Chairman of Pieta House,
Fergus Clancy is also non-executive chairman of Mater Private Group, non-executive director of CareChoice Group and non-executive chairman of the board of the Gaelic Players Association. A former CEO of the Mater Private Group, Fergus’s former career also includes roles in the insurance industry and the establishment of Circa Consulting, a specialist advisory firm offering governance and risk management advice to healthcare organisations’ boards and CEOs. In addition to his current non-executive roles, Fergus runs FC Advisory, a firm through which he takes on a limited number of strategy and governance assignments.
Fergus has previously been a non-executive director of RSA Insurance Ireland and non-exective chariman of med-tech firm i360 Medical. Over the course of his career Fergus has been appointed to a number advisory committees within the Department of Health, the HSE, and HIQA. He has been a member of the Irish Medical Council. He has undertaken executive education in finance at London Business School and in Governance at Harvard Business School.
As well as lecturing on post-graduate courses at University College Dublin and University of Virginia, he holds a Professional Diplomas in Corporate Governance and in Strategy and Innovation from UCD Smurfit Business School.
A well-proven leader with a significant track record of achievement across a variety of market sectors, the management of change has been a constant in Ashley Balbirnie’s career that has included multi-national, start-up, and NGO experience.
As CEO of Focus Ireland, Ireland’s leading not-for-profit working to prevent people becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness, Ashley not only developed a clear strategic vision for the organisation but also helped deliver more services to more people impacted by homelessness than ever before.
Previously CEO of ISPCC Childline, Ireland’s oldest and most well-known children’s charity; and interim Chief Executive of Peter Bradley foundation, service provider to people with acquired brain injuries. Ashley also has vast experience in the commercial sector including the establishment and subsequent sale of Sunday newspaper, Ireland on Sunday, between 1996 and 2001.
Executive Vice President (Product & Data) at Munich Re Automation Solutions, Declan O’Neill is a senior executive and actuary with extensive experience across product and system development. His proven ability to learn and adapt, with a track record of delivering key strategic projects makes him a dynamic and passionate leader, with strong interpersonal skills that have been responsible for influencing, motivating and organising cross functional teams. Declan also has extensive experience in managing significant internal and external stakeholder relationships.
He holds an MBA from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, a Professional Diploma in Financial Advice / QFA and is a Fellow of both the Society of Actuaries in Ireland and the Institute of Actuaries since 2000.
Fiona Tierney is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Public Appointments Service which is the centralised provider of recruitment for the civil and public service. In that role, she successfully transformed and repositioned the organisation and oversaw the introduction of a new process of appointments to State Boards.
Fiona has a career history of successful leadership in senior executive and non-executive positions in both the private and public sector. She is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Board of eir and of the Board of the IMI. Until recently, she was a member of the Civil Service Management Board and of the Board of Trocaire.
She is a member of the Government appointed business group, Better Balance for Better Business, which is examining how more women can be involved in decision-making at the top level of businesses in Ireland. Fiona is on the committee of the International Women’s Forum and is a strong supporter of the 30% Club.
A chartered accountant with experience as Non-Executive Director, Board member and Chairman of a number of Company Boards and sub-committees, John has worked with a number of Ireland’s leading organisations in devising, planning and achieving their strategic growth plans. John has significant experience in helping organisations of similar size to Pieta House to grow and develop through a board level focus on strategy, organisational structure and finance & funding.
Committed, innovative and results-driven, John has extensive experience in providing strategic input at board level and in working closely with management teams in executing upon agreed plans. He is commercially focused with a wide breadth of experience from over 20 years of advising Irish companies across sectors and industries as an executive in private equity, venture capital and corporate finance.
An experienced, commercially focused leader experienced in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors, Karen is a chartered accountant with an MBA from Henley Business School and a Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD. Karen speaks Polish, is passionate about supporting people to reach their potential. Qualified as an executive coach with Kingstown College and completed several mental health trainings, she is currently completing her MSc in Psychotherapy & Counselling with Turning Point Institute accredited by UCC.
Karen lives in Ringsend with her two sons.
Kathryn Holly is the former Chief Operations Officer for the Mater Private Healthcare Group, Kathryn held a number of posts in this organisation including Director of Quality, Director of Cancer Centre prior to being appointed as COO.
Kathryn is currently the Healthcare Sector Lead at TowerView, a specialist advisory and investment firm with a focus on the health and social care sectors. Kathryn holds an MBA( Ist Class Honours) from the Smurfit Business School.
She demonstrates strong leadership skills with a proven track record in developing middle and future senior managers, an ability to develop and implement new services and a key understanding of measurement systems to monitor and to ensure an optimum operating environment.
Ros is a founding partner of Acorn Governance Solutions, a consulting firm providing advice and leadership training in governance, culture, risk, compliance and business integrity and she lectures on these topics with UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Institute of Directors. Ros is also a director of Bank of Montreal (Ireland) plc and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
Prior to transitioning to a portfolio career, Ros enjoyed a highly successful executive career spanning almost 20 years working with two of Ireland’s largest and most-respected companies: CRH plc, where she was Head of Group Compliance & Ethics, and Smurfit Kappa Group plc.
Ros has first class honours business and Masters degrees from UCD, a professional diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School, is an associate of the Institute of Tax and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, having trained with PwC. She is also a graduate of the “Value Creation through Effective Boards” programme at Harvard Business School and is a Certified Bank Director, as designated by the Institute of Banking.
Furthermore, Ros is author of the book “Leading with Integrity – a Practical Guide to Business Ethics”, and is a regular contributor to news and print media on related topics.
Elaine Austin joins Pieta as Chief Executive Officer with a wealth of experience in leadership and management from her previous role as Group HR Chief Operating Officer in Bank of Ireland where she was responsible for delivering people and organisational change.
Last year, across 15 centres nationwide, Pieta provided 8,000 people with free face to face professional intervention and bereavement counselling, and this was further supported by the 24/7 crisis helpline. Speaking about her appointment, Elaine Austin said;
"I feel very privileged to be a part of this organisation and look forward to leading Pieta in the delivery of its vision - that in Ireland, suicide, self-harm and stigma is replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance"
Fergus Clancy, Chairman of Pieta, said; “On behalf of the Board of Pieta, I am delighted to welcome Elaine. Our ambition is to build on the already strong foundations of Pieta. We are confident that Elaine will provide strong leadership as the organisation enters the next phase of growth, building on the significant legacy fostered by Joan Freeman and Brian Higgins, and bringing its important services to as many people as possible.
Elaine is the CEO attends all board meetings.