Board Members

Dermot Clohessy

Dermot Clohessy B.Sc Eng (2015 - 2020) (2021 - 2026)

Dermot Clohessy has an extensive understanding of foreign direct investment (FDI)   having worked for 28 years with IDA Ireland. He was the IDA’s Executive Director/COO from 2006 to 2015. During his career with the organisation, he had leadership responsibility across all key functional areas of the organisation. He has strong knowledge of and experience in strategy development and implementation, dealing with corporate governance, including compliance and procurement within the public sector.

Dermot was a member the Development Task Force established to support the implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – an integrated marine plan for Ireland. He was Chairperson of one of its subcommittees to address the Business Development, Marketing and Promotion agenda that set about sending a clear message to investors that Ireland is open for, and a good place to do, marine business.

Since leaving IDA Ireland in 2015, Dermot now works internationally as a strategic advisor on a very wide range of projects on investment and international business development, for both the private and public sectors. His work concentrates on strategy implementation, capability building and international business development where his expertise is on implementation management. Dermot is an Engineer by profession, with additional qualifications in Business Strategy and Accounting & Finance.

Dr. Berna Grist B.L. (2015 - 2028) Dr. Berna Grist B.L

Dr Berna Grist B.L., a barrister and chartered town planner, is Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. She holds a PhD from the University of Ulster on The Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Development in the Republic of Ireland and has published widely in the fields of planning and environmental law, public policy and governance. Together with the late James Macken SC, she coedited the Irish Planning Law Factbook (2003), which she continues to update annually, and in 2012, she published the second edition of An Introduction to Irish Planning Law.

Dr Grist was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board on its establishment in 1998. During the period 2001-2006, she served as a member of An Bord Pleanála and in 2013, she was appointed to the Expert Group advising the Minister for Housing and Planning on a successor to the National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020. She has contributed to a number of environmental research projects sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is a member of the Irish Environmental Law Association (IELA).

Aodh O Domhnaill (2021 – 2026)Aodh O Domhnaill

Aodh O Domhnaill is a native of Co Donegal.  He is CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) and formerly the International Sales Director with Errigal Bay, a Gaeltacht based shellfish processor and exporter. His responsibilities include ongoing development of international seafood markets, with a particular focus on Asian, U.S. and Scandinavian territories.

In March 2022, Aodh took up the position of CEO of the IFPO, a body formed in 1975. The IFPO represents owners of commercial sea-fishing vessels of all sizes in the Pelagic, Whitefish, Shellfish and Inshore sectors. The Organisation is concerned with the management of members’ fishing activities, both catching and marketing, with a view to making the best use of the available fish stocks and optimising returns.

Aodh has extensive and lifelong association with the seafood sector and has worked in senior operations and sales roles. He has served as a committee member of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA) and on the North West Pelagic Advisory Committee. Mr O Domhnaill also served as Chairperson of the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) for a four year term from 2007 to 2011.

Aodh is a native Gaelic speaker and has a primary degree from Trinity College Dublin. He holds a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance and an MBA from the Open University.

Charlotte O'Kelly de GallaghCharlotte O'Kelly de Gallagh (2021 – 2026)

Charlotte O'Kelly De Gallagh is Managing Director and co-founder of TechWorks Marine. She holds a degree in Environmental Resources from Kingston University and a Masters in Oceanography from University College of Wales, Bangor. More recently she was conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in International Sales from TU Dublin.

Charlotte has over 20 years' experience in the field of Operational Oceanography, notably in real-time Data Buoys, she has specific sector experience in Coastal Water Quality Monitoring, Coastal Engineering and Marine Offshore Renewables. In her role as Managing Director of TechWorks Marine, she has grown the business from a concept to a solid commercial business which delivers world class marine data services to its clients, enabling them to better manage their marine operations.

Over the last 10 years, she has coordinated a number of European Space Agency (ESA) contracts in the area of Marine Earth Observation, linking in situ and satellite oceanographic data to develop new data services in the marine sector.

She has been an evaluator for the EU Commission and regularly speaks at ESA and marine conferences on real-time marine monitoring. She has received a number of awards on behalf of TechWorks Marine since 2002, notably the first Digital Ocean Achievement Award at the Irish Marine Industry Awards in 2017 and was a finalist in the Irish Times Innovation Awards in 2019.

Over the years, she has been involved in a number of Boards, including Women in Technology and Science (WITS) which she chaired for two years, and The Lycée Francaise d'Irlande which she chaired for three years. She has a strong interest in all things marine, and has been involved in a number of organisations over the years including Irish Surfing, and is an active sailor in Dublin Bay all year around.

Tom Tynan (2021 – 2026)Tom Tynan

Tom Tynan has a distinguished career in agriculture. He was educated at University College Galway (UCG), University College Dublin (UCD), UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Harper Adams University College, Shropshire. He was the 2015 UCD Alumni Award winner from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

Tom worked across a range of agri-business and policy areas where he held a variety of senior management roles. He was Commercial Director for IAWS Agri-business and subsequently Chief Operating Officer of Welcon AS, Norway.

His experience spans commercial, strategy, operations and on-farm advisory.  He held posts on the Boards of Teagasc, Agri-Aware and the Scientific Advisory Board of Alltech. In 2021, he was appointed to the Board of the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland. Last year, he was appointed to the Board of Shannon Foynes Port Company.

He recently completed his tenure as a Member of Cabinet to the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and a Member of Cabinet to the European Commissioner for Trade, where his portfolio responsibilities included agricultural markets, trade remedies, research, development & innovation, bioeconomy and biotechnology.

Kate BurnsKate Burns (2024 – 2029)

Kate Burns  (Msc., Bsc. Hons, Dip CDP) is a marine and rural resources expert and Managing Director of Islander Kelp Ltd. She holds an MSc in Rural Development from Queens University, a Diploma in Community Development Practice from University College Galway and a BSc in Economics & Politics from Open University. Kate currently serves as a board member of AFBI (Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute) and is Chair of the Science Strategy Committee, Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority and also is Chair and board member of Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group.

Kate has over 14 years’ experience working on marine resource issues and over 30 years in management. Through her work in seafood, kelp cultivation, and inshore fisheries management planning, Kate has an in-depth understanding of the role of marine science and of the fisheries sector. She supported Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in preparing the EU FLAG strategies for all six FLAG regions in Ireland in 2013 and 2014. Kate’s time as Director of Initiatives with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute included the oversight of a support programme for fishers in their transition to catch share management.

Pauline Cronin (2024 – 2029)Pauline Cronin

Pauline Cronin is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MSC in Economics and Policy, with a particular focus on corporate governance in the public sector. Since 2020, she has been an external member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Marine Institute. For the past 20 years, she has worked in the Irish Civil Service gaining experience in public sector audit, procurement and risk management. She currently works as Director of Internal Audit and Risk in the University of Galway, providing assurance to the University President and Audit and Risk Committee on the adequacy of the organisation’s overall governance framework including its internal control system.

Prior to this, Pauline worked as Head of Internal Audit in the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, leading the audit function. She also served in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General for over 10 years and, later, with the European Commission in the Department of Education and Skills.

Professor Tim McCarthy (2024 – 2029) 

Professor Tim McCarthyProf. Tim McCarthy is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, and Principal Investigator (PI) based in the National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG) at Maynooth University. He has over thirty years R&D experience in Earth Observation, Geographical Information Science and Geocomputation. Over the past fifteen years at Maynooth, he has led 32 externally funded research projects (with associated funding of €28m). He has specific expertise in Marine Data Technologies.

Tim possess core competencies in Digital Data Technologies and Digitalisation with experience gained in senior leadership Research, Technology, Development and Innovation (RTDI) roles, at a National and European level. Active RTDI roles currently held include co-leading a multi-million Euro project, ‘Terrain-AI’, dealing with Climate Change, coordinating a European Space Agency (ESA) multi-stakeholder project ‘Atlantic Maritime Surveillance Pathfinder’, and spin-out of Three Data Technology Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

Tim sits on 4 committees/working-groups including the Copernicus Earth Observation programme in Brussels, having been appointed in 2015, as Irish National delegate. He provides RTDI support to Industry including a number of start-up ventures, focused around Geospatial Science & Technology, Spatial Decision Support Systems and ArtificiaI Intelligence.

Tim holds a BSc in Geology & Maths from University College Cork, an MSc in Remote Sensing from University College of London and a PhD in Geospatial Science University of London (Birkbeck).