Who we are & our board

Executive Director – Miriam Forde

Miriam is responsible for the operational management and along with the board, for the strategic direction of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association. Miriam’s role is to devise and implement campaigns to increase awareness, provide support and information resources for members and the general public, manage communications and develop partnerships with health organisations and corporate partners.

Miriam has an extensive commercial and non-profit management background and has held senior executive roles with national and international charities in the medical, health and international development sectors in Ireland and the UK. As former Head of CUH (Cork University Hospital) Charity, Miriam and her team provided world-class patient care through donations and private philanthropy to deliver a wide range of life-changing equipment, facilities and services to over 1.5 million people in Munster. Miriam also serves as a voluntary Trustee on the board of the EFAPH and Haemochromatosis International, representing haemochromatosis patients in Europe and internationally. You can contact Miriam on [email protected] or call (01) 8735911

Honorary Lifetime President – Margaret Mullett

Margaret Mullett worked as a Biology and Chemistry teacher in Dublin. She became passionate about raising awareness of haemochromatosis after her husband, George’s death. Very sadly and all within six weeks, George was diagnosed with haemochromatosis and died awaiting a heart transplant in the Mater Hospital in Dublin. George’s diagnosis came too late. After George’s passing, coincidentally Margaret too was diagnosed with haemochromatosis and so were her five adult children. George saved their lives, which is why Margaret has made it her life’s work to promote early diagnosis of the condition.

For over 21 years, Margaret’s mission has been to ensure that no one goes undiagnosed or untreated with haemochromatosis. As a voluntary Board Member and former Chair of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association, Margaret continues to work with the board to help raise awareness of Ireland’s most common genetic disorder, providing support and information for people with haemochromatosis and their families.  

Chair – Dr. Maurice Manning

Dr Maurice Manning is Chancellor of the National University of Ireland since 2009 and has been a member of the NUI Senate for 27 years. Dr. Manning spent much of his academic career in the Department of Politics at UCD where he established a reputation for his teaching, his closeness to students and his publications. Dr Manning has served in both Dáil and Seanad Éireann. During that time he was a member of the New Ireland Forum, and the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body. He was both leader of Seanad Éireann and Leader of the Opposition in that House. Maurice Manning has also been President of the Irish Human Rights Commission and was Chair of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions. Maurice has been involved with the Irish Haemochromatosis Association for many years, since he was diagnosed with haemochromatosis and continues to passionately advocate for patients in his role as Chair.

Secretary – Paul Cashman-Roberts

Paul Cashman-Roberts is Current Investment Funds Company Secretary at Matheson Law firm in Dublin. Paul has a Master of Law from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in Corporate Governance from the University of Ulster and a Diploma in International Investment Funds Services from UCD. Paul was former Company Secretary with KPMG Ireland. Paul is also a Member of the Dublin Rugby team, the Emerald Warriors and is the Editor of the Trinity Postgraduate Review Journal. Paul was recently diagnosed with haemochromatosis at the age of 25 and since then has been passionate about raising awareness of Ireland’s most common genetic disorder.

Treasurer – Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan is a long-standing volunteer and member of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association. Brendan is a former teacher in Business and Accounting and Deputy Principal of CBS Synge Street Secondary School in Dublin. Brendan also served as Lecturer and Supervisor on the Professional Masters in Education (PME) in Trinity College Dublin and was a Visiting Lecturer at Dublin City University on the Professional Masters of Education programme. Brendan provides an excellent voluntary financial and administration service for our charity, preparing financial reports and providing governance expertise and over-sight of donations, funding and membership subscription services.

Leonora Mullett – Board Member

Leonora Mullett is a Partner in the Planning and Environmental Department in Philip Lee Solicitors in Dublin. Leonora has extensive knowledge of planning and environmental law, local government law, litigation, dispute resolution and public law, with significant experience in representing State sector bodies including An Bord Pleánala, the Housing Agency and the Health Service Executive. Prior to joining Philip Lee in 2019, Leonora was legal advisor to Dublin City Council. Leonora has been a volunteer and a voluntary board member for a number of years, working closely with other board members with a shared passion in raising further awareness of haemochromatosis in Ireland and internationally.

Frank McHugh – Board Member

Frank McHugh has been an active volunteer and supporter of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association for many years, organising events, information meetings and awareness campaigns as part of World Haemochromatosis Awareness Week activities for the organisation. Frank officially joined the board as a voluntary member in 2018. Frank is originally from Kerry and has lived in Cork for many years and is retired from the pharmaceutical sector after 40 years of service. Frank is a keen traditional Irish music player and educator and is very active in Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Glanmire, Co. Cork.

Philip Maree – Board Member

Philip Maree has been a volunteer for the Irish Haemochromatosis Association over many years, organising Awareness Days in Sligo, doing regional and national media interviews on radio and press interviews on an annual basis. Philip is a fluent Irish speaker and also promotes awareness of haemochromatosis through Irish language media. Philip is a retired Garda Sergeant and has worked internationally with the UN in Cyprus. He is active in the GAA and has participated in many cross-border projects. Philip is currently Service Lead with Moving Parents and Children Together and the Alcohol Forum.

Brian Keegan – Board Member

Brian is an entrepreneur from Co. Kildare and is founding President of the Entrepreneurs Organisation Ireland, a voluntary organisation with over 14,000 members globally. Brian completed the Entrepreneurial Masters Programme at MIT in Boston and holds a Diploma in Executive Coaching with the Irish Management Institute (IMI). Brian also holds a Diploma in Executive Coaching with the IMI, is a Fellow at the Institute of Directors, a Certified NLP partitioner and an Inner Game and Scaling Up Coach.

Brian has spoken at Cambridge University, IOD, Lismullen Institute, Sports Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the American Embassy and various other institutes on Entrepreneurship. After selling his former company, Brian spends his time helping a small number of Irish and international companies passionate about growing and exiting their companies. Brian is a father of 4 and a husband to 1 and in his spare time, he rears cattle. Brian has been an active volunteer with the Irish Haemochromatosis Association for a number of years.

Philip Dunne – Board Member

Philip Dunne is Director of Operational Excellence Communications at Novartis. He is a storyteller, influencer, collaborator, culture changer, and innovator who has worked across a range of dynamic industries. He brings an excellent 20-year performance history, working at the nexus of commercial thinking and best-practice corporate communications to the work of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association. Philip has helped CEO’s, pharma leaders, plant directors, marketers, accountants and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Philip keeps a close watch on external trends and new practices, so he can continually improve and ensure his communications are fit for the future. A Kildare native who now lives in Sandyford, Philip enjoys spending time with his wife and two-family dogs, enjoying every sort of outdoor sports activity and discovering the latest trend-setting podcasts.

David Beggy – Board Member

David Beggy owns and manages his company, Dipetane. David has been an active volunteer and member of the Irish Haemochromatosis Association for several years, before joining the board in 2021. David is a well-known Irish sports person and is a household name, winning two All-Ireland Senior Football Championships in 1987 and 1988. He also received two All Stars while playing with Meath and while playing Rugby with Leinster. The GAA All Stars Awards (often known simply as the All Stars) are awarded annually to the best player in each of the 15 playing positions in Gaelic football and Hurling. The awards are considered the most coveted sporting award scheme in Ireland. David claims to have raced against a greyhound in Shelbourne Park for charity and won!