Occupational Health and Safety: A Pioneering Past and a Bright Future, 14th and 15th June 2013


We will add speaker biographies here as we receive them, so please keep an eye on this page for updates!


Dr Sharon McGuinness –Health and Hygiene, Plenary Speaker

Sharon McGuinness is Assistant Chief Executive in the Health and Safety Authority since 2006 where she heads the Chemicals Business Services division. The division acts as the Competent and Enforcement Authority for a suite of chemical legislation including Asbestos, Carcinogens, Chemical and Biological Agents, COMAH, ADR Transport and REACH. Sharon is also a member of the Register of Toxicologists in Ireland.






Dr Patricia McDonnell

Dr. Patricia Mc Donnell completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology and M.Sc. in Occupational Health and Safety and Ergonomics in NUIG, specialising in Occupational Hygiene. After working as consultant Occupational Hygienist, she progressed to completing her Ph.D. in Occupational Hygiene, focusing on exposure modelling and the Advanced REACH Tool, in NUIG in tandem with GlaxoSmithKline. Patricia is currently Honorary President of the Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland and is working as an Occupational Hygienist and Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Alkermes Pharma Ireland Limited.






Ruairi Ward

Ruairi Ward is a Senior Occupational Hygiene Consultant with HSE Australia and is Technical Manager of a busy consultancy operation whose clients are derived mainly from the Mining Industry in Western Australia. Prior to working in Australia, Ruairi worked in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and consultancy sectors in Ireland. Ruairi is a faculty member of both the BOHS and the AIOH and is a full member of the OHSI.



Ursula Connolly


Ursula is a Lecturer at the School of Law, National University of Ireland Galway where she teaches Tort Law. She is a founding member of the Centre for Research on Occupational and Lifestyle Stress (CROLS) at NUI Galway and a member of the Mental Health Law and Policy Research Group at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway. She is co-author of Tort Law: Cases and Materials and has published and presented widely in the area of liability for occupational mental injury.


Catherine Jordan

Catherine Jordan is the group food safety advisor, occupational health & safety advisor and technical manager for the Glen of Aherlow Ltd, a pork manufacturing group consisting of four enterprises. She tutors in food safety & hygiene and occupational health & safety at the National Butchery Academy of Ireland. Catherine is a member of the Food Industry Standards Consultative Committee with the National Standards Authority of Ireland. At present Catherine is carrying out research in the area of occupational health & safety in food manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ireland for her PhD.

Dr. John McDermott

Dr John Mc Dermott is Clinical Director for the Occupational Health division within Vhi Healthcare.  He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and is on the Medical Council Specialist Register for both Occupational Medicine and General Practice. He graduated with the Class of 2002 (MSc in Occupational Health & Ergonomics). He is a guest lecturer in Occupational Medicine in UCD and he has published several articles on Occupational Health related topics.


Frank Power

Frank Power works with the Health and Safety Authority in Ireland as an Inspector (Projects Manager). Since joining the Authority in 1999 he has been involved in addressing Ergonomic and Manual Handling issues at a strategic and field level and has acted as an Expert Witness in the Courts. His main areas of work include the development of regulations and guidance, completion of regulatory inspections and representing the HSA on an NSAI and an EU Commission Musculoskeletal disorders Expert Group. He chaired the HSA Manual Handling Training Advisory Group which worked with FETAC to develop the Manual Handling Training competency based framework

He previously worked with Intel Ireland and Nypro Limited in Bray, County Wicklow.

He graduated with a M.Sc. in Safety and Ergonomics from NUI, Galway, and a B.Sc. in Quality Management from Sligo Institute of Technology. He is a Chartered Member of IOSH, a member of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland and a member of the Irish Ergonomics Society. 


Dr. Therese Shryane

Dr Therese Shryane, a graduate of NUI Galway (BSc 1996, PhD 2006, MSc2008), qualified in the areas of Earth Science and Occupational Health & Safety, and Ergonomics. She is presently working as a project development consultant with INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme.

Dr. Shryane is the Irish representative of the European Electrotechnical Standardisation Committee (CENELEC) working on the development of Environmental standards (TC111X).

She has previously worked as technical manager for a European waste management association, and project manager of a research initiative as part of an international academic co-operation.

Her career to date has focused in world leading, innovative and challenging work environments. These  experiences have involved the development of European standards for  the collection, logistics and treatment of electronic waste, dissemination and development of large technical databases on the areas of environmental protection & management, and marine research in the North Atlantic Ocean working as part of international scientific teams.


Catherine Kinsella

Catherine Kinsella is Environmental, Health & Safety Manager for Medtronic Cardiovascular Galway.  
Catherine holds a B.A. in Psychology from NUI, Galway and graduated with a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety in 1997.  Catherine is a certified project manager (PMP) and holds a Masters of Business Administration from UL. 
Catherine’s competence extends from Leading the EHS function in Medtronic Galway in becoming the first Medtronic Site in the global corporation to be independently certified to both ISO14001 (Environmental), OHSAS18001 (Safety) and ISO50001 (Energy) Management System Standards,  to also providing best practice consultation to Medtronic sites on an international stage toward achieving the same level of EHS compliance and certification. 
Over the course of Catherine’s 16 years as the EHS Manager with Medtronic the company has moved from being a medical device manufacture to becoming the corporation leader in drug/device combination products.
Catherine has managed the EHS function with a team of 7 EHS professionals through this corporate development and transition.   In addition, this required the integration of a number of regulatory changes into the Safety Management Systems and Corporate Policies of Medtronic including CE marking, REACH, RoSH and updates to the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act and associated regulations.