Michael is a Full Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies, and the Head of School of Veterinary Medicine. Michael is Dean and Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin. He is a Diplomate and former President of the European College of Bovine Health Management (ECBHM). Michael is the only Diplomat recognised by the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management in Ireland. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, his background is in cattle and sheep practice, including a period at the University of Glasgow's Teaching Unit. Prof. Doherty has managed many funded clinical research programmes, including studies of herd health in conventional and organic Irish dairy herds and he led the UCD clinical team on an EU-funded programme on TSE surveillance. An Executive Member of Animal Health Ireland (AHI) and former Chair of the AHI Technical Working Group on the control of BVD, he is currently involved, along with UCD colleagues, in the promotion and development of national dairy herd health programmes in Ireland and online delivery of postgraduate education in dairy herd health. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Open-access Irish Veterinary Journal within BioMed Central. Dr Doherty is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), representing Region 1 countries (Ireland, UK, Netherlands).
University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Robert is an assistant professor at the University of Nottingham, an RCVS-recognised specialist in cattle health and production and is particularly interested in the use of machine learning to identify and prevent population level disease in cattle. Robert has a research background in antimicrobial usage and resistance in agriculture is currently involved in research at the University of Nottingham to improve health and welfare in both cattle and calves.
Catherine is from Waterford and is currently working in a mixed animal practice in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford. Catherine obtained an honours degree in Biological Science from University College Cork, before pursuing a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from Szent Istvan University, Budapest, Hungary in 2015 and relocated back to Ireland.
Having worked in mixed practices in Kildare and Waterford, Catherine had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of suckler and dairy herds, gaining knowledge and experience in both sectors.
Now situated in the of South East of Ireland means that the majority of clientele are dairy farmers and a small cohort of suckler farmers. She has found working with different groups of people, such as vets and farmers has widened her perspective.
She believes in empowering farmers, providing them with the knowledge to upskill and improve their herd health and animal welfare, thus improving the overall yield and maximising profit. This collaborative approach helps to strengthen the professional relationship between the client and the vet.
She foresees challenges in the veterinary industry regarding antimicrobial resistance, climate targets and generally the role of veterinary practices going forward. Change is inevitable. However, it is our ability to adapt to the changing environment that will be the key to our success.
Liam graduated from UCD in 2015. After qualifying, Liam spent two years as a mixed animal vet in a busy independent practice in South Wales. This offered him the perfect start to shadow and learn from a number of senior vets. He gained skills and knowledge here that have been the solid foundation to an ever-evolving veterinary career.
Liam moved home to his native Galway where he now works mostly with large animals. With a total of seven years of practice under his belt he has learned a lot about the ways of large animal practice in Ireland.
He endeavours to merge aspects of his veterinary knowledge from both small and large animal practice to offer an overall better level of care to the animals he treats. His main aim is to educate farmers, both in-person and through social media so they can gain more awareness. His keen interest in herd health aims to prevent problems through appropriate planning, vaccination and regular check-ins with farmers. Liam is always looking for new and innovative ways to treat common problems.
LARGE ANIMAL CLINICIAN & HERD HEALTH CONSULTANT
Kieran O Mahony qualified from UCD in Dairy Herd Health in 2012. Following a year in mixed practice in Ireland, he worked in dairy practice in France and New Zealand. Kieran returned to Ireland in 2017 and is now working in large animal practice in Cork. In 2016 he completed the UCD graduate herd health certificate and is passionate about working to improve herd health in Ireland. In 2018 he completed a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction through the University of Liverpool. Kieran also works with Munster Bovine as a herd health consultant.
Hailing from a suckler farm in Tipperary, Marie-Louise grew up breeding and showing pedigree Charolais cattle. Marie-Louise first completed a degree in economics and finance before returning to UCD to study veterinary medicine, graduating in 2015. After graduating, Marie-Louise went on to work in Finbar Kiernan’s in Cavan, where she also attained her graduate certificate in dairy herd health. After more than four years in Cavan, Marie-Louise returned home to Munster, joining Mulcair Vets in Limerick and Tipperary. Marie-Louise enjoys all aspects of cattle practice, but special interests include milk quality, surgery and bovine fertility work.
Chartered Physiotherapist – Sport Science – CORU Registered
Aodhán graduated from University College Dublin with an honour’s degree in sports science in 2013, and an MSc physiotherapy in 2016. He is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and is CORU registered.
With a keen interest in all things sport and exercise, his sports science background combined with his physiotherapy rehabilitation skills have seen him work across a wide spectrum of sports, from Gaelic games, rugby, swimming, tennis, BJJ & MMA to name but a few.
Aodhán enjoys working with clients of all ages and abilities and is fully committed to returning patients, athletes and non-athletes to full function.
Having worked in acute hospitals and rehabilitation centres both in Ireland and the USA, Aodhán has a broad knowledge base from which he tailors various treatment approaches for his individual patients and athletes.
Chartered Health Psychologist, Animal Health Ireland
Alison Burrell is a chartered health psychologist at Animal Health Ireland. Her work centres around stakeholder engagement across AHI animal health programmes, particularly with the Irish Johne’s Control Programme and behaviour change in the areas of antibiotic and antiparasitic use.
Alison qualified as a psychologist through the NHS Scotland, gaining experience in designing and delivering one-to-one and group behaviour change interventions, and providing specialised communication training to healthcare professionals. Alison then worked as a post-doctoral researcher for Teagasc, Athenry on the safefood-funded project to develop behaviour change intervention recommendations addressing antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic use on farms in Ireland.
Alison joined AHI in June 2021 and is now involved in the delivery of the CellCheck programme, Cell Count Solutions training and specialised communications training in behaviour change and motivational interviewing.
Acting CellCheck Programme Manager, Animal Health Ireland
Michelle grew up on a dairy farm in east Cork and has been directly involved in farming from a young age. She completed a degree in agricultural science at UCD in 1999, followed by a master’s degree in bovine reproduction with Teagasc at Moorepark Research Centre in 2001. After a brief spell in industry, she returned to UCD to complete a degree in veterinary medicine in 2008. In 2020, she returned to study, earning a diploma in food production at UCC.
For 12 years, Michelle worked predominantly in mixed practice in Ireland where she further developed her interest in herd health on dairy farms. She joined Animal Health Ireland in January 2020 and is currently the Acting Programme Manager for CellCheck.
Natascha graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 2005. She worked there for several years in mixed practice and as a government vet. In 2011, she moved to the Netherlands to complete a MSc in epidemiology, where she also worked in private practice as a veterinary practitioner.
With a keen interest in infectious diseases, Natascha undertook a project studying bovine tuberculosis in cattle and wildlife in Uganda, obtaining her PhD in epidemiology through the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2016. She has since worked on research projects based at the University of Edinburgh and undertook a residency with the European College of Veterinary Public Health and Population Medicine, which she completed in 2020.
Natascha joined AHI in 2019 managing the Beef HealthCheck and Parasite Control programmes.
Eric qualified in 1997 and, after a short period in mixed practice, completed a PhD at the University of Warwick on parasite epidemiology and ecology. He joined Bristol Veterinary School in 2003 where he further developed research interests in parasite transmission and sustainable control, and taught parasitology to veterinary students. In 2017, he moved to Queen’s University Belfast. He has authored and co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed papers on this subject, many on helminths in grazing ruminants, and particularly seeks to understand the impact of weather and climate change on infection patterns and how these can be managed. As Diplomate of the European Veterinary Parasitology College and a core group member of the international initiative, Combating Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants, and the Livestock Helminth Research Alliance, he contributes to the development of sustainable parasite control strategies and their translation into practice, including through COWS.
Maresa is currently working in Kilkenny Regional Veterinary Laboratory as a Senior Research Officer. After qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1997 from UCD, she worked for eight years in large animal practice. She started working in Eyrecourt, Co. Galway with primarily sucklers/beef and sheep and smaller numbers of dairy herds. A move to large animal practice in Thurles, Co. Tipperary meant an increased emphasis on dairy work. She completed her research masters in veterinary medicine, with her thesis entitled, Clinicopathological Investigation of Infectious Respiratory Disease of Sheep in Ireland in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, University College Dublin. Since joining the Veterinary Laboratory Service, she has provided a postmortem service to vets and their clients and has carried out collaborative research with Teagasc, UCD, local PVPs, HSE, DAFM colleagues in other regional veterinary laboratories and AHI. Projects included anthelmintic resistance in sheep and first season dairy calves, the prevalence of Haemonchus contortus in sheep, seroconversion to liver fluke in slaughtered lambs, sheep and dairy calf mortality studies, udder health in cull cows, zoonosis and hypocalcaemia. She was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in February 2019.
Resident in Bovine Health, University College Dublin
John graduated from UCD in 2018 and spent a year in farm animal practice in Pembrokeshire in Wales, before coming back to UCD in 2019 to undertake a PhD funded by Dairy Research Ireland in the relationship between dairy calf respiratory disease and housing. John is in his final year of a residency at the European College of Bovine Health Management.
Tommy qualified in 2002 with a degree in veterinary medicine and worked in mixed practice for 16 years. He was a partner in Avondale Veterinary Clinic from 2006-2016. He developed a keen interest in improving animal health and farm systems.
He completed a two-year graduate certificate in dairy herd health at UCD in 2013 and became a master cowsignals trainer in 2015. He also conducted various courses and training in mineral nutrition, fertility, mastitis, and people performance. In addition, he developed a range of farm health plans for ruminants and became very active in the animal health training space. He also worked as an animal health specialist for the Irish Farmers Journal for 16 months up to December 2019.
His focus is on disease prevention, improved animal health, and performance.
In 2018, he was awarded an international Nuffield farming scholarship. His topic was A cow-centred approach to the modern dairy industry. He has visited 16 countries and met with global animal health and nutrition experts. Tommy concluded modern agriculture farming systems must optimise the animals' biology and behaviour.
His primary focus for the last 18 months has been working with an Irish company, Precision Microbes, developing biological gut health solutions for the animal health market. He is also involved in research around the use of microbes in agriculture and farming systems.
A key driver for him is science-based biological solutions that help deliver a more sustainable animal health market.
John is the Principal Veterinary Research Scientist in Teagasc, based at Moorepark Research Centre. Dr Mee is also Professor Adjunct with both University College Dublin and University College Cork. He has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contribution to knowledge and multi-specialist status at European (European Board of Veterinary Specialists), UK (RCVS Specialist) and National (Veterinary Council of Ireland - Dual Specialist) levels. John, along with his postgraduate students and collaborators, is currently researching calf respiratory disease, coccidiosis in dairy calves, dairy heifer health, Johne’s disease, bovine abortion/stillbirth, dairy herd biosecurity, transition cow disorders, tick-borne diseases and lamb mortality. His research work has yielded some 1,500 scientific publications (including 150 peer-review papers). John has recently co-edited/co-authored the first textbook on bovine perinatology (Bovine Prenatal, Perinatal and Neonatal Medicine). Dr Mee acts on the editorial boards of three peer-reviewed journals; Irish Veterinary Journal (Deputy Editor), Animal Reproduction Science and Reproduction in Domestic Animals. He has been invited to present international conference lectures in over 30 countries across Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. Additionally, Dr Mee delivers lectures, practicals and wetlabs on veterinary and agricultural courses in five universities nationally and internationally. John is a member of multiple professional committees including the AHI (Chair/Founding member of Biosecurity TWG; Founding Member of Calf Health, BVD and Johne’s TWGs); EFSA (Expert on Animal Health & Welfare Working Group); and DAFM (the VRO Discussion Group and TB Forum) and the Royal Irish Academy (Life and Medical Sciences Committee).
Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Peter is the Assistant Principal Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with responsibilities for the management of the National Residue Control Plan; the licencing of imports of special veterinary medicines; the registration of veterinary wholesalers and retail outlets; the Governance of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, and the transposition of the new EU veterinary medicine and medicated feed legislation. He is also responsible for the design, development, implementation, and rollout of the new National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS). Peter has over 30 years’ experience in the public sector and has managed in key Government policy and operational areas throughout his career.
CEO, Animal and Plant Health Association
John is a graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture at UCD where he studied agricultural economics. He worked initially for Coopers Animal Health, as a product group manager, where he launched Coopers Spot-on and Repidose, before moving to the drinks industry where he was Marketing Director for Bulmers. In 2002, he was appointed Managing Director of Tayto, and following its sale to Largo in 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of the Irish Dairy Board’s global consumer food business. John was appointed CEO at Animal and Plant Health Association in January 2017.
In his role, he represents the Irish veterinary medicines industry internationally through membership of Animal Health Europe and World Health for Animals. He is a member of Animal Health Europe Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation Priority Projects Team. In Ireland, he is a member of the veterinary implementation group for Ireland’s National Action Plan to address antimicrobial resistance.
Arthur is a vet and he graduated from UCD in 1992. He has worked in large animal practice in Ireland for 24 years before joining the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in 2016. He has a post-graduate diploma in veterinary public health and is currently studying law at King’s Inns, Dublin. Arthur works in DAFM’s Investigations Division. Arthur is an elected member of the Veterinary Council of Ireland where he currently chairs the Legislation, Ethics and Monitoring Committee.
John is a mixed veterinary practitioner at All Creatures Veterinary in Roscommon. John has served as a full and active delegate on the Veterinary Ireland National Council since 2008. John served as President of Veterinary Ireland in 2015 and is currently Veterinary Ireland’s representative to the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE). At national level, John has been the Longford/Roscommon Branch Representative to the Food Animal National Committee since October 2007, serving as Food Animal Chair from 2012–2015, and since 2022 has been a member of the Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS) National Committee. For a significant number of years, John has been centrally involved in the CVE provided through the Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland (CAVI). Along with Conor Geraghty, John Gilmore and Jamie Finn, John launched the Weanling Export Programme in 2007, in response to the knock-on effect of bovine respiratory disease on the economics of suckler weanling sales at that time. As a Temporary Veterinary Inspector (TVI), John was one of the four members of the Veterinary Ireland TVI Negotiating Team which secured the TVI Registered Employment Agreement (REA), signed with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2019. At European level, John’s role as Veterinary Ireland representative to UEVP and FVE includes membership of the Conjoint Committee (Veterinary Ireland, Veterinary Council of Ireland, Veterinary Officers Association) and attending the biannual General Assemblies of both UEVP and FVE. John has made a significant number of friends and contacts amongst European veterinary colleagues, and his work at this level brings an EU-wide insight into the workings of the National Council, and the Food Animal and VICAS National Committees.
Emma Hanly is currently employed by Glasslyn Veterinary, Bandon, as a large animal vet. This is predominantly dairy-focused work, where she has particular interest in herd health investigations and disease prevention. Emma graduated from UCD in 2016 and, before moving to Bandon, she spent two years working for T.J. McDonalds in Tullow, Co Carlow, as a mixed vet. To further her knowledge in herd investigations, Emma completed her Graduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health. Raised on a mixed farm in South Tipperary, Emma still enjoys being involved in this in her spare time.
After qualifying in 1983, Donal worked in Millstreet, County Cork, for six months, before moving into a mixed practice in Rathmore where he has worked since 1984. A member of XLVets, he completed the Graduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health in 2012. Interests outside of Veterinary include GAA and music.
Ger is a practising partner in Comeragh Veterinary in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford. A mixed-veterinary practitioner, Ger’s main area is dairy cattle practice, and he completed the graduate certificate in dairy herd health in 2015. His main areas of interest are in relation to bovine preventative medicine and the management and control of bovine lameness, and he regularly lectures on both these and related topics to fellow vets and farmer clients. Ger is an elected member of the Veterinary Council of Ireland and is a member of the Animal Health Ireland (AHI) Lameness Technical Working Group (TWG).
Colm works in the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Sligo. He moved there during the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001 from the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Abbotstown. In his spare time Colm has an interest in traditional and genetic genealogy, chess, languages, and formula one.