatric retinal surgery, macular hole and pucker. Additionally, he is interested in age related macular degeneration and inherited retinal disease. He is leading an initiative to develop a national register of inherited retinal disease through the Dublin Centre for Clinical Research (DCCR) and Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI).
David joined the Board of NCBI in 2011.
Roddy K Feely
Roddy is the founder of and principal consultant with Bellevue Creative Solutions Ltd, having spent a career in International Markets spanning 24 years. He has held senior management positions in sales and marketing, operations management and strategy development in the FMCG, luxury goods, food ingredients and agriculture industries.
He is a graduate of UCD with a Bachelor of Commerce, is a certified facilitator and trainer in performance improvement programmes and speaks both French and Dutch. He is a business mentor for Enterprise Ireland, Plato EBR and number of county enterprise boards, providing advice and mentoring to SMEs and micro-companies across a variety of business disciplines and industry sectors in Ireland and export markets. He was also recently appointed to Enterprise Ireland’s advocates consultants panel. Bellevue Creative Solutions Ltd (BCS) has entered into an agreement with a US-based company, Integrity Solutions, as their sole representative in Europe and Roddy is a certified facilitator and trainer in Integrity Solutions performance improvement and training programmes management coaching, selling and customer service.
Roddy joined the Board in 2015.
Anne, who has a BA in History and English and a HDip in Education from UCD, worked in various positions in the Department of Industry and Commerce (currently the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) entering as a graduate Executive Officer. There she gained experience in the areas of personnel, trade policy, EU policy and insurance supervision and was then transferred as head of insurance supervision to the Central Bank of Ireland. From 2010 to 2012 Anne was the Chief Operations Officer of the Investor Compensation Co Ltd.
Although officially retired since 2012, Anne has remained active as an independent, non-executive member of the Audit Committee of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (since 2009), chair of Tallaght Choral Society, chair and treasurer of Orwell Court Management Co Ltd.
Anne joined the Board of NCBI in 2013.
Dr. Dónal Fitzpatrick is currently a member of the faculty of the School of Computing at Dublin City University. He completed a B.Sc. in Computer Applications and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (both at DCU) specialising in the development of non-visual access to mathematics and other complex data.
After completing his studies, Dr. Fitzpatrick worked at the National College of Ireland teaching programming and Operating systems at undergraduate level. He was then awarded the world-famous Fulbright Fellowship which ensured he could carry out post-doctoral research in the United States of America. Whilst there, Dr. Fitzpatrick investigated access to geographic data using haptic (force feedback) devices. On completion of the Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Fitzpatrick returned to Dublin City University to take up a post as a member of the Faculty of the School of Computing where he continues to teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and to carry out research into Human-computer Interaction.
Over the past decade Dr. Fitzpatrick has been the recipient of several research grants; the most notable being an SFI-Funded Research Frontiers grant which funded work into developing a system for Braille and Audio versions of mathematical formulae. He was also lead technical developer on the AHVITED EU-Funded project which produced a system for production and autonomous deployment of audio-tactile diagrams in ELearning platforms.
Donal joined the Board in 2016.
Aoife’s early career background is in banking and finance, having worked in banking in Dublin and London and as a Finance Director in industry in the Middle East. A change of direction following the birth of her second child, who is profoundly intellectually disabled and both vision and hearing impaired, led Aoife to return to study, gaining a First in a BSc. in Psychology. While her main role is that of a mother and full time carer, she is also an Associate Lecturer in psychology with the Open University in Ireland and a post-graduate researcher.
Aoife was a director of St. Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired (now ChildVision) for five years to 2013 and spent four years on the National Working Group of the HSE’s Progressing Children’s Disability Services programme. She currently sits on a consultative group at Inclusion Ireland on the needs of individuals with a severe/profound intellectual disability and complex needs. Her specific interest is in childhood disability and, in particular, vision impairment or blindness in children with multiple disabilities (MDVI).
Aoife joined the Board in 2016.
Joe Geraghty is Chairperson of Vision Sports Ireland, the national governing body for sport for vision impaired people, which is based at NCBI Head Office. He is a founding member of national organised sport for vision impaired people in Ireland since the beginning in 1979. As a volunteer administrator he has served in several roles over the decades. He was Secretary of the 1993 European Athletics Championships for the Blind which were held in Dublin. Joe competed at Paralympic Games and won silver at 5000m at the 1983 European Games. He is a retired Civil Service IT database administrator who has also developed an expertise in media and communications.
Joe joined the Board in 2017.
Tony Murray is a Senior Solution Architect, working in the Information Management and Technology Directorate of the Central Bank of Ireland. Spanning sixteen years, his career has included roles in Software Development, Project Management, Business Analysis, and Application/Data/Business Architecture.
Throughout his adult life, Tony has dedicated a lot of time and energy to the Visually Impaired Computer Society of Ireland (VICS). VICS is a voluntary organisation focused on providing support and training in the area of IT to its members, as well as lobbying of organisations to promote accessibility/usability to blind and visually impaired people of mainstream systems/infrastructure. Tony held the position of chairperson of VICS for many years, and continues to contribute strongly to the group.
As part of his voluntary work, Tony’s primary focus has been on the allocation, utilisation and mobilisation of technology solutions and like-minded IT experts in order to better the lives of his fellow blind and visually impaired people. As a member of the Board, Tony likes to apply his knowledge and experience of the needs of blind and visually impaired people, his deep understanding of access technology, and his experience of business planning and strategic allocation of services to aid and guide senior management at the NCBI.
Most of Tony’s free time is taken up by music. He plays guitar in a Dublin based rock band, and likes to attend concerts as often as possible. He is also a dedicated fan of the GAA, closely following his beloved Dublin team in both football and hurling.
Tony joined the Board in 2017.