Governance Ireland 2023

Governance Ireland 2023 - Building Resilience in Times of Change


Time Session


Conference opens, registration and tea/coffee


Welcome & opening remarks
Jillian O’Sullivan, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland


Keynote address

Caroline Keeling
CEO, Keelings


A Sustainable Future: Making ESG Business as Usual
The ESG trio from buzzword to bottom-line.

This is the new norm to sustain the planet to sustain people to sustain profits and vice versa which is the foundation of ESG.

The real business value of ESG can be realized not just through business strategy but through cultural change- ESG needs to be infused into the organizational culture. From a renewables perspective, making ESG business as usual will require more than reporting but real investment into the core company culture. 

Ann Shiels,
Sustainability & Regulatory Consultant, FinLexSus
Alan Holmes, Independent Non-Executive Director & Business Adviser
Keristena Grewan, Global Sustainability Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power

Amanda Ward,
Financial Services Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton


A choice of breakout sessions

1. Charity Financial governance, in light of changes to the Charities Act
The session will consider how the Charities Act amendment bill, currently going through the Oireachtas and expected enactment by Quarter 2 203, will impact on the financial governance of charities including:

  • What will the mandatory SORP compliance for charities over 250k per annum mean        practically and how will charities accounting be different than before.
  • Charities with over 250k euro annual turnover will need to do an audit; however the amendment will result in smaller charities that don’t need to comply with SORP or an annual audit, will require independent examinership – how will this impact on smaller charities.

Tony Ward, Interim CEO, The Wheel


2. Section 231 & 262 Notifications – The duties of directors to disclose interests in contracts, shares and debentures.  

Section 231 of the 2014 Act relates to the duty of directors to disclose their interest in a contract or proposed contract with the company and we will look at the scope of this duty, the disclosure of an interest and the consequences of breach.

Section 262 relates to the duty to disclose a director's interest in shares or debentures and we will discuss when the duty arises, the form of disclosure and certain interests which can be disregarded. 

Ronan Shanahan, Partner, William Fry Law Firm

3.Good Governance Driven by Data: The Answer to Surviving Business Shocks?

In the past two years, businesses have dealt with a series of geopolitical and macroeconomic shocks. C-suite needs to have a detailed view of the microenvironment of their business if it’s to remain agile and robust. Join us as we discuss:

  • The impact of technology on board oversight of regulation, risk, and compliance.

  • How digitalisation has eased the governance and administrative burden of board committees.

  • The elevation of non-financial; the effect of technology on board oversight of corporate culture, sustainability, investor relations and reputation management. 

Damian Maher,
 Business Value Consultant, Diligent


Networking tea and coffee break


A choice of breakout sessions

  1. Subsidiary governance, staying on top of challenges 
    Subsidiary governance continues to be an area of focus for governance professionals, with increasing globalisation, regulation and evolving business models driving fast paced change. This session will explore some of the practical challenges associated with subsidiary governance, examples of good practice and how technology can be leveraged to drive efficiencies.

    Melissa Scully, Director, Governance & Sustainability, Deloitte Ireland LLP
    Fiona Gildea, Flutter Entertainment plc, Deputy Company Secretary and Head of Governance

  2. Unleashing AI and Multimedia to Create Unforgettable Board Packs

    In this session, find out how you can revolutionise your board pack by embracing AI, intelligent writing tools, multi-media, and captivating visuals, and by learning from the latest research into what works and what doesn't when it comes to landing your message with impact in the boardroom.

    In an era of information overload, we'll share how leading governance teams are embracing all of this to cut through the noise and equip their colleagues with the tools to create short, sharp, next-generation reports that help everyone to see what matters and power smart, fast decision-making. 

    Pippa Begg Co-CEO, Board Intelligence
    Niamh Corbett Head of Americas & Global FS Practice Lead, Board Intelligence

  3. Leading with resilience in the workplace
    This breakout session aims to provide practical insights and strategies for participants to foster resilience within teams, enabling them to excel in the face of workplace adversity. The session highlights resilience as a vital leadership trait, exploring its positive impact on team performance and well-being. Participants will learn actionable techniques, including effective communication, psychological safety, and promoting a growth mindset. The session also emphasises self-care and mental well-being, providing tips for leaders to enhance their resilience and create a culture that prioritises balance.

    David McKechnie, High Performance, Leadership & Executive Coach and Trainer, PushMe


Companies Registration Office

Jillian O’Sullivan,
President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, Companies Registration Office
David McFadden, Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office


Responding in a cyber crisis

Since the beginning of 2023, we are seeing an increase in cyberattacks on Irish brands and organisations. In 2021, the HSE was subjected to a serious cyber attack. As part of their response, the HSE engaged PwC to perform a post-incident review (PIR). 
Pat Moran and William O'Brien, from PwC, will share the learnings and recommendatons from the HSE PIR that all organisations should consider in the light of their experience, in order to learn lessons from this incient more broadly.

Pat Moran, Partner, Cyber Leader for Ireland, PwC Ireland
William O’Brien, Director, Cyber Security, Privacy & Forensics, PwC


Networking lunch


How to Find Your True North: A Guidance System for Life

Do our actions determine how we feel? Or do our feelings determine how we act? If you believe it is the latter, you’re in trouble, especially with the many challenges of modern life. Thankfully, however, research shows that what we DO plays a vital role in how we feel. This means two things: 1) we can take control over our emotional worlds, and 2) by changing how we act, we can change how we feel. The question is, how do we know what actions to take? By combining his academic expertise with his own lived experience, Brian’s session will demonstrate the immense power of creating a values-based framework. Our values provide a pathway for finding our true authentic selves, as well as guiding us to what’s important in our lives. Brian will also demonstrate tools that will help you to identify and develop your values, as well as a metaphorical technique to help you make decisions and take actions that align with your True North, instead of making feelings-based decisions that can pull you off course.


Brian Pennie, Owner, Change is Possible Limited 


Greenwashing: Understanding the Risks and Mitigating Strategies for Companies

Aedin O’Leary and Yvonne Holmes will be tackling the following:

  • What is greenwashing and why it is a growing risk.
  • Discussion on a framework for assessing greenwashing and reputational risks. 
  • The role of various business functions in protecting against greenwashing. 
  • The importance of clear accountabilities for ESG related matters. 
  • The critical importance of data and the considerations for providing evidence of ESG related progress.

Aedin O’Leary,
Non-Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Green Team Network
Yvonne Holmes Sustainability Leader, Strategic Advisor on Sustainable Business. Previously Chief Sustainability Officer, AIB Group Plc


Networking tea and coffee break


Avoiding scoring a governance own goal 

Our panel will discuss the challenges the sports organisation and clubs have faced over the last numbers of years, with a particular focus on governance challenges and how resilience has been a key factor in helping these organisations survive. Some key areas for the discussion will be:

Organisational Resilience
Elite V’s Participation

Tom Ward, Senior Governance Specialist, Institute of Public Administration

Dr Kirsten Fasey, Director of People, Governance & Integrity, British Triathlon
Lisa Jacob, High Performance Director, Hockey Ireland
George Maybury Chairperson of Pentathlon Ireland and former Chair of Finance and Risk, Athletics Ireland.


Building Resilience
Former Special Forces Operator and bestselling author will speak on Resilience and how he can give people the skills to help better cope with pressure, adversity and anxiety in their business and personal lives. Making them more effective, successful but also happier. 

Ray Goggins, Author


Closing remarks

Jillian O’Sullivan, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute


Conference close, drinks reception and networking

Sponsored by: 


Tuesday 30 May 2023


Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin


6 hours

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