An Bord Pleanála

Board Members


The Planning and Development Act, 2000 provides for the appointment of a  Chairperson and other members of the Board. Board Members carry out their duties on a whole-time executive basis.

Method of appointment of Board Members.

The Chairperson is appointed by the Government from a list of candidates selected by an independent committee in accordance with section 105 of the 2000 Act, chaired by the President of the High Court. The Government is generally required to make the appointment from among not more than three persons selected by that committee and found by them to be suitable for appointment. The Chairperson of the Board normally holds office for seven years and may be re-appointed for a second or subsequent term of office provided he or she is Chairperson at the time of the re-appointment.

The Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended provides for the appointment of nine other members of the Board. Eight of the members are appointed by the Minister for Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government from among persons selected from four groups of organisations prescribed by regulations and representative of :

  • Professions or occupations that relate to physical planning, engineering and architecture. 
  • Organisations concerned with economic development, the promotion and carrying out of development, the   provision of  infrastructure or the development of land or otherwise connected  with the construction industry.
  • Organisations representative of local government,  farming and trade unions. 
  • Organisations representative of persons concerned with the  protection and preservation of the environment and of amenities/voluntary bodies and bodies having charitable objects /rural and local community development, the promotion of the Irish language or the promotion of heritage, the arts and culture/bodies representative of people with disabilities / bodies   representive of young people. 

The other member is appointed by the Minister from among persons who in the Minister's opinion have satisfactory experience, competence or qualifications as respects issues relating to the environment and sustainability. These members normally hold office for a term of five years and may be re-appointed for a second or subsequent term provided that the person concerned is an outgoing member at the time of the re-appointment. There are currently nine members.



Members of the Board.


Dave Walsh was appointed Chairperson of An Bord Pleanála for the period of seven years in October, 2018. He previously served as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, with primary responsibility for planning policy (including development and delivery of the National Planning Framework) and housing market and rental policy, with a key focus on coordinated implementation of the Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. Prior to this, Dave headed up the Department's Environment and Climate Division, leading Ireland's and the EU negotiations on climate change during Ireland's 2013 EU Presidency which ultimately led to the adoption of the Paris UN Climate Change Agreement in 2015. In a civil service career spanning 23 years in the Custom House, he also had policy responsibility for a wide range of areas, including national waste policy, environmental legislation and compliance with EU environmental law, spatial planning policy, franchise, and local government. A graduate of Trinity College with a Single Honours BA in the Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin), Dave also has a Higher Diploma in Education (TCD) and a Ms.C in Economic Policy (TCD/IPA).


Paul Hyde (BSc. Arch, MA, MPlan, MRIAI) was appointed to the Board in May 2014. He was appointed Deputy Chairperson of An Bord Pleanála in January 2019 for a further term. He was previously the managing partner of the Hyde Partnership, a multi-disciplinary design and planning practice. He also formerly served as a member of the Board of the Irish Marine Institute. Paul has a wide experience of administration and management as well as industry specific experience including implementing master plans, complex commercial design projects and managing varied private and semi public projects within the UK and Irish planning and construction sector. He has more than 20 years professional experience in a diversity of roles including practice manager, architect, planner, development consultant, project manager and advisor. He is a member of the RIAI and IPI professional institutes. He holds a Degree in Architecture (TCD), a Master's Degree in Planning (UCC) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Spatial Planning (UU). Paul has attended Harvard Business School in the area of effective corporate governance and completed a leadership program at the Institute of Public Administration.


Philip Jones was appointed to the Board in May 2014, for a five year term. This term was extended by the Minister for a further eighteen months until October 31st 2020. He is a professional town/spatial planner. He has a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCD, and a Diploma in Legal Studies from DIT. He is a Fellow of the Irish Planning Institute, having served on its national Council for over 22 years, and served as its President for two terms in 1999 – 2001. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Philip had 34 years' experience as a planner in a variety of public sector organisations, having served as Assistant Planner and then City Planner for Waterford City Council for 6 years (1980 – 1986), County Planner for Kildare County Council for 13 years (1986 – 1999), and worked with An Bord Pleanála from 1999, initially as Senior Planning Inspector and from 2007 to 2014 as Assistant Director of Planning.


Dr. Maria FitzGerald was appointed to the Board in July 2017 for a five-year term. She is a senior professional with expertise in the management and co-ordination of environmental and heritage inputs to a wide range of national infrastructure projects. Prior to her appointment, Maria was the Railway Order Co-ordinator with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for the New Metro North Project. Maria studied archaeology and history at UCD and graduated with a BA (1989) and MA in archaeology (1991). She furthered her archaeological studies at Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University where she subsequently completed a specialist MA (1994) and a PhD in archaeology (2000). More recently she completed a Professional Diploma in EIA and SEA Management at UCD (2010) and a BSc in Environmental Management at Sligo IT (2014).


Terry Prendergast was appointed to the Board in August 2017 for a five-year term. She is a professional planner and corporate member of the Irish Planning Institute. She has wide ranging professional and academic experience in Ireland and abroad. Her most recent role has been as Principal Planner with the Grangegorman Development Agency, in conjunction with lecturing in Planning with the Dublin Institute of Technology. She has previously been employed as an Inspector with An Bord Pleanála and has worked with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and a variety of planning authorities. She has been awarded a BSc in Environmental Economics from DIT, an M Phil in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Sustainable Development from DIT.


John Connolly has a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from UCC and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from NUIG. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland, and was a Director of the Irish Waste Management Association for 14 years. He was also a member of IBEC's Environmental Policy Committee and a former chair of its Resource Efficiency Working Group. He worked for over 30 years in Senior Management positions in Bord na Móna, most recently in the areas of infrastructure development and regulatory/policy affairs.


Terry O'Niadh was appointed to the Board of An Bord Pleanala with effect from the 4th September 2017. He has served as North Tipperary County Manager for 10 years (May 2000 - April 2010), six years as Kildare Assistant County Manager (April 1994 – April 2000) and eight years as Wicklow County Secretary, (June 1986 - April 1994). He was a Non Executive Director of the VHI, the North Tipperary Leader Partnership Company and a Member of the Audit Committee of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. He holds a MA Degree in Public Affairs and Political Communications (Dublin Institute of Technology), a BA Degree in Public Management (Institute of Public Administration), a Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction (Institute of Directors) and attended the Leadership Programme at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.



Michelle Fagan Dip Arch, B Arch Sc, MRIAI, was appointed to the board in February 2018. Michelle is a registered Architect with Grade 3 conservation accreditation. Prior to her appointment she was a founding director of FKL architects, an award winning architecture practice since 1998, and has been practicing Architecture in Germany and Ireland since graduating from Architecture in DIT in 1990. She has been involved in architectural research, exhibitions and has lectured nationally and internationally. Michelle previously taught in Architecture in DIT and in UCD. She has served on the RIAI council for 10 years including serving two years as RIAI president.


Stephen Bohan was appointed to the Board of An Bord Pleanála with effect from the 11th June 2018. His most recent role was Senior Engineer with Roughan & O'Donovan Consulting Engineers. He has worked as a Senior/Resident Engineer on numerous multi-million-euro civil engineering construction schemes throughout Ireland, including major roads & bridges infrastructure projects implemented by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and various Local Authorities. He has also worked on civil engineering projects in the UK, Australia and in the Middle East. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Quantity Surveying from the University of Central England and a BEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering from Ulster University. He also holds postgraduate diplomas in Environmental Engineering and in Computers for Engineers both from Trinity College Dublin and is a member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland.


Chris McGarry was appointed to the Board in February 2019. He is a member and former Chairman of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a member of the Irish Planning Institute. He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Environmental Planning, a Post Graduate Diploma in Town and Country Planning and a Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment Management, and has over 28 years professional planning experience in Ireland. Previous roles include: Head of Planning at the National Asset Management Agency, Head of Planning at Glenveagh Properties Plc, along with roles in planning consultancy. Chris has also occasionally lectured on planning law for the NUI Certificate in Architectural Professional Practice and Practical Experience. He has also served as a former Board member and Vice-Chair of Clúid Housing Association.

Last modified: 15/11/2019