Skip to Content

ESB Board Members

Our Board comprises 12 members appointed by the Minister for the Environment, Climate & Communications. Board members include the Chairman, the Chief Executive, six independent Non-executive Directors and four elected Worker 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 Board members (including the Chairman) is determined by the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform and the Minister for the Environment, Climate Communications.  Under the “one person/one salary rule”, the Chief Executive does not receive a board fee.  Terms and conditions are set out in Board member’s Warrants of Appointment.

Terence O'Rourke, white man with wavy grey hair and wearubf a white shirt and black jacket Terence O'Rourke Chairman

Appointment and Term
10.11.2020 - 09.11.2025

Career Experience
A Fellow of Chartered Accountants 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 Kinsale Capital Management and former Chairman of Enterprise Ireland. Board member of Ballymore (Ireland) and the Institute of International and European Affairs. Led the Arts Council 2014 Strategic Review Group and has been involved in a number of charity and cultural boards. A Patron of Chapter Zero Ireland, a community of non-executive directors that lead Irish boardroom discussions on the impacts of climate change. Dublin City University conferred Terence with the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in October 2023, acknowledging his contribution to Irish business, education, the arts and public services.

White man with grey hair, wearing glasses and a blue shirt with black jacket Paddy Hayes

Appointment and Term
08.03.2022 - 07.03.2027

Career Experience
Appointed Chief Executive in August 2021. Previous to this, he was Executive Director of ESB’s Generation and Wholesale Markets business and then Managing Director of ESB Networks. A Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, he holds a master’s degree in engineering from University College Dublin and an MBA from the University of Warwick. He worked in the steel industry 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). Chair of the Open Doors Initiative.

 

Michael Barry, white man with grey hair, framed glassed wearing blue jacket and light blue shirt 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 Móna 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, white woman with long blonde hair wearing a black jacket and black shirt Aisling Curtis

Appointment and Term
25.04.2023 - 24.04.2028

Career Experience
More than 20 years experience in the 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 University College Cork (UCC), studied at the Insead Data and Artificial Intelligence School and recently graduated Cambridge University Sustainability Leadership 2022 programme.  

External Appointments
Board member of The Shannon Airport Group. 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. Aisling is also a Market Leader for PwC’s Strategic Alliances.

 

Annette Flynn, white woman with short black hair and wearing blue jacket and white top 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 subsequently 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, white woman with long blonde hair and wearing a black jacket and white shirt 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 and recently appointed as ESU representative on the ICTU Health and Safety Committee. Trustee of Electric Aid, ESB’s staff charity and Secretary of the National Worker Director Group.

 

Owen Kilmurray, white man with no hair and wearing a black checkered shirt, blue shirt and navy tie 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, member of SIPTU’s Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction (TEAC) Committee and Treasurer of the National Worker Directors of Ireland.

 

Paul Lynam, white man with brown/grey hair wearing a black jacket and white shirt 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 30 years' experience in business in Ireland and internationally. Previously served as Director of Operations of the International Industrial Services 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 Dublin City University (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, white woman with long brown hair and wearing a grey/blue jacket and blue top Gráinne O'Shea

Appointment and Term
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

Career Experience
Joined ESB as a graduate engineer in 1989. Holds primary and master’s degrees in engineering from Trinity College Dublin and DCU respectively and a diploma in Asset Management from the Institute of Asset Management. A Chartered Engineer (Engineers Ireland), Gráinne 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. Past Chair of Networks sub branch of the Energy Sector Professionals Association (ESPA). Previously director of ESB Fullabrook Wind Farm and Derrybrien Wind Farm (2012-2016).

 

Alf Smiddy, white man with limited hair and blue jacket with cream shirt 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 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 and 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, white woman with blonde hair and wearing a black/green top and cream top Dr. 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 and received an honorary degree from Queen’s University during the summer of 2023. 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, white man with grey/black hair and wearing black suit and white shirt and purple tie 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
Chairman of the ESB Connect Technical Supervisor Branch since 2018. A representative in the ESB Group of Unions since 2015.