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Advisory Board

safefood's Advisory Board is a broadly representative 12-member group which provides strategic advice to the Chief Executive and senior management team. The Board meets every six weeks.

Chair - Ms Helen O'Donnell


Ms O’Donnell is the owner of a Limerick-based bespoke catering business "Dolmen Catering" serving corporate and private clients. A graduate of the Hotel and Catering Department at Galway Technical College Ms O’Donnell opened her first restaurant, craft and art gallery in 1993 and went on to open a Cafe at the Hunt Museum Limerick in 1997.

She is a Board Member and past Chair of Adapt Women’s Refuge Limerick and was nominated to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in 1994. A member of a number of women’s organisations and fundraising committees, she is Chair of both the Limerick City Business Association and Limerick Can Do Forum.

Vice Chair - Vacant


Mr Brendan Kehoe

Mr Kehoe is a dairy, beef and tillage farmer and is currently serving on a regional advisory committee for Glanbia.

He is a committee member of the South East Simmental Cattle Society and is also active in local politics.

Mr Alan McGrath

Mr McGrath is a health food retailer and proprietor of The Health Store in Tuam, County Galway. He has been active in many local enterprise groups including Action Tuam Ltd, Tuam Chamber of Commerce, Energise Tuam and “Love your Town”, a shop local promotional group.

He is an active member of Irish Association of Health Stores and was formerly Chairman from 2009-2011.

Mrs Wendy McIntosh

Ms McIntosh is a Partner in Thompson Mitchell Solicitors, Portadown - a provincial private practice. She joined the Firm in 1999 and her main areas of practice are family and matrimonial law, personal injury claims and civil litigation. Ms McIntosh is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and has been a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and a practicing solicitor since 1996. She is also a Solicitor Advocate and a Collaborative Family Solicitor. In 2015 she was appointed as a Presiding Member to the Civil Legal Services Appeal Panels an independent appeals mechanism established to deal with appeals against decisions of the Legal Services Agency to grant or refuse Civil Legal Services.

Ms McIntosh is also the Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Governors for a local school having served on the Board since 2006.

Mr Stephen Moutray

Mr Moutray is a director in a family food-retail business which was established in 1961. He was a DUP Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2003-2016 and chaired the Agriculture, Executive Review Committees. He was Alderman with Craigavon Borough Council form 2001-2014 and chaired both Development and Audit Committees.

Mr Moutray also served as Mayor of Craigavon from 2010-2011.

Mr Mervyn Oswald

Mr Oswald was the manager of a local authority owned meat plant for over 20 years and has held various other positions in the meat industry in Northern Ireland. He is a former Mayor of Ards Borough Council and was a councillor from 2005 until 2015.

On the Council he was chairman of the committee responsible for ensuring food premises comply with food safety legislation, carried out by the Environmental Health Officer's team.

Dr Eddie Rooney

Dr Rooney was Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland from its establishment in 2009 until late 2016. In that role, he was also responsible for the regional implementation of the Northern Ireland Executive's Making Life Better public health strategy. Prior to joining the Public Health Agency, Dr Rooney was Deputy Secretary in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and in the Department of Education where he led Fit Futures, the cross-sector task force on tackling childhood obesity.

Dr Mary Upton

A microbiology graduate from University College Galway with a Ph.D. in microbiology from University College Dublin (UCD), Dr Upton was a UCD lecturer and has published a number of academic papers on food safety and related topics. She was elected as a TD in 1999 and served as her party’s spokesperson on Agriculture and Food for four years until her retirement from politics in 2011.

Formerly Secretary and President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland, Dr Upton has also served as Chairman of the National Council for Educational Awards and was formerly Chairman of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland.‚Äč

Members of the Advisory Board complete a Declaration of Interests annually. A Register of Interests is maintained and is available on request.

Advisory board minutes

























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