Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government

Eoghan Murphy TD was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in June 2017 by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Prior to that he served as Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, with special responsibility for Financial Services, eGovernment and Public Procurement.
He is a member of Fine Gael and represents the constituency of Dublin Bay South. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011, and was subsequently re-elected in 2016. Between 2009 and 2011 he served as a Councillor on Dublin City Council for the Pembroke-Rathmines ward.
Before his appointment as Minister of State, Eoghan served on the Banking Inquiry, the Public Accounts Committee, the Dáil Reform Committee, as Head of the Oireachtas delegation to the OSCE, and as Chairperson of the Fine Gael Transport, Tourism and Sport Committee. He is currently a member of the Fine Gael National Executive.
Prior to entering politics, Eoghan worked in the area of international arms control, and was based in London, Geneva and Vienna, working at various times for NGOs and the UN. He spent two years as speechwriter and advisor to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation in Vienna. The political and economic crisis that began in 2008 provoked Eoghan to return home and get involved in politics.
Eoghan went to school at Star of the Sea and St. Michael’s College, Dublin. He graduated from UCD with a first class honours degree in English and Philosophy. He then achieved an MA in International relations at King’s College, UCL. In 2013, he was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship to the US.
In his spare time Eoghan likes reading biographies, running and watching sport.

Keith Lowe, Chief Executive, Douglas Newman Good Group

Keith Lowe is the Chief Executive of the Douglas Newman Good Group and has over 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the property industry. After joining DNG in 1984, Keith worked in many branches throughout the network and took over the role of Chief Executive of the Group in 2001. He has presided over the expansion of the group to include a nationwide franchise network. Keith has particular expertise in the new homes and resale sectors of the residential property market and he has an extensive list of clients which include developers, financial institutions, international funds and institutional clients.

Áine Myler, Director General, Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

Áine Myler is the Director General of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, the largest body representing professionals in the property, land and construction sectors in Ireland. A chartered surveyor by profession, and Fellow of the Society, she previously spent 25 years working as a property consultant in commercial services, representing a diverse range of clients from Local Authorities, Charities, Banks, and Private and Corporate business. Áine served as President of the Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute from 2009 to 2010 and was part of the implementation team which oversaw the successful merger with SCS in 2011. She holds a Masters Degree in Planning & Development Economics.

John O’Connor, CEO, Housing Agency

John is the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Agency, which is a statutory body set up under the aegis of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG). The Agency was established to provide local authorities and approved housing bodies with high quality advice and support on the delivery of housing and housing services. The Agency focuses on housing management issues, delivery of technical and regeneration services (incl. management of the pyrite remediation scheme) and research and policy advice. It also acts as interim Regulator for the approved housing body sector. The Agency is working closely with the DHPLG to oversee the delivery of Rebuilding Ireland the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. John is a structural engineer and has a wide range of experience in housing across both the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in the development, provision and direct delivery of housing, particularly in the areas of social housing, affordable housing and regeneration projects. John sits on a number of national groups including the National Steering Group for the Review of Rent Supplement and recently chaired the Advisory Group for Government on Unfinished Housing Developments. John was previously the Chief Executive of the Affordable Homes Partnership and prior to that Executive Manager with Dublin City Council’s Housing Department.

Richard Barrett, Founder, Bartra Capital

Richard Barrett is a double graduate in economics and law, holds a Masters Degree in Economics as well as being a Barrister. He co-founded and owned 50% of aglobal real estate company employing over 1,000 professionals with operations in Ireland, UK, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Russia and China, where it was one of the leading foreign developers of commercial real estate, holding > US$ 2bn of assets. He listed companies on the London Stock Exchange, the Singapore Stock Exchange

and London’s Alternative Investment Market. He set up several Investment Fund Management companies, including an RMB Fund in China.He was Chairman of a company specializing in sustainable technologies such as renewable energy, wind farms (including the world’s second largest offshore wind farm), CHP, grey water, ice bank storage, pellet burning plants and hydrogen.He specialized in the funding and tax structuring of purchases and investments, with particular emphasis on the use of Ground Rents as a non bank funded purchase device for land purchase; Public Procurement Tendering for complex operational real estate; the funding of railways (the Luas extension in Dublin, the Northern Line Tube extension in London and the Light Rail CBD in Qingdao, China); the optimal use of Letters of Credit in construction financing and serial tax based financing as well as the adept use of more conventional funding structures such as Vendor Finance.Richard is a Senior Research Fellow of the Asian Competitiveness Institute at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy which is a constituent part of the National University of Singapore.Richard has been a member of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the Global Irish Forum and was Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007.He has lectured and given speeches to a wide variety of technical, professional and economic fora such as Trinity College Dublin, King’s Inns Dublin, Harvard University, Esade Barcelona, Hong Kong University, Fudan University Shanghai, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institute of Architects, Dublin City University, Professional Associations, UN Sustainability Conference, The Economist Conference HK and the International Bar Association as well as wider audiences on radio in the Thomas Davis Series, which later was published in book format. He authored a Chapter in the IMF Study on the “Lessons Asian Economies could learn from the 2007-2012 Financial Crisis in the West”Richard speaks Irish, English, French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese

Karl Deeter, Compliance Manager, Irish Mortgage Brokers

Karl Deeter is the Compliance Manager (PCF 12) at Irish Mortgage Brokers, a company he co-founded in 2004. He is also the head of customer advice in Trinity Accountants and Financial Advisors to a firm of accountants and auditors. He is the co-author of ‘This book is worth €25,000’ which came out in September 2017 by Gill Books. Karl writes two national weekly columns on finance, one for the Sun on Sunday and the other for the Sunday Business Post, in the past he was co-contributor to a segment on RTE Radio 1 called ‘Talking Money’ which was released as a book in 2015. He appears on all national radio and television stations regularly while also writing periodically for several other national newspapers. His focus of analysis is in credit, compliance and residential property.

John Moran, Former Secretary General, Department of Finance

John Moran is a member of the board of the European Investment Bank and Founder and Chief Executive of RHH International, a thought-leadership consulting and social entrepreneurship company. John is widely recognised as a trusted strategic advisor, a network builder, and a careful analyser of macro-trends, especially future directions for economic, regional and spatial development. He is passionate about sectors such as the sharing economy, transport, financial andinvestment services. His work has been acknowledged at home in Ireland and internationally, most recently, by the decision of the President of the French Republic to bestow on him the rank of “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merit” (Knight of the Order of Merit).

Prior to establishing RHH International, John served as Secretary General at Ireland’s Department of Finance. During that time, he was instrumental in helping guide Ireland’s post-crisis economic recovery, drove the restructuring of the Irish banking sector and the disposal of non-core assets. He also played a pivotal role in influencing Europe’s move towards greater non-bank financing and a recognition of the need for an EU capital markets union. He has worked in a wide variety of other roles in aviation finance, in banking and capital markets, as a New York and Irish lawyer and as a banking supervisor at the Central Bank of Ireland. He studied law, taxation and financial mathematics at University College Dublin, University of Pennsylvania and Dublin City University. At 21 years, he became one of theyoungest persons to be called to the Bar of the State of New York. As a social entrepreneur John is equally passionate that he and RHH support a number of not-for-profit organisations drawn from interconnected spheres. He has helped establish and serves as Chair of Narrative 4 Europe (education and empathy). He is Chair of the Hunt Museum in Limerick and is involved in the restoration in Cordes-sur-Ciel of a 13th Century medieval home classified as a National Monument by the French government (culture and arts) and is an active member of the Limerick Economic Forum and a board member of the Foundation building the new municipal library in Dublin’s North inner-city (regional and urban development). For his on-going work in Limerick, he was awarded the 2016 President’s Award by Limerick Chamber.

Frank McDonald, Chair of Temple Bar Residents and former Environment Editor, The Irish Times


Frank McDonald was born in Dublin in 1950 and educated at St Vincent’s CBS, Glasnevin, and University College Dublin, where he graduated in 1971 with a BA in history and politics. He started his journalistic career shortly afterwards as freelance New York correspondent for the Irish Press, subsequently becoming a sub-editor and reporter for the paper before joining The Irish Times in 1979. He was its Environment Editor from 2000 to his ‘retirement’ in 2015 and also author of several books including The Destruction of Dublin (1985), Saving the City (1989) and The Construction of Dublin (2000) and joint author with Peigín Doyle of Ireland’s Earthen Houses (1997), with James Nix of Chaos at the Crossroads (2005), which documented the environmental destruction of Ireland during the boom years, and with Kathy Sheridan of The Builders (2008), profiling the developers and others involved in the so-called Celtic Tiger’s casino culture. He has also reported on UN climate change conferences since 1995, including Copenhagen, Cancún and Durban. A regular contributor to radio and television programmes, he won the Outstanding Work in Irish Journalism award in 1979 for a series of articles in >he Irish Times entitled “Dublin: What went wrong?” as well as the Lord Mayor’s Millennium Medal (1988) for highlighting good contemporary architecture in the city, the Chartered Institute of Transport Journalist of the Year (1998), two ESB National Media Awards (1999 and 2003), a Lord Mayor’s Award (2003) and the Green Leader Award (2008). Conferred with an Honorary DPhil by Dublin Institute of Technology in 2006, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 2010, an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2011 and an honorary life member of the National Union of Journalisrs in 2014. He was also a Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, in 2008, and a founder member of the Academy of Urbanism of Great Britain and Ireland. He has been a resident of the Temple Bar area of Dublin since 1995 and is chair of Temple Bar Residents.

Maoiliosa Reynolds, Architect and Property Commentator

Maoilíosa Reynolds is a registered architect with +25 years experience in Ireland, UK and USA in project management, conservation, urban design and developer-led housing. Mel has lectured on property development, procurement and professional practice and has presented papers on housing policy, apartment standards and Building Control costs. He has published articles and media appearances on the subject of housing policy. Recent Joint Oireachtas Committee submissions include papers on building control and costs in the residential sector and the re-use of vacant buildings- he was Session Chair at the recent PMVT“Empty Homes”conference in March. Mel was a Visual Artists Ireland board member for 12 years and a Heritage Council’s Conservation and Planning Consultants board member for 2 years. He established his own practice in 2008 and holds a masters in urban and building conservation, a diploma in project management and is a Certified Passive House Designer.

Hubert Fitzpatrick, Director, Construction Industry Federation

Hubert Fitzpatrick is a Director of the Construction Industry Federation with a brief including Development, Housing and Planning Services, Taxation Investment and Public Spending, Financing / Banking, and Regulation including Registration of Builders. He is also Director of the Irish Home Builders Association which represents the interest of house builders countrywide. Prior to joining the CIF, Hubert worked in Project Procurement & Management and Dispute Resolution with a major law firm and has held senior management positions in a number of local authorities throughout the country.

Niall Cussen, Chief Planning Officer, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Niall is the Chief Planning Adviser at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and leads the Department’s Forward Planning Section which is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategic national planning and development policy. Appointed in July 2014, Niall subsequently developed and now leads a new professional and multi-disciplinary planning team. This team is currently engaged in initiatives including the preparation of Ireland 2040, the National Planning Framework, advising the Minister for Housing and Planning in his statutory role in the local authority development plan and strategic development zone processes, developing award winning national on-line planning and spatial data information systems such as www.myplan.ie and in shaping the broader legislative and policy framework for planning, including guidelines and directives issued by the Minister under Sections 28 and 29 of the Planning Act. As Chief Planner, Niall also plays key roles in driving and shaping relevant wider Departmental and Governmental initiatives such as the Action Programme on Housing and Homelessness – Rebuilding Ireland and the Action Programme on Unfinished Housing Developments. Prior to joining the Department in 2000, Niall developed a broad range of planning and development experience working for local authorities such as Clare, Meath and Dublin City and An Bord Pleanála. Niall holds qualifications in economics and geography, regional and urban planning and environmental engineering from Maynooth University, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin respectively and is a member and past President of the Irish Planning Institute.

James Dearsley, Co-founder, PropTech Consult and global commentator on real estate technology

James Dearsley is a global commentator and keynote speaker on the subject of real estate technology and was recently voted the most influential person in PropTech by mortgage lending and investing marketplace, LendInvest. Having spent 15 years working in both UK and International property markets, James is the Co-Founder of PropTech Consult, a firm that specialises in helping global corporations and smaller, more localised start ups, understand the digital transformation in the real estate sector.

John-Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive, Threshold

John-Mark McCafferty is Chief Executive with Threshold, the National Housing Charity, whose aim is to prevent homelessness through advice, tenancy protection and advocacy. He took up this position in January 2017. Prior to Threshold John-Mark was Head of Social Justice and Policy with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, working on policies including income, utilities policy, child poverty, financial inclusion, housing and sustainable development. John-Mark also represented SVP during Social Partnership programmes and was a National Economic and Social Council (NESC) member. He holds a Masters in Development Studies from UCD, is a Geography graduate from Glasgow University and worked for the Combat Poverty Agency in Ireland and also Scottish Homes, the national social housing agency.

Caren Gallagher, Head of Communications and Research, Residential Tenancies Board

Caren Gallagher is Head of Communications and Research with the Residential Tenancies Board aims to support and develop a well functioning rental sector that is fair, accessible and beneficial to all. She has responsibility for development and management of the RTB Communications and Research programme. A key focus of the team is to improve access to information for tenants and landlords and expand education, research and data intelligence opportunities to influence change and increase awareness of the rental sector. Prior to joining the RTB in March 2017, Caren was Director of Policy with the Irish Council for Social Housing. She has an Honours degree in Geography from Queen University, Belfast and an MPhil examining urban social exclusion from Dublin Institute of Technology as well as a Professional Certificate in Governance.

William Nowlan (Bill) Founder and Chair, WK Property

William Nowlan (Bill) has more than 40 years’ experience investing in Irish commercial property. Prior to forming WK Nowlan & Associates (now WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisors) in 1996, he was Head of Property Investment at Irish Life Assurance plc from 1985 to 1995. He was a member of the Committee of

Management of IPUT (Irish Property Unit Trust, one of the largest institutional property investors in Ireland) from 1997 to 2007. He is a member of the Irish Town Planning Institute, a fellow the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a former Chairman of both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and the RoyalInstitute of Chartered Surveyors Europe.Bill was also a member of the RICSGoverning Council in London and was the founding Chairman of the Irish Property Facilities Managers Association. He was also Visiting Professor in the University of Ulster and lecturer in Town Planning at University College Dublin. Bill has been reading for a PHD for the past four years at University of Ulster with a focus on institutional equity funding of Social and Affordable Housing. Bill has recently established the DAD (Dublin Artisan Dwelling) Fund which has acquired 130 apartments at Bancroft Tallaght, part of which will be leased to social and affordable tenants to form a sustainable mixed tenure community. Bill assembled and led the Irish REITs Forum, a voluntary body of leading property industry practitioners and shareholders who came together in January 2011 to promote the introduction of REITs to Ireland that influenced the introduction of the Irish REIT legislation in early 2013. Bill is Senior Consultant to the Board of Hibernia REIT

Michael Walsh, Head of Property & Construction, ByrneWallace, Law Firm

Michael is the head of the Property & Construction at ByrneWallace and is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading real estate lawyers. A partner with ByrneWallace for over 17 years, Michael is an accomplished practitioner with deep and broad experience in real estate practice. He has particular expertise advising clients in the development, investment acquisition and disposal, residential, hotel, office and warehousing/logistics sectors. Michael is a regular speaker at the Law Society’s continuing professional development and diploma programmes and he is a contributing author to the Law Society’s Complex Conveyancing manual. He is also member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Committee.

Donall O’Shea, Head of Real Estate Lending, AIB

Donall has over 20 years banking experience in the Dublin and London Markets. Between 2011 and 2016 he held the positions of Head of Enterprise Lending Services and Head of Corporate FSG within AIB’s restructuring division. He has previously held the positions of Head of Corporate Banking Britain and International within AIB. He was appointed Head of Real Estate Finance in 2016.

Neil Dunne, Senior Associate, ByrneWallace, Law Firm

With over 8 years’ experience as a Property Lawyer, Neil Dunne has extensive experience advising on all aspects of real estate and property related transactions. Neil has particular expertise advising on residential property development and has acted for some of Ireland’s leading property developers across a broad range of developments, from single digit to large scale residential and mixed usedevelopments, advising on all aspects of the transaction from site assembly to scheme set up, unit sales to asset management. Neil also has experience advising on commercial property related transactions and clients have included property receivers, banks and state bodies. Neil is a tutor on the Law Society’s continuing professional development and diploma programmes

Alex Brett, Executive Director, Maplewood Residential

Alex has been an Executive Director of Maplewood Residential for the past 13 years. Maplewood has a long tradition of building houses in Dublin having completed in excess of 6,000 houses over a 30-year period. The business is currently building new homes in Dublin 24 (Dodderbrook) and in Mount Merrion (Knockrabro). Prior to that Alex was a senior director with Lombard & Ulster Bank, a subsidiary of RBSwhich specialised in housing development and asset finance. He worked there for

14 years holding the role as Chief Executive for 5 years before joining Maplewood. Alex has extensive experience in the Irish, UK and Eastern European property markets. He has a master’s degree in business and civil engineering and was an officer in the Irish Army for 7 years.

Kristina Knauf, Senior Project Leader, MVRDV, Netherlands

Kristina Knauf (Sömmerda 1982), is a senior project leader urbanist at MVRDV, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She studied architecture at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany and the ETSA Madrid, Spain, and graduated in February 2008 with a focus on urbanism. Kristina has vast experience in strategic urban design and planning, ranging from neighbourhood scale and public space interventions to holistic, large scale mixed use urban development proposals in an international context. She is experienced in working in multidisciplinary teams and in developing design proposals within participatory processes.