Chief Inspector – Agriculture
Chief Agricultural Inspector with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, he is responsible for the provision of advice on Science and Technology and its application to the agri-food sector. Leading the Agricultural Inspectorate, comprising professional experts across a number of disciplines, he ensures the necessary scientific expertise is available to the Department across its work areas. His role includes direct responsibility for Environmental policy including Water, Climate and Bio-diversity and oversight of Feed, Fertiliser, Animal Breeding, Crops, Horticulture and Pesticides work areas.
He is chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee set up under Food Wise 2025 strategy and graduated with a Masters Degree in Agricultural Science from UCD in 1992 and also holds a post-graduate diploma from the IPA.
Chair CAVI, Geraghty & Neary Veterinary and Director, XLVets
Conor Geraghty, native of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, graduated with an MVB from University College Dublin in 1999. Following terms in both large animal and equine practice in the midlands and West of Ireland, Conor is now principal of Geraghty & Neary Veterinary, a four-person large animal/equine practice in east Galway. His specific veterinary interests include herd health, reproductive efficiency in beef and dairy cattle and knowledge transfer. He graduated from UCDs Dairy Herd Health in 2016. Conor is also a long-standing member of Veterinary Ireland. He has served on the CAVI (Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland) committee since 2011 and has been Chair for the past two years. He is currently Chair of the Food Animal Group of Veterinary Ireland. He is an active member of a number of working groups within the organisation including the BVD Implementation Group. Conor is married to Lisa who is also a vet and they have two children, Donnacha and Maeve. He manages a successful beef herd and breeds Belgian Blue cattle in his spare time. He has a fondness for the game of hurling.
Director of Origin Green and Quality Assurance in Bord Bia
Michael is responsible for managing all of Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance Schemes, and Origin Green, Ireland’s national sustainability programme. Michael was previously the CEO of An Bord Glas, and has been with Bord Bia since 2004 when An Bord Glas and Bord Bia merged. Michael has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture and a Master’s Degree in Animal Science.
National Clinical Lead for HCAI and AMR. Professor of Bacteriology at NUI Galway. Consultant Microbiologist
Prof. Martin Cormican graduated from NUI Galway Medical School in 1986. He trained in Ireland, UK and USA and was appointed Professor of Bacteriology at NUI Galway and Consultant Microbiologist in 1999. He is director of the GUH National Microbiology Reference Laboratory services which include services for Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae and has recently been appointed as National Clinical Lead for HCAI and AMR to support an urgent response to the epidemic spread of CPE. His research interests include antibiotic resistance and food borne infection. With colleagues he established a Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway to promote research and advocacy on the central role of the environment in enabling people to live fulfilling and joyful lives.
Professor of Veterinary Reproduction
Claire gained a first-class degree in Zoology from the University of Birmingham followed, in 1978, by a PhD in dairy cow fertility at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Professor Eric Lamming. Before joining the Royal Veterinary College in 1994, she worked for 10 years as a lecturer, then as a reader in the Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol; obtaining a DSc from Bristol in 1990. This was followed by 4 years in a research post at the Babraham Institute.
At the RVC Claire has served on a variety of committees including a long spell as Chairman of the Graduate School Committee. As Head of the Reproduction and Development Group for 12 years from 1995-2007 she was active in promoting research in this area, which was assessed as internationally competitive in the last two Research Assessment Exercises. She also established an elective in Reproduction for final year veterinary students. Externally she was Chairman of the BBSRC Steering Committee on ARK-Genomics from 2000-2008 and a member of the Horserace Betting Levy Board Veterinary Advisory Committee between 1997 and 2006. She is currently a member of the Animal Sector Committee of the Knowledge Transfer Network. She was awarded the Research Medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) in 2006 with respect to her research on dairy cow fertility. In 2009 she was made a guest professor at Huazhong Agricultural University, China. She is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England and of the Society of Biology.
Animal Health Consultant.
Martin Kavanagh qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin in 1993 and spent 14 years in mixed veterinary practice in south Tipperary. In 2007, he joined Richard Keenan and Co. Ltd as Veterinary Director in 2007 which gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Ireland, UK, continental Europe, and Australasia, developing practical solutions for feeding management for cow health.
Since 2009, Martin directs 'Cow Solutions', an independent company providing cow and calf management system solutions, and troubleshooting production problems. He is a certified ‘Cow Signals®’ Master Trainer.
He works with large herds in Ireland and Scandinavia developing management systems to reduce antibiotic usage.
Through ‘Munster Herd Health’ Martin is involved in a disease monitoring scheme involving over 700 farms in the South of Ireland.
Also, his work allows him to interact with co-ops, discussion groups and the wider veterinary industry.
Recently, Martin has been engaged with development of agritechnology solutions with a number of companies and is increasingly involved in looking at new ways to improve animal welfare outcomes in intensive production units.
His goal is to communicate practical help and advice to improve the life of the animals, and the farmer, while respecting the needs of the consumer.
Vet, Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital
Hazell graduated from Nottingham University in 2013 and returned home to work in mixed practice in Killarney. In 2015 she began working in Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic in Bandon. The Clinic was part of the XL Group where her interest in dairy work really grew. Hazell moved back home to near Cork City in 2018 to work in Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital where she continues to work as a Large Animal Vet as well as helping with the family dairy farm. Hazell is the past secretary of the Kerry Veterinary Clinical Society and is currently president of the Cork Veterinary Clinical Society. Hazell loves to travel and has exciting plans for 2018 that include a trip to Denmark and Texas, where cows will make a strong feature.
Regional manager, Alltech Northern Ireland
Richard Dudgeon graduated from University College Dublin with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science. Dudgeon joined Alltech in 2013 as a sales and technical support representative in Northern Ireland. In 2015, he was appointed as beef specialist, responsible for developing profitable beef production systems in Ireland and supporting the Irish sales team. Dudgeon has a strong background in beef production and a keen interest in improving the health and performance of beef cattle in Ireland. Currently, he is located in Northern Ireland, as regional sales manager, responsible for working with both farmers and feed industry customers in the region. He assists both dairy and beef farmers meet performance targets by finding solutions for problems they are faced with and working with industry customers to promote their products which include Alltech solutions.
Senior Nutritionist, Mervue Laboratories
Des graduated in 1987 and has work the last 30 years in the animal feed industry. Initially Des worked in Dan O’Connor feeds in Limerick. For the past 20 years he has worked with Inform Nutrition Ireland providing technical support to their Veterinary, Milling and export customers.
Donal Lynch Veterinary Practice and XL Vets
Donal qualified as a vet from UCD in 2000. He is currently the principal vet in a mixed practice in Tullamore. Donal is also the past president of Veterinary Ireland and a founding member of XLVets Ireland. Donal's special areas of interest include improving farm profitability through veterinary-assisted management, such as developing disease-control plans; companion animal orthopaedics; and improving vet work life balance.
Managing Director, Vetcel
Post a career in HM Forces, Chris joined the Veterinary Drug Company (or Vet Drug, as it was known back then); a veterinary wholesaler based in York.
In April 1984 he accepted an invitation to take up the position as Vetcel's Managing Director.
Along with the current and former Directors he maintains the view that looking after the needs of the independent veterinary practice should always remain the group's primary focus.
Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and the Chartered Management Institute.
Vet, Westpoint Farm Vets
Tim graduated from the Royal veterinary College in 2003 and then completed a residency in dairy herd medicine and surgery based at the Royal Veterinary College. On completion of his residency he undertook a DEFRA funded PhD, examining the use of antimicrobials in the treatment of calf pneumonia. Having completed his PhD, Tim joined Westpoint with a particular interest in youngstock health management and the responsible use of medicines on Farm; which he regularly writes on for the veterinary and Farming press . Within Westpoint Tim heads up the youngstock working group which looks at all aspects of calf management for the group.
A former BCVA board member, outside of his clinical duties Tim is a member of Westpoint’s Clinical Governance Board with particular responsibility for education and clinical research. Tim currently oversees Westpoint’s farm animal internship which offers a yearlong program of CPD for new graduates entering into farm animal practice.
Veterinary Ireland Financial Services
Declan has almost 20 years’ experience in financial services and specialises in all aspects of financial planning. Declan works as a Senior Financial Planning Consultant with Veterinary Ireland Financial Services Limited offering a full range of financial services to members of Veterinary Ireland. Declan has specialised knowledge in the areas of retirement planning including spouses’ pensions, partnerships, succession planning and portfolio construction.
Programme Manager BVD/IBR, Animal Health Ireland
Maria Guelbenzu is Programme Manager for BVD and IBR with Animal Health Ireland since May 2018. Prior to that, she was Head of the Disease Surveillance and Investigation Branch in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).
Maria graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zaragoza (Spain). She gained five years of experience in mixed practice in Northern Ireland before joining AFBI as a Veterinary Research Officer in 2005 where she managed the diagnostic virology and serology laboratories.
Maria worked in the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme (CHS) since 2008 until 2018, leading and coordinating it since 2010. This is a voluntary scheme which provides disease management programmes with the objective of accrediting disease-free or risk level status for BVD, IBR, leptospirosis, neosporosis and Johne’s disease.
She has been involved in several research projects related to endemic diseases of cattle and was awarded a PhD from Queens University, Belfast, in 2015 for research on BVD.
Dublin Senior Football manager
Jim Gavin is former Gaelic football player and has been the manager of the Dublin Senior Football team since 2012. Jim has become one of the county's most successful managers in terms of major titles won, leading Dublin to a fourth win in a row this September. Under his management, the Dublin Senior Football team has also established a new record for most National League and Championship games unbeaten.
Senior Lecturer in Animal Husbandry & Reproduction, University of Liverpool
Karin is an RCVS and European specialist in bovine health and a renowned camelid vet. She holds both the European and RCVS diploma in cattle health, as well as a MVSc in theriogenology. A German graduate, she has worked in private practice and academia in the UK and New Zealand.
Speaking and publishing regularly on ruminant and camelid medicine and involved in the CertAVP and DBR programmes, her interests span reproduction, internal medicine, abdominal surgery and animal husbandry. Her current research involves a major project on beef cattle lameness, facial expression pain scoring, and drone technology for animal monitoring. She co-authored the book Goat Medicine & Surgery published this summer.
Vet, Farm Post Mortems
Ben qualified from the vet school at Edinburgh University in 2002 and worked in mixed practice in North Yorkshire for five years, specialising in farm animals. He then went on to work for the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in Thirsk, where he developed his skills in pathology and his belief that an accurate post mortem can diagnose the majority of diseases in farm animals and can prevent unnecessary losses and improve productivity on the farm. He subsequently set up Farm Post Mortems to offer comprehensive gross post mortem services and to give vets and farmers a cost-effective way of diagnosing disease and increasing livestock efficiency, so improving your profit margin.