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Minister Creed appoints two new Non-Executive Directors to Board of Coillte

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced the appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors to the Board of Coillte. The appointees are Ms. Eleanor O’Neill and Mr. Gerard Murphy and both have been appointed for a five year period effective from 24 July 2019 and 13 December 2019 respectively. The appointments were made following a competitive process undertaken, in accordance with the Guidelines for Appointments to State Boards, by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

Welcoming the two new appointees, the Minister commented, “I am pleased to appoint Eleanor O’Neill and Gerard Murphy to the Board of Coillte as both have a range of management and executive skills which will be hugely beneficial in the strategic development of the company. I am sure both will participate in, and contribute significantly to, the Board based on their professional experience to date”.

In conclusion, Minister Creed added, “The Irish forestry sector is crucial in terms of delivering benefits for our rural economy and of course in delivering environmental benefits and helping to tackle climate change. Coillte has a key role to play in this and these appointments will help to ensure that they’re ready to continue on their strategic development.  I met with the forestry sector last week to discuss current developments including their preparedness for Brexit and I reiterated our continued support for the sector to ensure the ongoing development of forestry in Ireland”. 

Note for Editors:

The appointments were made following a competitive process managed by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

Eleanor O’Neill

Ms Eleanor O’Neill has been appointed to the Board of Coillte for a five year period effective from 24 July 2019.  Ms O’Neill has a background in all aspects of business transformation in the technology sector.  She currently holds an executive role in Symantec Corporation as Senior Director of Information Technology.  In March 2018, Eleanor was appointed to board of Symantec Security Ireland Holding (SSIH-UC), a subsidiary company of Symantec Corporation with strategic and operational responsibility for Symantec International.  She was also appointed in 2018 to the Board of OSL Network Services, resulting from Symantec’s acquisition of Surf Easy.

Over the previous 10 years, Eleanor led IT Operations for Symantec globally and led European IT, supporting the Business growth (Sales, Marketing & Finance). Prior to Symantec, Eleanor worked with Marrakech, a Dublin based Venture Capital funded eCommerce Technology start-up, and was part of the European management team of Visio International, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2000.   Eleanor began her career in Software Development, Process Engineering in Digital Equipment Corporation in Ireland and Holland. Eleanor was on the Irish Computer Society CIO advisory board (2014-2018). Ms. O’Neill holds a Diploma in Company Direction (Distinction) from the Institute of Directors, an honours degree in Industrial Engineering (BEng), and a Graduate Diploma in System’s Analysis from NUIG. 

Gerard Murphy

Mr Gerard Murphy has been appointed to the Board of Coillte for a five year period effective from 13 December 2019.  Mr Murphy has extensive experience of the Irish Forest industry, having worked in a variety of senior roles covering research, business development, strategic marketing, sales and supply chain logistics, and change management. He was the Managing Director of the Forest Division in Coillte for nine years. He was responsible in that role for the commercial management and stewardship of over 1 million acres of state forest lands. More recently, he has been the Managing Director of the Land Solutions business in Coillte before his retirement.

Gerry spent his early career as a forest researcher in the areas of Tree Improvement and Wood technology.  He has held a number of non-executive director positions in not-for-profit organisations, as well as being a member of the executive board of the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR - the European representative body of over 34 state forest organisations), and a member of COFORD Council.  He holds a B. Agr. Sci. (Forestry) and MBA from UCD as well as a Graduate Diploma in Science from the Australian National University. He was also the recipient of the IMI Sir Charles Harvey Award for outstanding achievement in post graduate business studies.



Date Released: 06 September 2019