Meet the Speakers

Rose O’Donovan

Rose O’Donovan Rose O’Donovan has been Editor of AGRA FACTS since March 2010, having previously served as Deputy Editor on the agricultural publication for nearly three years. Prior to working as a journalist, she dealt with international relations on the EU satellite navigation programme at the Galileo Joint Undertaking. Following the completion of a Master of Science at University College Cork (Ireland), Rose moved to Brussels in 2004 to work as an intern in the Cabinet of former European Parliament President, Pat Cox. Hailing from a farming background in West Cork, Rose has a keen interest in the evolution of Irish & European agricultural & trade policy and regularly appears as a moderator in the Brussels & Dublin conference circuit.

Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine

John Murray

John Murray has recently been appointed as Director of Meat, Food & Beverage Sectors with Bord Bia – the Irish Food Board. As Sector Director, he has responsibility to drive strategy development and successful business growth supports and services, at a sectoral level. He joined from Kerry Group where he held director roles in commercial sales and strategy development, over an eight year period. Prior to returning to Ireland in 2014 from the UK, John worked in dairy ingredients commercial roles with Ornua (formally the Irish Dairy Board). He has experience in meat retail buying in the Irish market, aswell as PR & public education with an Irish NGO.

Carrie Ruxton

Carrie Ruxton PhD is a consultant dietitian and health writer who works across many different sectors
in the food industry including fruit juice, eggs, supplements, probiotics, tea and snacks. For several years, she served on the Meat Advisory Panel, a project funded by the UK meat industry to communicate the science on red meat, diet and health. Carrie appears regularly in print media and on radio, as well as publishing academic articles.

Patrick Wall

Dr Patrick Wall is Professor of Public Health in University College Dublin (UCD), and a member of the UCD Institute for Food and Health. His research areas include One Health, food safety, nutrition and managing lifestyle related disease through behavioural change. In UCD, he teaches undergraduate and postgraduate Medical students and Veterinary students and students of Agricultural Science. He was the first Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, and contributed to the setting up of this science based consumer protection agency created in response to the BSE crisis. He was a founder member of management board, and the second Chairperson, of the European Food Safety Authority.

Eleanor Murphy

Dr. Eleanor Murphy is the Sustainable Data and Analytics Manager for the Origin Green Programme in
Bord Bia. Eleanor’s PhD focused on analysing and quantifying freshwater consumption in livestock production in Ireland. She completed the first study to map the life cycle of water in dairy beef and lamb production in Ireland. Eleanor has published several scientific papers and presented at national and international conferences on topics related to water and carbon efficiency in livestock food production systems. Since joining Bord Bia Eleanor has launched a farm sustainability report for all members of the sustainable beef and dairy schemes, assisting farmers in improving their awareness of the environmental impact of their beef and dairy production.

Rupert Claxton

Rupert has worked as a strategy consultant in the food sector since joining Gira in 2003, with a high level of specialisation in global meat and livestock markets. He analyses the evolving nature of international meat demand and the supply systems that provide it.

For 18 years Rupert has produced the Asian sector of the annual Gira Meat Club report, and for the last 10 managed the Gira Asian Meat Club. He also helped produce Gira’s 2018 Long Term Global Meat report. In the last year he has been actively researching developments in the global pork supply chain as ASF spreads through key markets and the resultant issues for producers and traders, and more widely the disruption of Covid-19 across the meat sector.

Thia Hennessy

Professor Thia Hennessy, Head of School, Head of the Department of Food Business and Development and Chair of Agri-Food Economics at Cork University Business School.

Her research interests include the sustainable development of the agri-food sector with a particular interest in the impact of public policy on the farm sector. Thia is a member of a number of international research consortia examining issues such as the economic performance of farms, the sustainability of food production and the impact of climate change on agriculture. She has published widely in both the academic literature and mainstream media. Prior to joining UCC in September 2016, Thia was employed by Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority of Ireland where she managed the agricultural and environmental economic research programme.

Michael Scannell

Michael Scannell is Deputy Director General in DG AGRI with responsibility for markets, audits and legal and international issues. He has held a wide range of posts over a thirty year career in the European Commission, specializing in food safety and animal health, agriculture, trade, audit and international issues. This included seven years in the cabinet of the Commissioners for Employment and for Health and Food Safety before joining DG SANTE as a Head of Unit in 2002. He went on to serve in DG SANTE as Director for Audits and Inspections from 2010 to 2016 and subsequently for International Relations until 2018. He then joined DG AGRI as Director for Markets before taking up his current position in 2020.

Sinead McPhillips

Sinéad leads on agri-food sectoral policy and strategy development in Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Her responsibilities include: policy leadership in respect of the meat and dairy sectors; dairy product controls and certification; food and drinks industry development; agri-food sectoral and strategic planning; economic analysis to inform policy making; and input to international agricultural policy and development co-operation. Sinéad previous served as the Department’s Chief Economist. Her qualifications include a first class honours Masters degree in Economic Science from University College Dublin, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration.

Philip Carroll

Philip Carroll is Chairperson of Meat Industry Ireland, a trade association within Ibec representing primary meat processors. He is also Chairman of Food Drink Ireland, which represents a range of policy areas common to Ireland’s food and drink sectors. He previously served for many years in various roles as Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine where he was responsible for a range of policy areas including, meat policy, milk policy, animal health and welfare and Corporate Affairs.