Board of Directors

Padraic Brennan (appointed 2013, elected Chairman 2014)

Padraic is Partner-in-Charge of the Galway office of the law firm Ronan Daly Jermyn. He practices in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department with an emphasis on defence litigation, medical negligence, professional indemnity, healthcare law, administrative law and employment law. He has represented the (former) Western Health Board/Health Service Executive on employment law issues including disciplinary procedures, bullying and harassment, equality cases and unfair dismissal cases; on health care and medico-legal/ethical issues, child protection and special needs. He also represented the interests of the (former) WHB at the Lindsay Tribunal and the Organ Retention Inquiry.

He is a legal adviser to NUI Galway, in the particular areas of employment law, administrative law, freedom of information and data protection. He represents the interests of the State Claims Agency, Irish Public Bodies and Travelers Ireland Insurance in the defence of medical negligence actions and personal injuries defence litigation. In the area of Professional Indemnity litigation, Padraic represents RSA and XL Insurance. Padraic was educated in NUI Galway.

Maria Mahon (appointed 2013)

Maria has over 20 years of business experience working in the financial services, media, tourism, internet and software industries. In 2006, she established her own management consultancy practice advising CEOs and MDs of companies on developing and implementing growth strategies for their businesses. From 1999 to 2006, Maria held the position of CEO of Saongroup.com and has been vice chairman of ChinaHR, China’s third largest online recruitment business, since 2013.

Prior to this, Maria held the positions of Marketing Director for Dublin’s leading music radio station 98FM, International Brand Manager for Bord Failte and Marketing Manager with Irish Life. In 2003, Maria was shortlisted for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year. She was also awarded the prestigious Bank of Ireland Business Alumni award in NUIG in 2006. Maria was appointed to the Board of Communicorp in 2005. Maria is Chairman of Camara Education Ltd, an international not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to enhance education in the developing world through the use of technology. Maria previously served on the board of the Marketing Institute of Ireland over a 10-year period and served a term as Chairman from 2006-2007. Maria holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from NUI Galway and a Masters in Business Studies (MBS) from Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.

Patrick Dawson (appointed 2015)

Patrick Dawson has over 20 years of experience building marketing and technology businesses in Germany, Japan, Korea, USA and UK. The County Clare native is currently based in London with MediaMath Inc, a global technology company empowering modern marketers to reimagine the way their marketing performs by transforming the technology that powers it. He led the MediaMath Inc. acquisition of social media technology startup Upcast Social and holds many Board positions in startups around the world. He holds a Bachelors of Arts and Masters in Business and Economics from Trinity College Dublin.

Martin Mackin (appointed 2016)

Martin is the Director of the Public Affairs division at Q4PR and a founder partner of the company. Acknowledged as one of Ireland’s leading communications campaign strategists, Martin works with a wide range of public and private sector clients. An integral part of Martin’s work with his clients is ongoing strategic counsel and issues management.

In 2003, Martin was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he designed and taught a course on the European integration process. He has a BA Hons in French and English from UCD and a Masters in European Social Policy Analysis, following studies in NUI Maynooth, Bath and Tilburg. Martin is a former member of the Board of Culture Ireland, the state body with responsibility for the global promotion of Irish cultural endeavours. He is a Board member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. He is a former member of Seanad Eireann.

Patrick Lonergan (appointed 2017)

Patrick Lonergan is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. He has published many books on Irish theatre, including the award-winning Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era and The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh. His most recent books are Theatre & Social Media (November 2015, Palgrave) and Irish Theatre Since 1950 (February 2019, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama). For Methuen Drama, he is co-editor of a series of critical companions about international theatre, including recent books on Sarah Ruhl, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel, as well as on such topics as prison theatre, the American stage musical and the intersection of disability and performance.

He has lectured on Irish theatre in many international locations, including in Japan, Russia, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Brazil, the United States and Canada. His blog about Irish theatre, Scenes from the Bigger Picture, currently has more than 3,000 subscribers, and he regularly writes about Irish theatre for many publications.

Fiona Monaghan (appointed 2018)

Fiona Monaghan is a tourism professional with over twenty years of industry experience in both the private and public sector. Fiona spent the earlier part of her career in the United States, firstly as Director of Sales for North America with the Jury’s Doyle Hotel Group in Washington DC before joining the Irish Tourist Board in New York in 1999. During her tenure with the Irish Tourist Board (Tourism Ireland), she held roles such as Trade Promotions Manager and Manager of Strategic Planning & Advertising for North America.

Fiona returned to her native Galway in 2007 to take up the role as Head of Operations for the West Region with Fáilte Ireland. She was a member of the development team of the very successful Wild Atlantic Way experience brand and went on to head up the launch and implementation of the Wild Atlantic Way within Fáilte Ireland until the end of 2017. In early 2018, Fiona assumed the role as Head of Product Development for Outdoor Activities in Fáilte Ireland, a new division tasked with the delivery of tourism capital infrastructure nationally to grow Ireland’s reputation and appeal as a world-class activity destination. Fiona holds a B Comm & Diploma in Marketing Practice from NUI Galway, an MBS in Tourism from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business UCD and a Diploma in Sports Marketing from New York University School of Continuing & Professional Education.

Valerie Rice (appointed 2019)

Valerie Rice is an experienced commercial, marketing and retail business leader with a strong track record in developing brands and leading change programmes across a broad range of industries, both multi-national and domestic, for over 20 years.

Valerie founded her own company, Valerie Rice & Associates, in 2008, which provides strategic commercial marketing and retail advisory services to blue chip clients both in Ireland and internationally. She works with clients across a range of sectors from agri-food, drinks, banking, healthcare, semi-state, SMEs and media. Prior to starting her business, she was a Board member of Superquinn, with responsibility for Group Marketing & Omni Channel, for Ireland’s leading retailer at the time. During her time with the business, she led the re-launch of the Superquinn brand with “Fresh Thinking” and the re-positioning of the premium retail brand experience across flagship stores nationwide.

Valerie also has extensive experience in the drinks industry having worked with Diageo Ireland as Head of Operations and as part of their Leadership Team and as Head of Retail Marketing for their highly regarded beer and spirits portfolio. She also worked with the spirits business United Distillers as Head of Retail, On Trade and with Gilbey’s of Ireland and Guinness across a range of commercial and marketing management roles.

Valerie has a Degree in Marketing from The Marketing Institute and a Diploma in Languages from Dublin Business School as well as from the Chambre de Commerce, Paris. She was awarded National Graduate Student of The Year by The Marketing Institute.