More speakers to be announced

Conor Beirne

Keane Murray Curran Veterinary

Conor Beirne qualified from UCD in 1998 and worked in a number of different large animal practices in Ireland until 2012 when he completed a full time MBA at UCD Smurfit Business School. In 2013 he went to work for Almarai in Saudi Arabia as Senior Vet. After two years he returned to Ireland to work as Senior Vet for Dairymaster. In 2015/2016 he completed the Graduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health. In the spring of 2016 he returned to large animal practice in the West of Ireland but also continued to work on dairy projects in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He is currently working in large animal practice in Loughrea, Co Galway with Keane, Murray and Curran Veterinary. In his spare time he farms with his father in Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

Damien Barrett


Damien Barrett is a 1996 UCD veterinary graduate. He is currently superintending veterinary inspector in the Surveillance, ABP and TSE (SAT) division in the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). Damien is also currently responsible for the implementation of the Dept’s Animal Health Surveillance strategy, the TSE surveillance programme (for BSE and Scrapie) and management of the One Health scientific support team. Last year, he coordinated DAFM’s position in the Animal Health Law negotiations. Prior to joining SAT, he was a research officer in Sligo RVL.
Damien is a previous committee member and chair of CAVI, and a board member of the European College of Bovine Herd Health Management (ECBHM). He is currently chairman of AHI’s Technical Working Group on BVD. He is a member of the executive committee of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (SVEPM), and chairs the local organising committee for SVEPM 2020 which is to take place in Westport in March 2020. Damien also chairs the scientific committee for the International Colloquim on Paratuberculosis which is to take place in Dublin Castle in June 2020. He has recently completed his PhD thesis on the emergence and re-emergence of Schmallemberg virus in Ireland.

David McKeown


David is a 1972 Glasgow graduate and spent 24 years as owner / partner in a 6-vet mixed practice in north Co. Antrim.
He became a Board member of the Veterinary Defence Society in 1988, balancing both practice and VDS roles until VDS became ‘morethan’ full time in 2000.
He has chaired various committees in VDS, and been a member of its Executive, the small team which essentially runs the business. He has recently retired from his VDS role as Director of Member Services.
David is also a Samaritan volunteer and involved with VetLife. The impact of all 3 organisations is the driver behind his involvement in the Vet Support NI and Vet Support Scotland initiatives.

Donal Murphy

Member of XL Vets

Qualified in 1983. Worked in Millstreet, Co. Cork for 6 months, and in mixed practice in Rathmore since 1984. Member of XL Vets. Completed the Grad Cert in Dairy Herd Health in 2012. Interests outside of Veterinary are GAA and music.

Doreen Corridan


Doreen was reared on a dairy farm in North Kerry, graduated from UCD with an MVB MRCVS in 1987, and received a PhD in cattle reproduction UCD in 1990, in 2016 she obtained a Certificate in Dairy Herd Health from UCD.  Currently, Doreen is working with Munster Bovine in Mallow Co Cork where she works with and advises dairy and suckler farmers on genetics, animal breeding, and animal health issues.  Doreen is a strong advocate of herd health planning to avoid the overuse of antibiotics and anthelmintics.

In addition, she is a regular contributor to several farming publications and has served on the board of ICBF from its inauguration in 2001 to 2012 and is currently is a member of the ICBF Technical Advisory Group.

Along with her husband Tim and her daughter Katie, breed and show pedigree Limousin cattle from their award-winning Roundhill herd.  In 2016 they hosted the International Limousin Congress. Doreen is actively involved in Limerick Show and is the Chairperson of their cattle committee.

Finbarr Murphy

BAgrSc MAgrSc PhD

Associate Diplomate of the European Society of Veterinary Comparative Nutrition, Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition, School Of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin. Finbar Mulligan has worked in the area of ruminant nutrition since 1996.  He began his career working on the development of the Irish Net Energy System for Cattle and Sheep and gained a MAgrSc and a PhD in the initial four year period of his research career.  In 2002 he took up a position as Lecturer in Animal Nutrition in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin.  As well as teaching and research duties, a large component of his role involves working on referral cases involving animal nutrition problems for dairy herds.  Most of his research focuses on dairy cow nutrition and metabolic status.  He is an author of more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers in this area, some of which have been amongst the most cited in their field since their time of publication.  He is Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition in the School of Veterinary Medicine and an Associate Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Comparative Nutrition. 

Gerry Giggins

International Beef Production Consultant, Nutrition Link Ltd and Director of Farm Tours Ireland

Gerry began his working career in 1979 with Bord na Mona, the Irish National Peat Development Board, where he was a member of the land development section. Gerry had direct responsibility for the intensive bull beef finishing operations throughout Bord na Mona. This was a unique production system in Ireland at that time. Gerry furthered his academic standing while studying in The Netherlands in 1982 at Vaganingen University. This was the second time Gerry was to study in The Netherlands, having spent six months there in 1979 as an exchange student.

In 1988, Gerry took up the position as feed-lot manager with the Irish Agricultural Development Company. He was responsible for developing efficient beef finishing systems for different market requirements. In excess of 12,000 cattle were slaughtered off this farm annually. New methods of storing forages and concentrates were developed. The feedlot grew to be the largest in Europe in the early 1990s.

Today Gerry is regarded an expert for animal nutrition and provides invaluable advice to farmers worldwide. He writes a column for the Farming Independent, a supplement to Ireland’s largest selling daily newspaper Irish Independent. For Farm Tours Ireland he loves showing international visitors the unique Irish way of farming.

James O’Shaughnessy

MVB, PhD, Researcher, Department of Agricultural, Food & the Marine

James O’Shaughnessy graduated as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2000. After graduation, he spent ten years working in farm animal practice both in the UK and Ireland. In 2010, he enrolled as a postgraduate student in UCD and was subsequently awarded a PhD. Much of his PhD was focused on parasite control in cattle. After working in the UCD veterinary school as a Teaching Fellow in 2015, he joined the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2016 as a Research Officer. Presently, he is also enrolled as a resident with the European Veterinary Parasitology College and is chairperson of the Animal Health Ireland Parasite Control Technical Working Group.

Jim Woulfe

Dairygold Chief Executive

Jim Woulfe is CEO of Dairygold (since July 2009), Ireland’s largest farmer owned Dairy & Agri Business employing 1,250 people and with a turnover of €1 billion.  Dairygold has c. 7,000 shareholders and is the country’s second largest dairy processor assembling 1.4 billion litres of milk annually from its 2,850 milk producers. Dairygold is a leading global food ingredients company with locations in Cork, UK, Germany, Spain and China. Jim has worked in the agri-food sector throughout his career.  A UCC Dairy Science graduate, he joined the milk processing division of Ballyclough Co-operative Creamery in 1979; Ballyclough Creamery and Mitchelstown Creamery merged to form Dairygold Co-Operative Society in 1990.  He has held many leadership roles throughout his career including Head of HR and Head of Agri Business before his appointment as CEO in 2009.

Laura Schneider


Laura grew up in Kincasslagh a very rural area in the west of Co. Donegal. Graduating from UCD in 2016, she began mixed practice in northern Ireland in Parklands Vet Group. Where she worked for 2 ½ years before moving to Glen Veterinary hospital in Tipperary town in October 2018, where she predominantly works with farm animals. Laura also have a keen interest in equine work.

Maresa Sheehan


Maresa is currently working in Kilkenny Regional Veterinary Laboratory as a Senior Research Officer. After qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1997 from UCD, she worked for eight years in large animal practice. She started working Eyrecourt Co. Galway with primarily sucklers/beef and sheep and smaller numbers of dairy herds. A move to large animal practice in Thurles Co. Tipperary meant an increased emphasis on dairy work. She completed her research Masters in Veterinary Medicine, with her thesis entitled ‘Clinicopathological Investigation of Infectious Respiratory Disease of Sheep in Ireland’ in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, University College Dublin. Since joining the Veterinary Laboratory Service she has provided a post mortem service to vets and their clients and carried out collaborative research with Teagasc, UCD, local PVPs, HSE, DAFM colleagues in other Regional Veterinary Laboratories and AHI. Projects included anthelmintic resistance in sheep and first season dairy calves, the prevalence of Haemonchus contortus in sheep, seroconversion to liver fluke in slaughtered lambs, sheep and dairy calf mortality studies, udder health in cull cows, zoonosis and hypocalcaemia. She was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of pathologists in February 2019

Patrick O'Neill


Growing up on a beef and sheep farm in county Wicklow, Patrick graduated from UCD Veterinary college in 2013. Patrick worked in mixed practice in Canada, Ireland and the UK before joining Warburton Technology in Cahirciveen Co Kerry in November 2017. In this role Patrick has spoken about trace mineral supplementation and oxidative stress in cattle at different events in Ireland, France, the UK, UAE, America and Australia.
Title of Talk: Oxidative Stress in bovines

Rob Doyle


Senior Superintending Veterinary Inspector in the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Head of division of Antimicrobial Resistance, Veterinary Medicines, Animal Welfare and Ruminant Trade Division.  Completed a Veterinary Medicines degree in University College Dublin in 1988 and a master’s course in Innovation Management in the Public service in University of Ulster in 2017.  Worked in general practice for 6 years until joining DAFM in 1994. 

Associate Professor Rory Breathnach

MVB Msc MRCVS PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin

Rory qualified from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCD) in 1986. Following an internship in small animal clinical studies in Dublin, he obtained an MSc in drug toxicology from the University of London. After 4 years in small animal practice, he returned to the Dublin Vet School in 1991 as a lecturer. His PhD was obtained in UCD and involved a study of the immunopathogenesis of idiopathic pododermatitis in the dog. Rory currently teaches various aspects of small animal internal medicine, toxicology and dermatology. In addition, Rory is a member of the Advisory Committee on Veterinary Medicines (Health Products Regulatory Authority) and the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products (CVMP, European Medicines Agency). Rory is the Chair of the Scientific Advice Working Party (Veterinary) of the CVMP and has been Clinical Director of the UCD Veterinary Hospital since 2015.

Tadhg Gavin

MVB CertDhh.

Tadhg qualified from veterinary medicine in UCD in 2010, from where he went off to work in 2 vert mixed practice in north Cork until returning home to Co. Clare in late 2015 to enter partnership in Killaloe Veterinary Clinic. Tadhg completed the UCD postgraduate certificate in dairy herd health 2016. Enjoying all aspects of mixed practice but he has a particular interest in bovine surgery and bovine reproductive health. Tadhg is the current vice-chair of Veterinary Ireland Food Animal Committee and is involved in the recent graduate working group.

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