An Bord Pleanála


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

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 of Engineers of Ireland. 
Fionna O’ Regan was appointed to the Board for a five year period until 25th April 2016. She was reappointed for a one year term until 25th April, 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Science, both from UCC. Prior to her appointment to the Board she worked for over ten years with Fehily Timoney & Company, the past eight of which were spent as a Principal Engineer with the firm. Fionna previously worked with the Renewable Energy Information Office of the Irish Energy Centre, and prior to that with a renewable energy development company. Fionna has 15 years’ experience in renewable energy, principally in project development, planning and environmental impact assessment.  She is a chartered member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. 

Dr. Gabriel Dennison was appointed to the Board in May 2012. He is a civil engineer by background. In his career to date he has worked in Ireland and overseas in local government, consulting and industry. Most recently he was a founder director of Greenstar, the waste company, in 1999 and following his departure from that company in 2008 he was involved in renewable energy developments in Ireland and abroad as an advisor and investor. Dr. Dennison holds a Master's Degree and a PhD in Environmental Engineering and has business qualifications from the University of Ulster and the Harvard Business School. Dr. Dennison has been an Adjunct Professor at University College Dublin since 2011.

Paddy Keogh was appointed to the Board in May 2012. Prior to his appointment, Paddy practised as a Barrister specialising in Planning and Environmental Law and Property Law. In addition to his legal qualifications, he holds a Master's Degree in Regional and Urban Planning, an MA in Economics and a Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment Management. He has wide experience and an in-depth knowledge of the Irish planning system having previously worked as a professional Planner in a number of local authorities and as a Senior Planning Inspector with An Bord Pleanála. He is a member of the Irish Planning Institute and of the Irish Environmental Law Association.

Nicholas Mulcahy was appointed to the Board in May 2012. He is a Professional Member of the Irish Planning Institute, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. He holds a Master's Degree in Regional and Urban Planning (UCD) and a primary degree in Archaeology and Geography (UCC) from where he also received a diploma in Computer Science and Geographic Information Systems. His first 11 years as a professional planner were split between Cork City and Cork County Councils where he worked in both Development Management and Development Plan. He left Cork County Council to join McCutcheon Hogan Planning Consultants in 2001 and he was a founding Director of McCutcheon Mulcahy in 2004.

Michael Leahy was appointed to the Board in May 2012. He studied at NUI (UCD) and at the University of Virginia, USA and was awarded a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 1981 and a Master's Degree in Regional and Urban Planning in 1984. Having worked in private practice and in Sligo County Council he established his own firm in 1986 in Ennis. This firm, later Leahy & Conway Architects, engaged in a wide range of public and private sector projects. Mr. Leahy has experience in housing, leisure facilities, schools projects, healthcare projects, retail planning, one-off houses and industrial projects. He has also been extensively involved in the planning process as a planning consultant engaged in the production of Local Area Plans, Environmental Impact Assessments, Feasibility Studies and Planning Appeals. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland in 2011 and has been a member of the Irish Planning Institute since 1988.

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

Last modified: 27/01/2017