Governance Ireland 2024

Governance Ireland 2024 – Sustainability at the heart of governance


Time Session


Conference opens, registration and networking


Welcome & opening remarks
Nadine Conlon, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland


Keynote address

Dr. Colin Hunt,
Chief Executive Officer, Allied Irish Bank


Sustainability: Overseeing a Successful Transition

Aedín O’Leary will moderate a panel of three speakers who will share their experiences and perspectives to date from navigating the sustainability landscape in their respective organisations. They will discuss key drivers behind their journeys, explain why sustainability has become a “must do” (rather than just a “should do”), highlight important enablers including finance, and suggest what good looks like in terms of governing sustainably.

Ann Shiels, 
Founder, FinLexSus
John MacNamara, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bord na Móna
Iseult Ward, Co-founder and CEO, FoodCloud

Aedin O'Leary,
Independent Non-Executive Director, Investment & ESG Consultant


A choice of breakout sessions:

1. Succession on Charity Boards

This session will explore some of the factors that charity boards should consider when thinking about succession planning.

  • Succession Planning as good governance practice
  • Prioritising Succession Planning & who should be involved
  • Practical steps in Succession Planning
  • Resources and further help 

    Mairead O'Connor, Skills Development Senior Manager, The Wheel

2.  Register of Beneficial Ownership

The RBO has been a hot topic for many corporate governance professionals since its introduction.

Elaine Nolan will discuss key updates from the RBO including a look at some of the statistics and a summary of the enforcement action taken by the RBO to date.

Paul Egan will provide an overview of the November 2022 Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling which resulted in a closedown of public access to the Central Registers of Beneficial Ownership in EU member states. The CJEU ruled that disclosure to the general public of the identity of a company’s beneficial owner was an unjustified interference with the owner’s fundamental rights, under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Paul will explore the consequences of this ruling for designated persons, such as lawyers, accountants, chartered secretaries and others, who continue to enjoy access to the Registers.


      Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, The Register of Beneficial Ownership
      Paul Egan SC, Of Counsel, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP


Managing Risk through your Governance Framework: Strategies for Effective Oversight
In this session our panel will discuss the simplification of governance processess and use of technology to automate and streamline your governance. Looking at areas such as cyber risk, board effectiveness and regulations & compliance.


Lorraine O’Reilly, Director, OnBoard
Helen Prendergast, Head of Board & Executive Risk Governance, Bank of Ireland
Annette Corcoran, Assistant Company Secretary, Perrigo Company plc
Neil McLoughlin, Chief Commercial & Legal Officer, Datalex plc

Sponsored by: OnBoard


Networking tea and coffee break


Companies Registration Office

Maureen O’Sullivan,
Registrar, Companies Registration Office
David McFadden,  
Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office

Jillian O'Sullivan, 
Partner - Corporate Compliance, Grant Thornton


Navigating AI in 2024: Confabulations, Confidentiality and Inference when using LLMs - a Governance perspective

Drew will delve into the fascinating world of Legal Language Models (LLMs). He will explore the intriguing phenomena of LLM hallucinations and confabulations, and discuss real-life cases that have made headlines due to the inappropriate or naive usage of LLMs in a legal context. The talk will shed light on the key risks associated with LLMs, and the techniques that are available to manage these. The second part of the talk will take a deep dive into the concept of ‘inference’, and how a better understanding of it can help some people overcome resistance to using LLMs. This talk is designed to equip professionals with the vocabulary and the knowledge to navigate the evolving landscape of LLMs, supporting safe and effective usage.


         Drew Winlaw, Partner & Global Large Language Model “LLM” Lead, Simmons &                   Simmons LLP


Networking lunch


Mapping your Company Secretary career

Helen Pendergast Head of Board & Executive Risk Governance, Bank of Ireland
Anthony Irvine Corporate Governance and Compliance Officer at FD Technologies PLC and president of CGI NI Branch
Sarah Colfer Director, Corporate Secretarial Services at Mazars

Andrew Cooney Recruitment Consultant, Robert Walters


SEAR Panel

Accountability has been a hot topic for international regulators for many years including within the Central Bank of Ireland. The introduction of a 'Senior Executive Accountability Regime' ('SEAR') in Ireland is a significant step in that development. Cara will facilitate a panel discussion on changes taking place with regard to individual accountability for those working in Financial Services, and the possible future consequences. Our panellists will share insights on implementation of conduct standards, key challenges and considerations for the coming months in advance of the 1 July 2024 SEAR implementation date


Cara Teahan Corporate Governance Specialist, Deloitte
Catherine Moroney Independent Non-Executive Director, Permanent TSB (PTSB)
Emma Murphy Group Company Secretary, Davy
Andrew Smith Head of Group Accountability And Performance, AIB


Networking tea and coffee break


A choice of breakout sessions

1. Governance  - Gender Reporting
Aoife will highlight the obligations on employers under the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 and take us through the various data and other requirements for those employers reporting their gender pay gap results in 2024. Aoife will provide guidance on the mechanics of this annual reporting requirement and highlight the increased focus on gender pay gap results and pay transparency. 

Aoife Newton, Head of Employment and Immigration Law, KPMG Law LLP


2. Shareholder Meetings & Resolutions
Ray Hunt, Head of Company Secretarial and Compliance Services, McCann FitzGerald LLP

3. Governance professionals: spread too thin or not far enough?

Boards are a bottleneck, stuck in a decision-making doom loop. In this session, we’ll show how leading governance professionals are helping them to break free – and cementing their own position as architects of well-run boards and businesses.

Speaker: Jennifer Sundberg, co-CEO, Board Intelligence

Sponsored by: Board Intelligence


Closing Keynote

Niall Breslin, Inspiring mental health advocate & public speaker


Closing remarks

Nadine Conlon, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland


Conference close

Drinks reception and networking until 19:00


Wednesday 22 May 2024


Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin


6 hours


Non-members €449.00
Professional subscribers €449.00
Members €399.00
Student €225.00

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