Appointments to the Board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D. has appointed the following members to the Board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland


Professor Francis Butler is a Professor in the UCD Centre for Food Safety. He is Head of Subject in Biosystems Engineering at UCD. His main research is in food safety with a particular focus on traceability systems and quantitative risk assessment of microbiological and chemical hazards in foods.

Professor Butler coordinates the UCD MSc in Food Safety and Risk Analysis. He has led several large scale quantitative microbial food risk assessments and has made some novel contributions in the characterisation of microbial distributions in food and developing novel sampling strategies for contaminants in foods. He is currently leading projects using molecular microbiological techniques to identify the sources and routes of transmission of pathogens through the food chain.

Other research interests include food chain integrity and the traceability of foods.

Professor Butler has published over 150 publications in refereed journals, with over 100 refereed papers in international conference proceedings and over 150 additional national conference and other workshop presentations. He has coordinated or partnered in over 30 research projects including four EU Framework projects.

He has trained a substantial team of researchers and scholars, including 20 PhD students to completion and 13 research Masters students, as well as 14 post-doctoral researchers.

He has served on several FAO/WHO expert meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment. Prior to joining UCD, Professor Butler worked in production management in the Irish dairy industry. Professor Butler is appointed from 21st May 2019 to 20th May 2024.


Mr Gerard McCurdy has over 40 years’ experience working in a regulatory environment dealing with food safety, public health and consumer protection.  He qualified as an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) at the University of Ulster in 1978 and went on to attain a Master of Science Degree in 1991.


He has held a number of senior positions in local and central government.  As NI Deputy Chief EHO he was asked by the Department of Health to take the lead in the setting up of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), a UK-wide non-Ministerial Government Department and Central Competent Authority for food safety.


As NI Director of the FSA he developed close working relations with the FSAI and the Food Safety Promotion Board developing MoUs and initiating joint projects in food safety, food awareness as well as the management of major food incidents.


On his retirement in 2013 Gerry has worked as a food safety consultant for the UN FAO and the World Bank on projects in Bosnia and Bangladesh.  He currently holds a Ministerial appointment on the Board of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and is the Deputy Chief Commissioner for the NI Charity Commission.  As well as extensive experience in food safety Gerry has considerable Board experience, particularly in the areas of strategic planning, governance, audit and risk management. Mr McCurdy is appointed from 21st May 2019 to 20th May 2022.


Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan MB, BCh, BAO, DCH, DObs, MPH, FFPHM is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine. She has worked as Director of Human Health and Nutrition at safefood (Food Safety Promotion Board) and as Specialist in Public Health Medicine in the HSE.


Cliodhna has a medical degree from UCC; a Masters degree in Public Health from UCD and is a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.


Dr Foley-Nolan holds a Senior lecturer post in UCC and is a trainer and examiner at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. She has served on a number of national advisory groups including the National AIDS Advisory Group, Tuberculosis, Immigrant Health, Food Poverty and Antimicrobial Resistance.


She has served on the boards of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, Obesity Policy Groups in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in the Royal College of Physicians and the Heath Research Board Centre for Diet and Health. Dr.Foley-Nolan is appointed from 7th October 2019 to 6th October 2022