Skip to Content

ESB Board Members

Theare are currently 11 ESB Board members, comprising the Chairman, the Chief Executive, five independent non-executive directors and four elected Worker Board members.  

There are currently two vacant positions on the Board.  The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for consideration for the appointments. All information and application process can be found here

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

Date of First Appointment to the Board
November 2020 as Board Member and Chairman. In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board, Terence chairs the Remuneration and Management Development Committee

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. Terence 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, 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.

Paddy Hayes

Date of First Appointment to the Board
March 2022

Expiration of Current Appointment
7/03/2027

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 & 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. Paddy 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).

Ann Butler Anne Butler

Date of First Appointment to the Board
November 2012 as Independent Board member

Expiration of Current Appointment
20/11/2022 

Career Experience
Chartered engineer. Worked in engineering consultancy for Dublin local authorities and was a founding Director (Executive) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Former President of the Institution of Engineers and is a member of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

External Appointments
Served on a number of boards including National Roads Authority (NRA), Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and currently serves on REPAK and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

Dave Byrne Dave Byrne

Date of First Appointment to the Board
January 2011 under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act 1977. Re-appointed to the Board in September 2018 for a term of four years

Expiration of Current Appointment
31/12/2022  

Career Experience
Member of a team that is now part of ESB’s Business Service Centre organisation and previously worked in Customer Supply (now Customer Solutions).

External Appointments
President of ESB Officers Association (ESBOA) until April 2010 and then appointed as the Group of Unions representative in Central Partnership.

Stephen Carrig Stephen Carrig

Date of First Appointment to the Board
January 2019 under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act 1977

Expiration of Current Appointment
31/12/2022  

Career Experience
Joined ESB as apprentice electrician in 1985. Holds primary and masters degree in engineering from Trinity College and Dublin and UCD respectively. He is Controls and Instrument (C&I) Asset Management Specialist for the Generation portfolio.

External Appointments
Member of the Institute of Engineers Ireland (IEI) and former Chair of Energy Sector Professional Association (ESPA) from 2014 to 2018.

Sean Kelly Sean Kelly

Date of First Appointment to the Board
January 2011 under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act 1977

Expiration of Current Appointment
31/12/2022

Career Experience
A 20-year career in ESB Networks, currently as an Area Manager and previously a Project Leader delivering large projects across Ireland. Holds an Honours Degree in Business from UCD and a Higher Diploma in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Maynooth University. He also holds a Diploma in Human Resources completed through Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD), a Diploma in Project Management from IPMA, a Certificate in Health and Safety from UCD and in-company directorship from the Institute of Directors in Ireland.

External Appointments
Former Chairperson and current member of the ESB Defined Benefit Superannuation Committee and Training Officer for National Worker Directors Group. A member of the CIPD and the Institute of Directors (IOD). Currently the facilitator for the Limerick Public Participation Network and sits on the Limerick Ukrainian Response Forum. Holds a number of Directorships in local charitable organisations.

Paul Lynam Paul Lynam

Date of First Appointment to the Board
October 2016 as Independent Board member

Expiration of Current Appointment
13/12/2024 

Career Experience
Currently Managing Director of Jungheinrich Lift Truck (Ireland) and Jungheinrich UK Ltd, both subsidiaries of German based Jungheinrich AG. He is also 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 & Infrastructure Services, 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 MBA from City University Seattle.

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

Tony Merriman Tony Merriman

Date of First Appointment to the Board
January 2007 under the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Act 1977


Expiration of Current Appointment
31/12/2022 

Career Experience
Joined ESB as a network technician in 1979. Served as an officer with the ESB Group of Unions.

External Appointments
Board member of ESB Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trustee Limited & Chairman of National Worker Directors Group and Trustee of ElectricAid.

Noreen O'Kelly Noreen O'Kelly

Date of First Appointment to the Board
April 2013 as Independent Board member. Appointed Senior Independent Director in April, 2022. 


Expiration of Current Appointment
23/04/2023 

Career Experience
A chartered accountant who trained with KPMG. Held a number of senior positions in Independent News and Media Group including Head of Treasury and Group Secretary and was also Company Secretary of C&C Group. Currently works as a consultant on corporate governance.

External Appointments
Currently a director / chair of the audit and risk committee of DRSI CLG, and formerly a director of a number of charities. 

Alf Smiddy Professsor Alf Smiddy

Date of First Appointment to the Board
October 2016 as Independent Board Member


Expiration of Current Appointment
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 & Law, University College Cork, Director of the Government-backed Rethink Ireland (Social Innovation), and Director of Oxfam Ireland. Chairman and/or Director of various independent companies including Aperee Ltd (healthcare) 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

Date of First Appointment to the Board
December 2021

Expiration of Current Appointment
13/12/2026 

Career Experience
 CEO of Northern Ireland (NI) Water and Board member of NI Water. Holds an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen's University, Belfast. Joined Northern Ireland Electricity Networks as a graduate engineer, holding a number of positions including Customer Operations Manager prior to joining NI Water in 2010. A Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

External Appointments
Board member of the Institute of Water and President of the NI WaterAid Committee.