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ESB Board Members

 

There are currently 12 ESB Board Members, comprising the Chairman, Chief Executive and six independent Non-Executive Directors. 

The Board Members:

  • bring independent and objective scrutiny to the oversight of the organisation;
  • are challenging when necessary while being supportive to the delivery of organisational strategy and objectives;
  • are equipped to offer considered advice on the basis of sound judgement and experience; and
  • make a time commitment to their work commensurate with their role.

The appointment and remuneration of the Independent Board members (including the Chairman) is determined by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and they do not receive pensions or any other remuneration. The terms and conditions are set out in their letters of appointment.

Terence O'Rourke Terence O'Rourke Chairman

Appointment and Term
10.11.2020 - 09.11.2025

Career Experience
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Joined KPMG in 1975, became an audit partner in 1988 and was elected Managing Partner in 2006. A member of KPMG’s Global Board, Global Executive Team and EMA Board, from 2007 to 2013. Has a wide breadth of business skills with high-level experience in commercial, finance, decision-making and strategy development roles working with clients in Ireland and abroad.

External Appointments 
Currently Chairman of Enterprise Ireland and Kinsale Capital Management. Board Member of the Institute of International & European Affairs. Led the Arts Council 2014 Strategic Review Group and has been involved in a number of charity boards. A Patron of Chapter Zero Ireland, a community of non-executive directors that lead Irish boardroom discussions on the impacts of climate change.

Paddy Hayes Paddy Hayes

Appointment and Term
08.03.2022 - 07.03.2027

Career Experience
Appointed Chief Executive in August 2021. Previous to this, he headed up two of ESB’s main operating divisions as Executive Director of ESB’s Generation and Wholesale Markets business and then as Managing Director of ESB Networks. A Chartered Engineer, he holds a master’s degree in engineering from University College Dublin and an MBA from the University of Warwick. Worked with British Steel in the UK before moving to the energy sector in 1999 to lead the Synergen joint venture between ESB and Statoil.

External Appointments
Member of the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

 

Michael Barry Michael Barry

Appointment and Term
04.01.2023 - 03.01.2028

Career Experience
A chartered accountant, who trained with PwC, a UCC Commerce graduate and a Chartered Director. Retired in 2019 from the role of Chief Financial Officer of Bord na Mona PLC, having held that position for 13 years and was also Interim Managing Director of the Company in 2017/2018. Prior to that he held several senior financial positions in Ireland, the UK and the United States in a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, property development and hospitality.

External Appointments
A member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board since February 2021.

 

Aisling Curtis, ESB Board Member Aisling Curtis

Appointment and Term
25.04.2023 - 24.04.2028

Career Experience
More than 20 years experience in Telecommunications and Technology Sectors including Global, Regional and Irish market roles. Formerly held roles as Microsoft Strategy and Sustainability Director, Global Partner Solutions Director and the Commercial Director. Has a Masters in Business Economics from UCC, studied at the Insead Data and AI School and recently graduated Cambridge University Sustainability Leadership 2022 programme. 

External Appointments
Previously held non-executive roles in UK, Netherlands, South Africa and more recently sat on the National Maternity Hospital Board and held an advisory role on the IMI Council. Has served on the 30% Technology Steering Group for the past four years.

 

Annette Flynn, Board Member of ESB Annette Flynn

Appointment and Term
25.04.2023 - 24.04.2028

Career Experience
An Executive career spanning Kerry Group plc and UDG Healthcare plc over 25 years across various roles as Executive Managing Director, Corporate and Strategy Development Officer and Financial Controller in Ireland, UK, Europe and US. Appointed as an Executive Director to the Board of UDG Healthcare in 2004. Retired from her Executive career in 2011 and has since held several Non- Executive Directorships with UDG Healthcare plc, Grafton Group plc, Irish Life, and Aryzta AG.  She is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, holds a B. Comm from UCC, is a qualified Chartered Director and holds two Professional Diplomas in Business and Executive Coaching from Smurfit Business School. 

External Appointments
Currently a Non-Executive Director of The Irish Times DAC and Dairygold Cooperative Society Ltd. Founder and CEO of Highflier Executive Coaching, focusing on C-Suite clients.

Karen Halpenny Karen Halpenny

Appointment and Term
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

Career Experience
Worked in ESB International since 2001, primarily in the area of overhead line development. Currently working in Engineering and Major projects in the HV Cables area as a cable specialist. Holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in HRM Strategy and Practice from the National College of Ireland (NCI) and a higher advanced diploma in Applied Employment Law from King’s Inn School of Law. Holds a Certificate in Management and Industrial Relations from NCI and a Certificate in Health and Safety from UCD. 

External Appointments
Former President of the Energy Services Union of Ireland (ESU) 2017 – 2021. ESU representative on the Group of Unions forum.  

 

Owen Kilmurray Owen Kilmurray

Appointment and Term
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

Career Experience
Joined ESB in March 1982.  Worked as a general worker, charge hand linesman, electrician and as a Networks Technician in ESB Networks for over 40 years. 

External Appointments
Active member of the ESB Group of Unions. Vice chairman of the SIPTU Energy Branch Committee and member of SIPTU’s Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction (TEAC) Committee. 

 

Paul Lynam Paul Lynam

Appointment and Terms
04.10.2016 - 03.10.2021

14.12.2021 - 13.12.2024

Career Experience
Currently Managing Director of Jungheinrich Lift Truck (Ireland) and Jungheinrich UK Limited, both subsidiaries of the German based Jungheinrich AG. A Councillor of the German Irish Chamber of Commerce and former President. Has over 25 years' experience in business in Ireland and internationally. Previously served as Director of Operations of the International Industrial business with Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, was CEO of the Whitfield Clinic, CEO of Siemens Limited Ireland and CFO of Siemens Limited Ireland (2008-2010). Spent 14 years in Germany in various management roles with Smurfit Group and Kappa Packaging. Holds a BSc in Analytical Science from DCU, a postgraduate diploma in business studies from UCD and an MBA from City University Seattle.

External Appointments
Director at Jungheinrich Lift Truck Limited (IE) and Jungheinrich UK Limited, Councillor/Director of the German Irish Chamber of Commerce and previously served as Director of Siemens Ireland and Director of Whitfield Clinic associated companies.

Grainne O'Shea Grainne O'Shea

Appointment and Term
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

Career Experience
Joined ESB as a graduate engineer in 1989. Holds primary and masters degrees in engineering from Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University respectively and a diploma in Asset Management from the Institute of Asset Management. A Chartered Engineer (Engineers Ireland), Grainne has worked in ESB Networks, Power Generation and Supply. Currently, Business Strategy Manager for ESB Networks.

External Appointments
Irish representative on the General Assembly and on the Strategic Advisory Group of the EU DSO Entity, (EU Distribution System Operators Entity) . Vice Chair of the Eurelectric Working Group on Regulation and Network Customers and a member of the Distribution and Market Facilitation Committee.  Member of the European Distribution System Operators  (E.DSO) Policy and Regulation Committee. Member of the Electricity Association of Ireland Policy Committee. Chair of Networks Sub branch of the Energy Sector Professionals Association (EPSA). Previously (2012-2016) director of ESB Fullabrook Windfarm and Derrybrien Wind farm.

 

Alf Smiddy Alf Smiddy

Appointment and Terms
04.10.2016 - 03.10.2021

14.12.2021 - 13.12.2024

Career Experience
A chartered accountant, who trained with PwC. Chairman and Managing Director of Beamish & Crawford plc for over 12 years, and on the Board of its parent company, Scottish & Newcastle (UK) Ltd. Member of the National Executive Council of IBEC, Director of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Cork Local Government Committee and served on the Board of Cork Airport Authority. A Fellow of the Irish Marketing Institute. A Commerce graduate from University College Cork (UCC), with a Masters in Executive Leadership from Boston College and the University of Ulster.

External Appointments
Appointed in June 2021 as Adjunct Professor at the College of Business & Law, UCC, Director of the Government-backed Rethink Ireland (Social Innovation) and Director of Oxfam Ireland. Chairman and/or Director of various independent companies including Bridgewater Construction, Fohntech and Granite Digital (digital marketing). Previously served as senior Independent Non-Executive Director and Director with designated responsibility for workforce engagement at The Dalata Hotel Group plc.

Sara Venning Sara Venning

Appointment and Term
14.12.2021 - 13.12.2026

Career Experience
CEO and Board Member of Northern Ireland (NI) Water since 2010. Experience in regulated utility management driving delivery in customer service and efficiency. Holds an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast. Energy networks experience gained working with NIE Networks from 1996 – 2010. A Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

External Appointments
President of the NI WaterAid Committee.

Trevor Walsh Trevor Walsh

Appointment and Term
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

Career Experience
Currently a Technical Service Supervisor in ESB Networks. Previously worked as System Manager, Customer Service Supervisor, Training Officer and Network Technician. Started his career in ESB as an apprentice electrician and has accumulated over 20 years’ experience with the company. 

External Appointments
Chairperson of the ESB Connect Technical Supervisor Branch since 2018. A representative in the ESB Group of Unions since 2015.