Leo Varadkar, TD

An Taoiseach

Leo Varadkar was elected Taoiseach on 14 June 2017.
Born in 1979, the son of an Indian father and Irish mother, he was educated at King’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, where he studied to be a medical doctor. He has worked as a junior doctor and qualified as a general practitioner.
He first ran for Dublin Corporation in 1999, but lost. He ran again in 2004 and topped the poll.
Elected to the Dáil on his first attempt in 2007, he took his seat on 14 June.
Following the 2011 General Election he was appointed Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. In the summer of 2014 he was appointed Minister for Health.
Following the 2016 General Election, he was appointed Minister for Social Protection.
He was elected leader of Fine Gael on 2 June 2017.

Dominic Thasarathar

Primary Thought-Leader and Evangelist for the Global Construction, Energy and Natural Resources Sectors, Autodesk, UK

Dominic is Autodesk’s primary thought-leader and evangelist for the Construction, Energy and Natural Resources sectors. Responsible for long-term strategy, his focus is the role technology can play in transforming these industries and in delivering better built environments. A Chartered Electrical Engineer and Technology Executive, Dominic joined Autodesk in 2011 from a career spanning two decades in construction and capital projects – including roles with CH2M Hill (Chief Information Officer, CLM Delivery Partner), Bechtel (Asia-Pacific Manager of Project Systems) and Laing O’Rourke (Project Lifecycle Systems Manager). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College and professional membership of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, The British Computer Society and The Energy Institute.

Mark Farmer

CEO, Cast Construction Consultancy and Author of The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model

Mark has nearly 30 years of experience in the construction and real estate sectors and has become a recognised commentator and thought leader in the UK.  He has been at the forefront of emerging UK residential market segments such as Build-to-Rent and Later Living. He is also playing a leading role in modernising the construction industry through the adoption of greater levels of pre-manufacturing using more integrated and digitally-enabled delivery models.

Mark is a member of the RICS, Vice Chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council, a member of the BPF Build to Rent sub-committee and co-chairman of Constructing Excellence. Mark authored the October 2016 UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model entitled Modernise or Die.

Dominic Doheny

President, Construction Industry Federation

Dominic is a graduate of both Bolton Street and Trinity College Dublin and has been the joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Developments since 1989. He is the former Chairman of the Irish Home Builders Association and brings a wealth of personal experience, spanning more than three decades, to the role of President. He will hold the role for two years.

Tom Costello

Head of Construction, IPUT and 2017 Construction Industry Leader of the Year

Born in Co. Mayo, Tom graduated in Civil Engineering from NUIG in 1979. He joined Sisk as graduate engineer and worked his way through the ranks to his eventual appointment as Managing Director in 1999. He spent 13 years in the role including the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years when Sisk hit peak turnover in Ireland of €1.3bN, delivering projects such as Croke park, Aviva Stadium, Dundrum Town Centre , Spencer Dock including the National Convention Centre and forging long lasting relationships with multinational companies such as Analog Devices, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft and Wyeth/Pfizer.

Tom joined Diageo Engineering team in 2012 to deliver major redevelopment project at St. James Gate and then in 2014 moved to his current role as Head of Construction at property investment fund IPUT.

In Sept. 2013 Tom was asked to chair the Development board of the New Childrens Hospital. The Main Contract was signed in August with completion due in late 2021.

He is a member of the Foundation Board of NUIG and a member of National BIM Council

Simon Hart

Senior Innovation Leader – Smart Infrastructure, Innovate UK and Management Officer, Building Information Modelling (BIM)Task Group, UK

Simon leads the Smart Infrastructure team at Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency – and is Management Officer for the Government’s BIM Task Group delivering Digital Built Britain, BIM Level 3. Simon’s career spans Consultancy, Business Development and Engineering across manufacturing and technology sectors. Prior to joining Innovate UK, Simon led the Connectivity Practice within an engineering consultancy and spent 10 years in the automotive industry delivering engineering programmes for clients. He is a regular speaker on the London tech scene with a passion for IoT, Digital Construction and Smart Home technology.

Eoghan Murphy TD

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government

Eoghan Murphy TD was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in June 2017 by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Prior to that he served as Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, with special responsibility for Financial Services, eGovernment and Public Procurement.

He is a member of Fine Gael and represents the constituency of Dublin Bay South. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011, and was subsequently re-elected in 2016. Between 2009 and 2011 he served as a Councillor on Dublin City Council for the Pembroke-Rathmines ward.

Before his appointment as Minister of State, Eoghan served on the Banking Inquiry, the Public Accounts Committee, the Dáil Reform Committee, as Head of the Oireachtas delegation to the OSCE, and as Chairperson of the Fine Gael Transport, Tourism and Sport Committee. He is currently a member of the Fine Gael National Executive.

Prior to entering politics, Eoghan worked in the area of international arms control, and was based in London, Geneva and Vienna, working at various times for NGOs and the UN. He spent two years as speechwriter and advisor to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation in Vienna. The political and economic crisis that began in 2008 provoked Eoghan to return home and get involved in politics.

Eoghan went to school at Star of the Sea and St. Michael’s College, Dublin. He graduated from UCD with a first class honours degree in English and Philosophy. He then achieved an MA in International relations at King’s College, UCL. In 2013, he was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship to the US.

In his spare time Eoghan likes reading biographies, running and watching sport.

Shane MacSweeney

Partner – Government and Infrastructure Advisory, EY

Shane is a Partner in EY’s Transaction Advisory Services team focusing on Government and Infrastructure Advisory. He has over 16 years’ experience working on large Infrastructure projects globally. He focuses on providing commercial, financial and economic advisory services in the infrastructure field to government and corporate clients – including project finance and public private partnership (PPP) transactions – in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Recent projects include Regional Rail Link (Melbourne, Australia), Second Sydney Airport, Cross River Rail (Brisbane, Australia), Northern Beaches Hospital PPP (Sydney, Australia), Social Housing PPP (Sydney, Australia), Dublin Metro North PPP (Ireland), NRA PPP Roads Programme (Ireland), Mass Rail MRT-J (Jakarta, Indonesia), King Abdullah City (Saudi Arabia), and King Hamed General Hospital (Bahrain).

Tom Dunne

Head of the School of Surveying and Construction Management, Dublin Institute of Technology

Tom is a chartered surveyor. Following 10 years in practice Tom has been lecturing since the 1980s in topics related to property valuation and taxation. He is a past president of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and was Chair of the Irish Property and Facility Managers Association. Tom chaired the Private Residential Tenancies Board (now the RTB) from 2004 to 2009 and has been commenting on issues related to housing and residential property for 20 years in the media.

David O’Brien

Senior Advisor to the Construction Procurement Policy Unit, Office of Government Procurement (OGP)

David is the current chair of the Government Contracts Committee for Construction which is responsible for the development of policy, procedures and templates for construction procurement in line with EU procurement legislation and Government policy. He has been the technical adviser on public works and construction services procurement in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since 2011 with oversight of the standard forms of public works contracts which have been in use across the Irish public works programme since 2007. He led the review of the performance of these forms of contract in 2014 and the implementation of the interim recommendations which included an overhaul of the dispute resolution mechanisms provided in the contracts. He represents both the OGP and the GCCC on the National BIM Council; a recently established national body to support the advancement of digital in the construction sector in Ireland. David is an architect with extensive experience in project management, primarily in the housing sector.

Philip Lee

Partner, Philip Lee

Philip is a leading expert in the area of procurement, construction, competition and trade law. He advises clients in relation to the largest public utilities projects in the country. His extensive PPP experience includes roads, waste, waste water and electricity PPP projects where he acts for both public and private bodies.

Phillip acts as an advocate in construction arbitration and has appeared before the ECJ representing clients on matters of European law. As a litigator, Philip was the first private lawyer to represent countries before the WTO appellate body. He has a well-established background in energy law and telecommunications regulation from his previous role as a legal advisor in the petroleum industry. He also worked as a consultant to a multinational enterprise on the application of EU and international law.

Philip is the author of Public Procurement, the first legal book on this topic, published by Butterworths. He has also published numerous articles on competition law and international trade.

Tony Horan

President, The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI)

A Chemical Engineering graduate from UCD, Tony has over 35 years’ experience in all aspects of civil and transportation engineering, planning and project management. He also holds qualifications in Civil, Environmental, Transportation and Industrial Engineering as well as in planning and international sales. Tony is the Group Managing Director of O’Connor Sutton Cronin, a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy practice.

Claire Penny

Global Industry Leader, Watson IoT for Buildings, IBM

Claire is a member of the extended leadership team in the IBM Watson IoT business unit. She has a record of successfully converting innovation projects into commercialised revenue generating products, and for driving results across matrixed global teams. She is renowned for her passion, getting things done, love of evangelising and sharing IBM capabilities with internal and external audiences. She attained her PhD in 1998.
In her role Claire gets to combine all her passion, experience and learning from the past 17 years and focus it into IoT for Buildings and Retail, focusing on the operational phase of a building. This combination means that she can add value to customers, whilst working and collaborating with brilliant teams, to develop and deliver cognitive building solutions. In this role, Claire is also driving IBM’s thinking and vision to strategically shape IBM’s Buildings and Retail cognitive (IoT) solutions, which are helping clients to drive operational efficiencies, cost savings and even generate new revenue streams. Her career at IBM spans 17 years, including Business Development roles where Claire has successfully grown qualified product pipeline by 900% and revenue by 182% year on year. She also led a global team within the Integrated Supply Chain where she delivered $15M in cost savings through environmental focused projects. She has also worked in IBM Real Estate, where she led the European Energy and Environmental team, and over achieved on all targets including 4% year on year energy reduction and 15% reduction in waste. She regularly shares her knowledge and passion through public speaking, publications and social media activities delivering presentations on topics such as Cognitive Buildings, IoT, BIM, IWMS, Energy Optimisation and Environmental Affairs.

Donal Murphy

Head of Infrastructure and Credit Investments, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF)

The ISIF is an €8bn fund with a mandate to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. Investment in Infrastructure is a key area of activity for the ISIF with a range of investments already completed and in the active ISIF pipeline. Prior to working for ISIF, Donal was Head of Project Finance Ireland at Bank of Ireland.

Tom Parlon

Director General, Construction Industry Federation (CIF)

Before joining the CIF, Tom served as a TD for Laois Offaly and as Minister for State at the Department of Finance from 2002 until 2007. As Minister he was responsible for the Office for Public Works (OPW).
From 1997 to 2001, Tom was President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), having previously held several other positions with the association.

Ian Kehoe

Editor, The Sunday Business Post

Ian is Editor of the Sunday Business Post. An award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster, he is a former presenter and reporter with RTE’s Prime Time programme. He has twice been named as the Ireland’s Business & Economics Journalist of the Year.

Ian has made a number of major documentaries for the state broadcaster RTE, including Namaland and Who’s Buying Ireland?.

Stephen Dance

Head of Infrastructure Delivery, Infrastructure Projects Authority, UK

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in infrastructure projects. Recently his focus has been on the delivery of the UK’s critical economic infrastructure projects in transport, energy, water, waste and telecommunications, as well as the provision of infrastructure to deliver urban regeneration and housing.

Stephen is also a Non Executive Director of Local Partnerships. Previously Stephen headed Partnerships UK’s major projects division and whilst at DTZ advised on a broad range of real estate areas, ranging from the privatisation of BAA to complex transactions such as the BBC’s property Public – Private Partnership (PPP) and the sale of British Coal non mining assets.

The Head of Infrastructure Delivery leads a delivery team of commercial specialists that are deployed actively across government to provide advice, expertise and experience on the delivery of complex major projects including High Speed Two (HS2), Rural Broadband, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Mersey Bridge and Hinkley Point.

Stephen Hughes

Head of Construction, Enterprise Ireland

Stephen is a senior manager with Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. He has over 30 years experience advising companies on economic and export development including 13 years overseas, where he more recently led Ireland’s drive to build export growth in UK and Northern Europe. Based in London, Stephen led the operations of the agency with teams in UK, France, Benelux and The Nordics.

Stephen has extensive experience in advising Government and in working at regional, national and international levels in supporting the development and growth of Irish SME’s

Patrick Hogan

Director – Asset Services, Cushman & Wakefield

Patrick has responsibility for delivery of Asset Services across both Commercial and Residential sectors. He is a graduate of both DIT and Trinity College and is a Chartered Surveyor with 20 years’ wide ranging experience in property and facilities management and has worked on some of the most iconic commercial, multi-unit and mixed use schemes built in Ireland in recent years.

Patrick is a strong advocate of early involvement for management professionals in newly planned construction projects from development stage through site mobilisation and ongoing management and currently provides design consultancy advice to many of the country’s leading developers across all asset classes.

Cushman & Wakefield currently manage in excess of 3.5 million sq.m of real estate across Ireland and collect €60M in rent and service charges.