Our Team & Board

Team Members

Dr Sheila Gilheany | Chief Executive Officer

Sheila has a background in physics and has extensive experience in policy development and advocacy. She has led a range of not-for-profit organisations in science, education, public engagement and social enterprise. Most recently she was the national manager for the Institute of Physics in Ireland where she developed strong policy positions on issues around research funding, facilities, gender and access to physics at all levels. Previously she was Director of the Irish Centre for Talented Youth at Dublin City University for 11 years, bringing courses and services for young people with exceptional academic ability right across Ireland. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Specialisterne Ireland an organisation which supports the employment of people with autism. She has a BSc Hons in physics and a PhD in astrophysics from Queen’s University Belfast.



Jennifer Hough | Head of Policy and Advocacy

Jennifer has 15 years of experience in the areas of journalism and communications and most recently spent two and half years working in policy, research and communications in Oberstown Children Detention Campus, Ireland’s national facility for young offenders. There she was responsible for the development of new policy, and for the implementation of the communications and engagement strategy, increasing public and media awareness and understanding of the role and work of Oberstown.  She also designed and delivered an impactful data research project, Characteristics of Young People in Detention, which has helped to reframe the conversation around youth justice in the media and in the wider public arena.


As a journalist,  Jennifer worked in the UK, Canada and Ireland primarily covering social justice issues. She has won three media awards for her work and has been published in papers such as the Irish Times, the Toronto Star, The National Post and Irish Examiner. Jennifer has a first class Master’s degrees in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and in Child and Family Law from University College Cork.



Conor Keane | Communications officer

For media queries, contact +353 87 995 0186 or email:


Board Of Directors

Alcohol Action Ireland has a Board comprising not more than 12 members who provide oversight to its activities. The current Board of Alcohol Action Ireland comprises:

  • Catherine Brogan, President, Mental Health Europe and formerly deputy CEO Mental Health Ireland
  • Pat Cahill, former President ASTI
  • Aidan Connaughton, Chartered accountant, former partner and head of risk, Grant Thornton
  • Paddy Creedon, Recovery Advocate
  • Michael Foy, Head of Finance, Commission for Communications Regulation
  • Prof Jo-Hanna Ivers, Associate Professor, Addiction: Public Health & Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin
  • Prof Frank Murray (Chair) Consultant in Hepatology & Gastroenterology. M.B., B.Ch. B.A.O., M.D., F.R.C.P.I., F.R.C.P. (Ed)
  • Dr Mary O’Mahony, Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Medical Officer of Heath, HSE South
  • Dr Colin O’Driscoll – Clinical Lead, HSE Mid-West Addiction Services
  • Dr Bobby Smyth (Vice Chair), Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Anita Whyte, Programme Manager for the National Clinical Programme for Dual Diagnosis