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.
Patrick has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.
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.
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 Client Consultative Sub-Committee 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 has served on the Board of Directors of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind 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 the Client Consultative Sub-Committee 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 works in the Civil Legal Division of An Garda Siochana. 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 current 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.
Poppy Masterson graduated as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin.
Later, she obtained a post-graduate certificate in veterinary forensics from University of Florida.
She has worked in small animal general and emergency practice in both the USA and Ireland.
She joined the sub-committee on Science, Training and Development in 2020.
Martyn Byrne – profile to follow
Nicky Kealy, Co. Carlow
Nicky is a civil servant currently working in the Workplace Relations Commission where he has worked since its inception in 2015. Nicky is also a Guide Dog owner and currently is working with his fourth Guide Dog Phoebe. He has actively been involved in fundraising since getting his first dog in 2001 and is the Chairperson of the Carlow Branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. He is a member of the Client Consultative Committee.
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.