We have a voluntary Board of Directors. Our Board is made up of 12 Directors. All of our Directors give their time freely and do not receive remuneration.
The recruitment of new Directors is open and transparent, with a focus on creating a diverse and effective team who contribute to the strategic direction and oversee the operations.
President and Co-founder, Co Cork
Our Board members are:
Patrick Burke (Chair), Co Meath
Patrick is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI).
He recently joined the Mercantile Group. He has served as the chair of the Audit, Risk, and Compliance & Investment Sub-Committee and is a member of the Fundraising Sub-Committee.
Patrick has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.
Eddie Murphy (Vice-Chair), Co Cork
Eddie is married to Sheila who is a Volunteer at our National Headquarters. He graduated from University College Cork with a Degree in Commerce and successfully qualified as a Management Accountant.
He worked in a number of roles with Ford Motor Company both in the UK and in Ireland where, up until his retirement in 2014, he held the roles of Managing Director and Chairman. Eddie is a Board member of the Cork Opera House.
Eddie is a former Board Chair of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and is Chair of the Audit, Risk, and Compliance & Investment Sub-Committee and is a member of the Nominating & Governance Sub-Committee. His focus is the strategic development of the organisation in order to ensure that it has the resources and structures to deliver its mission.
In his time at Ford Ireland, he facilitated the sponsorship of a number of vehicles for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s fleet and introduced the sponsorship of a Ford Focus for our National Car Draw which continues up to the present. Eddie has served on the Board of Directors since 2011.
Nick Palmer, Co Meath
Nick is a director overseeing Planning, Logistics & HR at Kingston Technology International Limited in Blanchardstown and is a member of the Balbriggan and North East Dublin branches of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Nick is Chair of the Fundraising Sub-Committee of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and has served on the Board of Directors since 2011.
Derry Walsh, Co Cork
Derry is a Guide Dog Owner and retired Partner and Financial Controller with Horgan Lynch Consulting Engineers Cork and Dublin.
Derry is a former chair of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and has served on the Board of Directors since 1990. Derry is also a member of the Training & Development Sub-Committee.
Alison Flack, Co Cork
Alison lives in Cork, she is married to Roger (a former Chair of the charity), and they have three grown up children, 10 grandchildren, a dog and a cat! Alison has been a Volunteer with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind since 1981 when she walked her first pup, and many more followed.
She has been involved in many fundraising events over the years as a Branch Volunteer. Alison is a member of the Board of Ashton Comprehensive School in Cork, and is a vice President of Garryduff Sports Club, having served as President for 4 years. Alison has served on the Board of Directors since 2018.
Donna Lang, Co Dublin
Donna is a Guide Dog Owner for over 25 years, having worked with Brandy, Que, Vita and currently Bandit.
She has been involved in fundraising for over 20 years and is currently Chair of the Howth, Sutton and Clontarf Branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Donna has extensive professional experience in the areas of Education, Rehabilitation and Family Therapy. Donna has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.
Jacqui Browne, Co Kerry
Jacqui has over 30 years of experience as a disability equality activist and consultant. With a BA Degree in Economics & Politics from UCD and a Masters’ degree in Education from Trinity College Dublin, she has many years of experience working at local, national, European and International levels. She is a former member of Commission on Status of People with Disabilities whose report A Strategy for Equality was a blue- print for disability rights in Ireland.
Jacqui is Chairperson of DESSA – the national Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency, a Board member of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (since 2014) and the Irish Thalidomide Association. She is also actively involved as a patient advocate in IPPOSI – the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry and is a EUPATI Fellow – European Patient Advocacy Training Initiative.
In December 2018, Jacqui was appointed as a member of the Disability Advisory Committee to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Conor Simpson, Co Dublin
Conor’s family was matched with Assistance Dog Poncho in 2013. Conor works with IDA Ireland where he holds the position of Regional Business Development Manager.
He has been with the IDA since 2002, and prior to that he worked with Hewlett Packard. Conor is a member of the Audit, Risk, and Compliance & Investment Sub-Commit- tee of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and has served on the Board of Directors since 2015.
Paula Cogan, Co Cork
Paula is the current Cork Chamber President having been appointed in 2019, and is Head of Sales at The Doyle Collection. Paula is also a member of the Glucksman Board.
Paula is a member of the Fundraising Sub-Committee of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and has served on the Board of Directors since 2016.
Terri Doyle, Co Cork
Terri is married with three children and is an Assistance Dog Owner who lives in Carrigaline, Co. Cork. Terri works as Sales and Customer Services Manager for Wisetek Solutions Limited.
Terri first got involved with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in 2006 and has had Assistance Dog Nifty for 10 years. She is a former member of the National Parents Council of Ireland. Terri was a member of the Nominating and Governance Sub-Committee for two years.
Terri is a Volunteer, a regular fundraiser for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, and a member of both the Training & Development and Fundraising Sub-Committees of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2016.
Martin Gordon, Co Dublin
Martin is a Barrister and currently works with the Financial Services Ombudsman. He studied law at University College Galway and Trinity College Dublin.
He has been a Guide Dog Owner for over 14 years. He was trained with his cur- rent Guide Dog Juno in 2018. Martin is a member of the Nominating & Governance Sub-Committee and Chair of the Client Consultative Sub Committee.
As part of his role he provides insight and guidance on legal matters which are considered by the Board and the Sub-Committees of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Martin has served on the Board of Directors since 2017.
Board Sub Committees
The Board is supported in its work in the areas of strategy, governance, compliance and controls by a number of Sub-Committees. Membership of the Sub-Committees is made up of Board Members, external advisors with appropriate and relevant experience and members of the management team at Irish Guide Dogs.