Advisory Board members

safefood Advisory board members

Chair - Ms Helen O'Donnell

Profile of Ms Helen O'Donnell

Ms O’Donnell is the owner of a Limerick-based bespoke catering business "Dolmen Catering" serving corporate and private clients. A graduate of the Hotel and Catering Department at Galway Technical College Ms O’Donnell opened her first restaurant, craft and art gallery in 1993 and went on to open a Cafe at the Hunt Museum Limerick in 1997.

She is a Board Member and past Chair of Adapt Women’s Refuge Limerick and was nominated to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in 1994. A member of a number of women’s organisations and fundraising committees, she is Chair of both the Limerick City Business Association and Limerick Can Do Forum.

Vice Chair - Mr Paul Gibbons

Paul Gibbons profile pic

Mr Gibbons is an Environmental Health Officer working in the area of food control and compliance by food business operators with food law.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a Science Degree in Environmental Heath, he has also completed post graduate studies at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and University College Cork. Mr Gibbons has held various roles in enforcement of food safety, public health and environmental law both in Ireland and Australia. A member of the Environmental Health Association of Ireland and safefood Knowledge Networks, he also works in a voluntary capacity with a range of community organisations.

Ms Margaret Jeffares

Ms Margaret Jeffares

Margaret has extensive experience in the agri food and tourism businesses having worked in the industry for over 25 years. In 2000 she established herself as a full time tourism marketing and development consultant and created links with a number of consultancy firms. Drawing on her entrepreneurial experience as a marketer and a farmer, her innovation and her inspiration she has spoken at many conferences and events both at home and overseas.

She lives with her husband on their Blackcurrant and Horse Breeding Farm in Co Wexford. Understanding the needs of agriculture and food production together with her knowledge of the tourism industry led Margaret to developing a strong food tourism proposition for Ireland. In November 2006 she founded Good Food Ireland and today has over 600 agri-food and tourism businesses promoted through the brand. To celebrate Good Food Ireland’s tenth Anniversary in 2016 Margaret is launching Good Food Ireland Tours and Bespoke Gourmet Experiences. 

Mr Brendan Kehoe

Profile Mr. Brendan Kehoe

Mr Kehoe is a dairy, beef and tillage farmer and is currently serving on a regional advisory committee for Glanbia.

He is a committee member of the South East Simmental Cattle Society and is also active in local politics.

Mr Alan McGrath

Alan McGrath profile picMr McGrath is a health food retailer and proprietor of The Health Store in Tuam, County Galway. He has been active in many local enterprise groups including Action Tuam Ltd, Tuam Chamber of Commerce, Energise Tuam and “Love your Town”, a shop local promotional group.

He is an active member of Irish Association of Health Stores and was formerly Chairman from 2009-2011.

Mrs Wendy McIntosh

Wendy McIntoshWendy McIntosh is a Partner in Thompson Mitchell Solicitors, Portadown - a provincial private practice. She joined the Firm in 1999 and her main areas of practice are family and matrimonial law, personal injury claims and civil litigation. Wendy is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and has been a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and a practicing solicitor since 1996. She is also a Solicitor Advocate and a Collaborative Family Solicitor. In 2015 Wendy was appointed as a Presiding Member to the Civil Legal Services Appeal Panels an independent appeals mechanism established to deal with appeals against decisions of the Legal Services Agency to grant or refuse Civil Legal Services.

Wendy is also the Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Governors for a local school having served on the Board since 2006.

Mr Stephen Moutray

Stephen MountrayStephen Moutray is a director in a family food-retail business which was established in 1961. He was a DUP Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2003-2016 and chaired the Agriculture, Executive Review Committees. Stephen was Alderman with Craigavon Borough Council form 2001-2014 and chaired both Development and Audit Committees.

He also served as Mayor of Craigavon from 2010-2011.

Prof Dolores O'Riordan

Prof Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan completed a PhD in Protein Chemistry at University College Cork in 1989. Following time as a research fellow at UCC and Cornell University, she was employed by Kerry Ingredients where she was responsible for the development and promotion of innovative milk ingredients for the Irish, UK, mainland Europe, North and South American markets.

In September 2015 Prof O'Riordan was appointed as VP for Global Engagement at UCD, a role she holds concurrently with that of Director of the UCD Institute of Food and Health. She is a member of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's ‘Sustainable Food Systems Ireland’ (SFSI) Steering Committee and the national Expert Advisory Group on Agri-Food Research and Innovation. Prof O'Riordan is also a Board Member of safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board.  

Mr Mervyn Oswald

Mervyn Oswalt

Mr Oswald was the manager of a local authority owned meat plant for over 20 years and has held various other positions in the meat industry in Northern Ireland. He is a former Mayor of Ards Borough Council and was a councillor from 2005 until 2015.

On the Council he was chairman of the committee responsible for ensuring food premises comply with food safety legislation, carried out by the Environmental Health Officer's team. 

Dr Eddie Rooney

Eddie RooneyEddie was Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland from its establishment in 2009 until late 2016. In that role, he was also responsible for the regional implementation of the Northern Ireland Executive's Making Life Better public health strategy. Prior to joining the Public Health Agency, Eddie was Deputy Secretary in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and in the Department of Education where he led Fit Futures, the cross-sector task force on tackling childhood obesity.

Dr Mary Upton

Profile of Mary Upton

A microbiology graduate from University College Galway with a Ph.D. in microbiology from University College Dublin (UCD), Dr Upton was a UCD lecturer and has published a number of academic papers on food safety and related topics. She was elected as a TD in 1999 and served as her party’s spokesperson on Agriculture and Food for four years until her retirement from politics in 2011.

Formerly Secretary and President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland, she has also served as Chairman of the National Council for Educational Awards and was formerly Chairman of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland.‚Äč