Sustainability in a Challenging World: Meet Our Speakers

Post on: Sat, 27, October 2018

Damien O’Reilly

RTE Countrywide

Damien has been working in RTE Radio 1 for several years now and is one of the most recognisable voices in the agri-media industry. He presents Countrywide on RTE Radio One every Saturday at 8.10 am. He occasionally joins the sports department for the big events also. Before joining RTE in 1998, Damien worked in Shannonside Northern Sound Radio for five years.

Phil Hogan

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Our main speaker at the National Conference is Commissioner Hogan. He has served as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since 2014 and before that he represented the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency as a Fine Gael TD.

Sustainability and Trade in Post Brexit Ireland

Jack Kennedy

Irish Farmers Journal

Jack Kennedy is the Dairy Editor with the Farmers Journal which he joined in October 2002. His main areas of responsibility relate to outlining the best existing and emerging technology inside the farm gate to dairy farmers. He previously worked as a researcher at Moorepark Grassland and Dairy Research Centre. He hails from a farming background in Cahir, Co Tipperary. He has a degree from the University College Dublin in Agriculture and a doctorate from Moorepark and UCD. His interests outside of farming are cycling and following all sports.

Seamus Coffey


Seamus Coffey is a lecturer in the Department of Economics in University College Cork. His research and writing focuses on the performance of the Irish economy. He became a member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council in 2016 and was made Chair of the Council in January 2017. In October 2016, he was appointed the independent expert by the Minister for Finance to undertake a review of Ireland's Corporation Tax code. He is also a member of the external advisory board to the Irish Governmental Economic Evaluation Service and of the council of the Irish Economic Association. He is a sometime contributor to print, broadcast and online media relating to the Irish economy including fiscal outcomes, corporation tax, household debt, national accounts and other economic issues. His teaching includes microeconomics, economic policy, advanced microeconomics and econometrics as well as adult and distance education courses.

Lyndsey Martyn

Chair of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Council

Lyndsey has worked in agriculture all her life. She is currently Chair of Council for NFYFC.
Lyndsey graduated from Harper with a degree in Agriculture with Animal Science and is very interested in genetics and anima health and hasher own (very) small livestock concern at home with a few suckler cows and a few sheep.

Sean Molloy


Seán graduated from the Agricultural Science Faculty at University College Dublin and worked in the Corporate Planning Department at the Irish Dairy Board before spending eight years in PwC as a Strategy Consultant. He joined Glanbia in 2007. In addition to his role as Strategy and Supplier Relations Director, Seán also holds the position as Company Secretary for GII.

Joe Burke

Bord Bia

Joe Burke is Beef and Livestock Sector Manager with Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, which is responsible for market development, promotion and market information for Ireland’s agri-food industry.

He is also closely involved in the family beef farm in Co. Limerick, finishing around 200 cattle per year. These are mainly purchased as weanlings and slaughtered as steers at around 24 months of age.

Kristine Bori

European Commission

Kristine BORI is a policy officer working at DG AGRI in a Unit responsible for the implementation of rural development policy as part of the Common Agricultural Policy. Her main area of responsibility is to deal with issues related to the business development and young farmers. She has links with agriculture for entire life coming from a family, farm studies in an Agricultural University, working in the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture and practical experience obtained from working in a Milk laboratory in Hungary.

Enjoying a healthy work/life balance in agriculture

Claire McCormack


Claire Mc Cormack is from an agricultural background in Westmeath. She holds a BA from Maynooth University, M.Phil from TCD and MA in Journalism from DCU. She was awarded the ‘Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship’ 2013-2014. Claire writes on all aspects of farming and rural life. Formerly, she worked as rural affairs correspondent at Irish Independent/Farming Independent, and as a reporter at Sunday Independent. She is currently doing an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development at UCD.

Louise Crowley

FBD Best Emerging Young Farmer 2018

Louise is living and farming in Croom, County Limerick with her father, John.She attended Pallaskenry Agricultural College and then CIT in Cork, where she earned a BSC in Agriculture. She has a great love for her cows and dairy farming, though silage and machinery is definitely a great interest. She travelled to New Zealand last year to work in their agricultural sector.

Sean McAvoy

Massey Ferguson

Massey Ferguson is one of the biggest manufacturers of agricultural equipment in the world. Its history stretches back over 150 years to 1847 when Daniel Massey began producing agricultural implements in Ontario, Canada. Harry Ferguson patented the three point hitch in 1927 which in various forms is still used on virtually all tractors today. Massey Ferguson also produced one of the world’s first four wheel drive tractors.

Paidi Kelly

Teagasc Research Officer

Paidi’s research interests include;

The structure of different joint venture farming models such as leasing, partnerships and share farming and how they can be used to improve farm profitability.
Qualitative research into factors that influence the uptake and success of these models. Economic analysis of these models to better understand key aspects such as wealth creation and risk.

Thomas O’Connor

FBD Young Beef Farmer of the Year 2015

Thomas O’Connor runs a family farm in Kildare in partnership with his parent. He oversees the beef section of the business, his father the pig section and his mother looks after the ewes during early lambing. Comprising of beef, sheep, pigs and tillage over 242 acres, their farm is one of the most successful in the country.