Appointments to the Saolta University Healthcare Group Board

Following a Public Appointment Service (PAS) campaign, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D., has appointed/re-appointed the following persons as members of the Saolta University Healthcare Group Board.  These appointments are with effect from 5 December 2017 to 4 December 2020.

Ms Mary Dunne

Ms Dunne, a native of Tullamore, Co. Offaly has extensive experience in Health care management having worked in a variety of Health care organisations across the UK and Ireland. She holds a masters in Health Management and was the Executive Director for nursing services at London’s Frimley Park Hospital N.H.S. Foundation Trust, from 2001 – 2012 and more recently was the Director of Nursing and Clinical Services at the Bons Secours Hospital Group, Galway. Mary has held executive positions on various NHS Hospitals Boards in the UK and now works part time as an Independent Assessor with the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) assessing NHS hospitals for compliance with National Standards.

Mary has an excellent track record of achievement in developing and implementing robust Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Patient Safety systems within health care settings.

Dr Brendan Day

Dr. Brendan Day is the senior partner of a large medical group practice in the semi-rural area of Turloughmore/Claregalway, Co. Galway.  He is originally from Inishbofin Island, Connemara.

He qualified from NUIG in 1973 and worked in UCH/Merlin Park Hospitals until 1979 when he was appointed to Turloughmore/Claregalway.  His practice has grown from an initial two doctor, one secretary practice to three full time doctors, four part time doctors, two nurses, a practice manager and IT manager and four secretaries.

Dr. Day has been involved in under graduate and post graduate education since 1979.

He is a founder member of the ICGP, former chairman of the MICGP examination board and an examiner for the MICGP from 1986-2006.

He was president of the ICGP in 2010.

He was an external examiner for the UK MRCGP from 1986 -1998 and for the General Practice post graduate examination board in Bahrain from 1994-1998.

Outside of medical practice, he has been team doctor for Galway football and hurling teams and still maintains his interest in sports medicine by being team doctor to Turloughmore, Carnmore and Claregalway teams.

He is co-owner and director of Inishbofin House Hotel.

He was appointed by the Minister for Health to the first Saolta board from 2013 – 2017

Dr John Morris

Biography to follow.

Ms Phyllis MacNamara

Biography to follow.

Dr Aislinne Freeman

Dr. Freeman received a Marie Curie Fellowship to undertake a Psychology Doctorate in the University of Leipzig, Germany. Her research focused on Depression and anxiety in the older population, and she has authored several scientific research articles in Peer Reviewed Journals. Aislinne spent time working in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the World Health Organisation in Geneva, where she worked on a number of different projects, including contributing to the suicide prevention strategies of UN member states. She also has clinical experience from having worked in the adult mental health service and in the disability sector, both in Dublin. Since completing her Doctorate in 2016, Aislinne is working as a Business Consultant in the Health Sector and is due to complete her MBA with Trinity College Dublin in 2018.

Ms Dariona Conlon

Ms Conlon is originally from Sligo and she has been living in Donegal for many years. She read Law at Trinity College Dublin. She served her Solicitor’s Apprenticeship with A & L Goodbody and qualified as a Solicitor in March, 1994. Post qualification she practised in Donegal as a Litigation Solicitor specialising in Healthcare Law. She was appointed to the Board of the Residential Institutions Redress Board in January,  2004 as a Legal Member of the Board. She also works as a Mental Health Tribunals Chairperson and has done so since November, 2010. Dariona is currently practising as a Consultant Solicitor with C.S. Kelly & Company in Donegal.

Mr Gerry McManus

Mr McManus is a retired Managing Director of Compupac I.T. Solutions. He has been very active in the commercial development of Sligo as a former Board Member of Sligo Leader Partnership Co., Sligo Enterprise Board and Past President of Sligo Chamber of Commerce. He is a former member of Sligo Institute of Technology Governing Body where he was Chairperson of the Internal Audit Committee. Currently he is Chairperson of the Friends of Sligo University Hospital and the Patient Forum of the Hospital. Mr. Mc Manus has served on the Saolta Board from July 2013 to October 2016 and is currently Chairperson of the Internal Audit Committee of Saolta Hospital Group.

Mr Brian Thornton

Mr Thornton is from Galway and is a commerce graduate of NUI, Galway, an Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute and a former Inspector of Taxes. He has worked in private practice for over 25 years and recently retired as Partner in Charge of the Galway office of KPMG. He was a member of Council of the Irish Taxation Institute.  He has lectured in Revenue Law at NUI, Galway and for the Irish Taxation Institute and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a Board member of Cancer Care West.

Mr Tom Canavan

Mr Canavan, is a native of Co Mayo and apart being in Cork for the 1970’s, has spent most of his working life based in Co Mayo. He is an accountant by profession with added qualifications in Information Systems. He is now retired, having worked mainly with large multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors and also in the food and energy sectors. He worked most recently with Baxter Healthcare Ireland for 15 years in roles as Finance Director and Operations Director which included taking lead roles in European business and systems development projects. He has also worked in business systems consulting for Irish large and medium sized businesses. He has been active in community organisations and projects over the years. More recently he has been President of Castlebar Chamber, is a co-founder of Mayo Enterprise Advocacy Group, a member of the recent GMIT Mayo working group and is Chairperson of his local Primary School board of management.

Ms Darina Kneafesy

Biography to follow.


Dr Jim Browne

Biography to follow.