Board of Directors

Liam Downey, Chairman
Liam Downey is a former Chief Executive Ireland of Becton Dickinson, a leading global medical technology company. He was Chairperson of the Health Service Executive, President of the Federation of Irish Employers, a trustee and member of the board of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association and a member of the Labour Relations Commission. He is a graduate of University College Dublin, a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel Development and a fellow of the Irish Management Institute.
John O'Dwyer,
Chief Executive
John O'Dwyer joined Vhi in 2012 from the international Dutch insurance group Achmea where he was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director with responsibility for the life, general and health businesses in Interamerican, the second biggest insurer in Greece. John has an extensive track record in financial services and in particular, the health insurance sector which included roles such as Managing Director of Friends First Life Assurance, Director of Operations at BUPA Ireland and Assistant Chief Executive with responsibility for Claims in Vhi. He was also non-executive Chairman of the Board of the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
Dean Holden
Dean Holden is an Independent Non Executive Director on the Board of the Vhi and the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Australia. He also Chairs a start up organisation in Aged Care in the UK.
In his executive career he was a member of Bupa’s global executive team and was responsible for the growth and development of its health insurance, aged care and health services businesses across Australia and New Zealand.
Throughout his Bupa career which spanned over 29 years, Dean led Bupa’s operations in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the USA, Denmark and Thailand. He held a range of senior roles including Group Financial Controller, Managing Director of Bupa’s Asia Pacific Division, Managing Director of Bupa’s International Division and International Markets Division.
Dean was instrumental in developing Bupa’s global growth and expansion activity, leading its entry to the Australian market through the acquisition of HBA and MBF, as well spearheading Bupa’s expansion into new markets in China and India.
As Managing Director of Bupa Australia and New Zealand , Dean led continued growth in Bupa’s largest health insurance business, two major acquisitions in the aged care and dental sectors and the establishment of the Bupa Visa Medical business.
Born and educated in the UK, Dean is a Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA), has completed studies with Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation, as well as the Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School in the US.
Joyce Brennan
Joyce Brennan is an actuary with more than 25 years' experience. She is an Executive Director with IPT, chairing boards of trustees of pension funds, to ensure excellence in governance, decision making and ongoing management of pension plans. Previous roles include Director with KPMG and Principal at Mercer. Joyce has worked as advisor to the Health Insurance Authority and to the Department of Health on the regulation of private health insurance, and she has chaired the health care committee of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. She has an MBA from UCD.
Celine Fitzgerald
Celine Fitzgerald joined the Board in 2010 , she is a management consultant providing services across a number of sectors. Between 2007 and 2012 she was CEO of an Irish-based, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company. She was recently appointed to the board of Ervia and has also held a number of senior roles in the telecommunications sector including Eircom and Vodafone.
Finbar Lennon
Finbar Lennon is a medical graduate of UCD and did his postgraduate surgical training in London, Edmonton (Canada) and Dublin. He worked as a consultant general surgeon in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda (1983-2012). From 2009 until 2012 he also worked in Beaumont and the Mater hospitals in Dublin as a speciality breast surgeon. He was Medical Director in Drogheda (1992-1998), Medical Advisor to the North Eastern Health Board (1997-2004) and a medical advisor to the Secretary General in Department of Health (2012-2014). He is currently an honorary lecturer in Surgery in UCD and participates in the undergraduate teaching programme. He is a member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and served on its Practice Development Committee (2012-2016).
Declan Moran
Declan Moran has a BSC in Computer Science and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries since 1994. He joined Vhi in 1997 from the life and pensions industry and was appointed to the Vhi Board of Directors in 2008. From November 2011 to July 2012, he served as Acting Chief Executive, Vhi. He has been responsible for the management of Vhi product portfolio and the development of new products and services.
Paul O'Faherty
Paul O'Faherty is an actuary and is a non-executive director of a number of companies in the financial services and investment areas. Until 2013 he was Chief Executive of Mercer Ireland and Chairman of Marsh McLennan Companies in Ireland. In his career as a consultant in Mercer, he advised the Department of Health for many years on health insurance matters. He is a Fellow and a past President of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. He is also a past Chairman of the Irish Association of Pension Funds.
Greg Sparks
Greg Sparks is a former partner of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. In addition to being on the Board of Headstrong, Greg holds a number of Board appointments in the private sector both domestically and internationally, including Digicel and Joe Duffy Motors. Greg has served on the Boards of The Irish Times, Eircom, and chaired the Coombe Hospital for a number of years.
Brian Walsh
Brian joined Vhi in November 2014 as Finance Director and was appointed to the Board in March 2015. He joined from DPI Specialty Foods Inc, Los Angeles a division of Ornua, where he was divisional Chief Financial Officer. DPI is one of the largest specialty food sales, marketing and logistics providers in the USA, operating 8 distribution centres with over 1,800 employees and annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. Previously, he held Board and senior executive roles in the international financial services, telecommunications and FMCG industries in Europe and the United States with leading companies including Citibank, Deutsche Telekom and eir. Brian is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having qualified with PwC (formerly Coopers & Lybrand).