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 ten members.



Members of the Board.


Dr. Mary Kelly was appointed Chairperson of the Board in August 2011.  She had been the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency since May 2002.  She holds a PhD in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, and an MBA from Dublin City University.  Mary previously worked with IBEC, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, where she was responsible for environmental policy, and before that in the pharmaceutical industry.  She was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2008 and has served on the Council of the Academy.


Conall Boland was appointed to the Board on the 1st January 2007. He was reappointed for a two year term until 31st December 2013 and he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Board on 30th May 2012. His appointment as an ordinary Board member and Deputy Chairperson has been renewed until 31st December 2018. He is a graduate in Civil Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin and holds a DEA in Civil Engineering from the ENS Cachan, France. He also holds a Masters Degree in Spatial Planning from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Prior to his appointment to the Board he was Technical Director with RPS Consulting Engineers. He is a chartered member of the Institution ofEngineers of Ireland. 


Paul Hyde (BSc. Arch, MA, MPlan, MRIAI, RIBA) was appointed to the Board in May, 2014 for a five year term. He was the managing partner of the Hyde Partnership, a multi disciplinary design and planning practice until his appointment to the Board. He holds degrees in both Architecture and Planning & Sustainable Development. A professional member of the RIAI, RIBA and IPI professional institutes, he has over 16 years of professional experience relating to the built environment and both terrestrial and coastal development and spatial planning. Paul has also attended a program at Harvard Business School in the area of effective corporate governance. He is currently undertaking an additional masters degree in Marine Spatial Planning. Prior to this appointment, in addition to his role in the Hyde Partnership he has held a number of committee memberships including; The Irish Planning Institute, Southern Branch and The Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, Southern Branch and he was a member of Cork Chamber of Commerce.


Philip Jones was appointed to the Board in May 2014, for a five year term.  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, and served as its President for two terms in 1999 – 2001.  Philip has 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, County Planner for Kildare County Council for 13 years, and worked with An Bord Pleanála since 1999, initially as Senior Planning Inspector and from 2007 as Assistant Director of Planning


Eugene Nixon was appointed to the Board in June 2017 for a five-year term. He has a Diploma in Analytical Chemistry (1986), an MSc in Environmental Science (1989) from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in Spatial Planning (2005) from Dublin Institute of Technology. He has worked as a technical/scientific Civil Servant since 1980 in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (and its successor departments) on the marine related issues as a Technician, Inspector and Senior Chemist. In 1998, he was seconded to the Marine Institute. From 2001 to 2005 he was appointed by the Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board (ALAB) as their first Inspector. Returning to the Marine Institute he worked collaboratively with a number of different Departments and State Agencies developing Marine Spatial Planning at a national and European level, preparing and implementing the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) and implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.


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.

Last modified: 12/04/2018