2021 Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Minister Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform

Minister McGrath is currently a TD for Cork South Central and is the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Before going into politics full time, Minister McGrath held senior positions in both the private sector (Financial Controller, RedFM) and public sector (Head of MIS, UCC). He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has served on that body’s Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. In his time in the Dáil, Minister McGrath has served on a number of Oireachtas committees including the Finance Committee, the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, the European Affairs Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, he is responsible for delivering well-managed and well-targeted public spending, through modernised, effective and accountable public services.

Dr Tom Clonan, Academic, Writer, Journalist, And Whistleblower

Dr Tom Clonan is an academic, (Technological University, Dublin) writer and Journalist. He is an Independent Security Analyst and provides defence and intelligence analysis for international broadcasters. As an Army Officer, (Captain) Tom has direct experience of armed conflict in Ireland the Middle East and former Yugoslavia. One of Ireland’s foremost Whistleblowers, his PhD revealed shocking levels of sexual violence within Ireland’s armed forces. He provides consultancy on gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence. Tom is a parent of four children and is carer for his son Eoghan who suffers from a rare neuro-muscular disease. He is one of Ireland’s leading public advocates for citizens with disabilities, and is Chairman of Leonard Cheshire International (Ireland). Tom is author of two books, Blood, Sweat and Tears (2012 Liberties Press) and Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy (2013).

Katie Hannon, Presenter and Journalist, RTE

Katie Hannon is an award-winning journalist and presenter of Saturday with Katie Hannon and the Late Debate on RTE Radio 1. Having worked as Political Correspondent with the Evening Herald and the Irish Examiner and later as Political Editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, she moved to broadcast journalism as a reporter on RTE’s Prime Time programme in 2004. While there she did ground-breaking investigations into Mother and Baby Homes, the Maurice McCabe whistleblower story and the Rescue 116 tragedy. She is the author of The Naked Politician , the best-selling account of the reality of life in the trenches of Irish politics. She recently wrote and presented the Women of Honour radio documentary on the discrimination, harassment and sexual assault of women serving in the Defence Forces.

Dr Francesco Zambon, Whistleblower and Former Coordinator at the World Health Organization

Dr. Francesco Zambon is a senior executive with a successful and proven track record of leadership in complex, multinational public health issues involving both private and public stakeholders. Francesco qualified as an MD in 1998 and holds a unique academic background – which includes a PhD in International Public Health and an MBA – with first-hand experience in dealing with governmental health institutions, Ministries of Health, NGOs, patient organizations and academic institutions. Francesco’s proven track of successful career growth includes positions held in international institutions such as the World Health Organization, the Italian National Health System, the University of Padua in Italy and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He has successfully led multiple international stakeholder initiatives using his skills in political intelligence, institutional communication, media relations, and business diplomacy.


Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Programme, Washington

Tom Devine is Legal Director at Washington based Government Accountability Project, and has worked at the organisation since 1979. Since that time, Tom has formally or informally assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making real differences on behalf of the public – such as shuttering accident-prone nuclear power plants and rebuffing industry ploys to deregulate government meat inspection. He has not lost a case since 2006, and has prevailed in advocacy at numerous U.S. courts of appeals as well as the Supreme Court. Tom serves on the Board of Whistleblowing International Network, the global coalition which he helped to found. He has been a leader in the campaigns to pass or defend 34 national or international whistleblower laws, including the new European Union Whistleblower Directive.

Ida Nowers, Law & Policy Coordinator, WIN

Ida Nowers is Law and Policy Coordinator at the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN). Ida is responsible for supporting the advocacy of WIN’s members and associates which are all non-profit civil society organisations working to support and defend whistleblowers all over the world. Ida was previously Senior Adviser at UK whistleblowing charity Protect, providing legal advice and practical support to hundreds of whistleblowers and consultancy and training to public and private organisations on implementing effective institutional whistleblowing arrangements.

Wilbert Tomesen, Chairman of the Dutch Whistleblowers Authority

Wilbert Tomesen is the Chairman of the Dutch Whistleblowers Authority (in Dutch: Huis voor Klokkenluiders) since July 2018. Between 2011 and 2018 he was a member and the vice-Chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Prior to 2011, he was a leading public prosecutor in different regions in the Netherlands and on Aruba, one of the Dutch Antilles.

Prof Wim Vandekerckhove, Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Greenwich

Wim Vandekerckhove is Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Greenwich. He has provided expertise on whistleblowing to various organisations, including Council of Europe, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the UK Department of Health, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the British Standards Institute (BSI), and the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA). He was the convenor for the ISO37002 working group, the international standard for whistleblowing management systems. Prof Vandekerckhove publishes academic papers on whistleblowing, business ethics, and philosophy of management. His books include Whistleblowing and Organisational Social Responsibility (2006, Routledge), and The Whistleblowing Guide: Speak-Up Arrangements, Challenges, and Best Practices (2019, Wiley).

Kian Caulwell, Head of Conduct Risk and Compliance Advisory, KBC Bank

Kian is a chartered accountant and a member of the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland, Consumer Protection Working Group. Within KBC Bank Ireland, Kian is responsible for the design and ongoing effectiveness of the Bank’s Conduct Risk Management Framework, incorporating the Bank’s consumer and investor protection obligations.  Prior to joining KBC Bank Ireland, Kian was a director in a large UK consultancy firm, specialising in regulatory change programmes and complex regulatory investigations, in the areas of corporate governance, risk management, anti-money laundering and conduct of business.

Karen Nightingale, Head of Group Compliance and Ethics, Royal Mail

Karen is head of Group Compliance & Ethics at Royal Mail Group. Her team deals with competition law, sanctions, bribery and corruption, regulatory obligations, facilitation of tax evasion, conflicts of interest and modern slavery. She also manages the Royal Mail Speak Up helpline process. She has developed a three-year strategy to move Royal Mail towards a first-class compliance and ethics programme, with a strong focus on embedding an ethical culture across all levels of the business. Prior to this role, she was a regulatory and competition lawyer, working at BT for 10 years before moving to Royal Mail’s legal team. She moved to her compliance role in 2019.

Dr Lauren Kierans, BL, Assistant Professor of Law, Maynooth University

Dr Lauren Kierans lectures in Whistleblowing Law at undergraduate level and as a Professional Certificate at Maynooth University. She is also a qualified barrister specialising in Whistleblowing Law. Lauren holds a PhD on Protected Disclosures and has published articles, book chapters and national reports on whistleblowing law. She co-authored Protected Disclosures Act 2014 – Annotated Legislation with Anthony Kerr (published by Round Hall). Lauren was awarded the governmental project for the drafting of the protected disclosures procedures guidance for public bodies on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Clive Kelly , Non-executive Director And Lecturer

Clive is an experienced international financial services professional having held roles as CEO, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Underwriting Officer for the largest global insurers and reinsurers. He currently holds roles as Chairperson, non-executive director, Chair of Risk Committees/Audit Committees for a number of international firms. Clive is past president of the leading global association of compliance professionals, the Association of Compliance officers in Ireland (ACOI). He is an industry recognized expert in compliance, risk management, culture and governance and consults on a these topics for leading financial services firms. Clive is passionate about lifelong learning and has been a lecturer, author & examiner in compliance, risk management, culture, financial markets and governance for the last 20 years. He teaches/speaks on programmes for the UCD, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Central Bank of Ireland, Irish Department of Finance and ACOI. Clive speaks both nationally and internationally on Compliance, Risk management, Governance and Culture and has published both in industry journals and in the national press on these topics.

Colleen Cleary , Founder of CC Solicitors

Colleen Cleary is the founder of CC Solicitors, a specialist employment and partnership law firm based in Dublin. She provides a partner led team of specialists that provide commercial-focused employment and HR advice to a broad range of clients nationally and internationally. Colleen is also qualified in England and Wales and previously practised in the City of London. She is an experienced litigator and is an accredited advocate with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy with the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Colleen is also an accredited mediator with CEDR and was previously chair of the Employment Law Association of Ireland. Colleen has an international approach to her practice and is chair and the Ireland member of Innangard, a non-exclusive international network of law firms.

Daniel Malan , Assistant Professor in business ethics at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin

Daniel Malan is an assistant professor in business ethics at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin. He is an associate professor extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa, as well as a former visiting scholar at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His focus areas are business ethics, corporate governance and corporate responsibility. He is a former co-chair of the B20 Task Force on Integrity and Compliance (2020), a member of the Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption of the World Economic Forum, the regional partner for Africa at the International Board Foundation in St Gallen, Switzerland and a member of the Financial Capital Committee of the International Corporate Governance Network.

Jade McDonagh , Head of Bank Staff Policy & Governance, IBCB

Jade McDonagh is Head of Bank Staff Policy & Governance with the Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB). Jade has over 17 years’ experience in the Irish financial services sector. Before joining the IBCB, she had tenures at Bank of Ireland and AIB, where she was Assistant Company Secretary for the AIB Group. Since joining the IBCB, Jade has mostly led the staff-focussed pillars of work, including the design and development of the IBCB’s ethical decision-making framework, “DECiDE”. In addition, Jade was also responsible for the delivery of the IBCB’s “Common Commitment of Care for Bereaved Customers”. Jade is also on the Board of Directors of a registered charity, “BITE” – Ballymun Initiative for Third Level Education, the aim of which is to support young people from Ballymun and the wider catchment area to progress to third level education.

Leo Martin, Founder & Director, GoodCorporation

Leo Martin is a Founder and Director of GoodCorporation. A globally recognised authority on business ethics, anti-bribery and corruption and corporate responsibility, Leo has exceptional experience in the oil and gas, telecoms, media, gaming and logistics sectors and has led assessment teams in some of the world’s most ethically challenging environments. Leo helps world-leading organisations design their ethics and compliance programmes and measure their effectiveness across continents and jurisdictions. Leo began his career as a Fellow of the Overseas Development Institute before joining KPMG, where he worked on economics and strategy for governments and companies worldwide.

Philip Brennan  , Founder & Managing Director, Raiseaconcern

Philip Brennan is Founder and Managing Director of Raiseaconcern (www.raiseaconcern.com).  Raiseaconcern works with private sector employers and public bodies in the prevention, detection, investigation, and remediation of workplace wrongdoing.  Raiseaconcern specialises in setting up and managing Employee Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Schemes for employers and in conducting investigations of workplace wrongdoing. Philip is a former President of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland and of the Irish Tax Institute. Philip holds an MSc in Business Administration from University of Dublin, Trinity College and a Professional Diploma in Compliance from University College Dublin. He is a Fellow of the Irish Tax Institute and of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland.

Andy Noble, Head of Whistleblowing and Speak Up, NatWest Group

Andy is Head of Whistleblowing and Speak Up for the NatWest Group. Starting his career with NatWest in 1984, he has held numerous front line and risk function roles, predominantly in the Retail and Private Banking sectors. His experience spans compliance, operational risk, credit risk and financial crime. Following the introduction of new whistleblowing regulations by the UK’s financial regulators in 2016, Andy led the development and implementation of a group-wide whistleblowing framework at NatWest (formerly RBS). Andy was also a Special Constable with the Metropolitan Police Service for 29 years. He received a long service award from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police prior to retiring in 2018.

Marian Bergin, B.A. Psych. M.B.S. M.C.I.P.D , Independent Human Resources Consultant, Marian Bergin and Associates

Marian Bergin is an independent Human Resources consultant with over 25 years’ experience of delivering HR assignments in the public and private sectors. Her areas of specialism are; developing HR strategies and providing ongoing HR support and advice. She works closely with line management in the development and delivery of HR policies, practices and procedures, remaining up to date with legislative changes. She places a strong emphasis on building transparency at source and the provision of supports cross organisationally to enable a culture of consistency and fairness in approach. Marian is expert in the development of tailored Reward Strategies and systems to underpin effective organisational structures and the delivery of key results. Prior to her consultancy career she held HR roles in the financial services and manufacturing sectors.

Martin Woods , Anti-money Laundering Expert, Trainer and Consultant

Martin was a police detective for 18 years, he travelled the world investigating financial criminals, including fraudsters and money launderers. In 2001, he became an anti-money laundering officer within banking in London. To defeat money launderers, he thinks like them, albeit he despises them and their parasite crimes. Subsequently, Martin discovered his employer, Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo N.A.) was laundering money for Mexican drug cartels.  He blew the whistle and gave evidence to regulators.  Consequently, Wachovia paid a $160 million penalty and Martin left the bank.  Now, as a trainer and consultant he seeks to motivate and inspire people to stop money laundering.

Mary Inman, Partner, Constantine Cannon

Mary Inman is a partner in Constantine Cannon’s London Office. After 20+ years representing whistleblowers in the U.S., she moved to London in July 2017 to launch the firm’s international whistleblower practice. She specialises in representing whistleblowers from the U.K., Europe and worldwide under the various American whistleblower reward programs. A recognised expert and frequent author, Mary has particular expertise in financial and accounting frauds and bribery of foreign government officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as representing international whistleblowers under the North American whistleblower programs.

Declan Walsh, Partner and Head of Forensic & Investigation Services, RSM Ireland

Declan Walsh is a partner in RSM Ireland and Head of the firm’s multi-disciplinary Forensic & Investigation Services department. RSM Ireland is a top-10 accounting and professional services firm and a member of the RSM International network, the sixth largest network of accounting and professional services firms in the world with offices in over 120 countries and combined staff of over 48,000. RSM act as independent external investigators engaged by organisations to investigate matters arising from Protected Disclosures. The practice also deals with the full spectrum of workplace investigations, fraud investigations, and forensic accounting assignments, while also providing training in the area of Protected Disclosures.

Niall Pelly, Partner and Head of Irish Office, GQ|Littler

Niall Pelly leads GQ|Littler’s Irish office and has been recognised “an absolute standout adviser” on all aspects of Irish employment law. Prior to establishing GQ|Littler in Ireland, Niall worked for over 15 years as an employment specialist in leading international law firms in both Dublin and London.
Niall advises employers on all aspects of Irish employment law, with particular experience dealing with complex, business critical litigation such as whistleblowing claims and High Court employment injunctions. He also regularly advises on all issues relating to internal investigation, disciplinary, change management, redundancy and insolvency processes.

Kate Marston, Chief Executive, Women in Ethics and Compliance Global

Kate is a former Detective Sergeant from the Metropolitan Police. A highlight of her policing career was serving on the Specialist Crime Directorate specialising in investigating firearms offences. On leaving the Metropolitan Police she led the international investigations function at a FTSE 100 luxury brand which included leading on the Anti-Bribery and Corruption programme and running the whistleblowing reporting system and investigations. Kate left to set up Mast People Support which provides Investigation, HR and Ethics support to organisations. Kate is a founding member and Executive Director of Women in Ethics and Compliance – an organisation which looks to connect, inspire and include those in the ethics and compliance space. She is also an accredited member of HR Independents; and a member of the Association of Corporate Investigators.

Pat Keane, Assistant Principal, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Pat has worked as an Assistant Principal in the Government Reform & Legislation Unit of the Department since 2016 working on the development of policy concerning Protected Disclosures Act, among other things. He has been involved in the 2018 Statutory Review of the Protected Disclosures Act and also on the negotiation and transposition of the Whistleblowing Directive since it was first proposed in early 2018.

Orla Christle , Senior Manager, System Governance, Higher Education Authority

Orla Christle is a Senior Manager in the System Governance section of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Her role includes reviewing the implementation of the governance framework for higher education and reporting on this to the HEA board. She also manages the process of responding to protected disclosures or other allegations to the HEA relating to the governance and funding of higher education. Prior to this, Orla was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Access Office of the HEA and worked on the development and implementation of three National Access Plans. Orla is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a qualified barrister-at-law.

Anne O’Connell , Principal, AOC Solicitors

Anne O’Connell is the Founder and Principal of Anne O’Connell Solicitors, a specialist Employment Law firm founded in 2017. Anne qualified as a Solicitor and a New York Attorney in 2001. A member of the Law Society Employment Law Committee and the Employment Law Association of Ireland Committee, Anne lectures and tutors in employment law for the Law Society of Ireland. Anne was recognised by Legal500 in 2021 as a Leading Employment Lawyer in Ireland and has received a number of awards including Employment Law Firm/Team/Lawyer of the year in the Irish Law Awards and the Lawyer Monthly Women in Law Award for Employment Law in Ireland in 2021. Anne is well known as a leader in the area of Protected Disclosures Law representing and advising both employers and employees. Anne is also in the process of completing her book on Protected Disclosure – A Practical Guide to Protected Disclosures for the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants.


John Devitt, Chief Executive, Transparency International Ireland

John Devitt founded TI Ireland in 2004 and has led TI Ireland’s whistleblowing research and support programme for the past ten years. He is an author or researcher on numerous reports and guidance on the topic of whistleblower protection, ethics and anti-corruption standards, and has advised the Irish Government, United Nations, Council of Europe, and European Commission amongst others on whistleblowing legislation and procedures. An ethics and communications specialist by training, John holds a first-class MA in Ethics from Dublin City University and is a graduate of European Studies at the University of Limerick and the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.

Mick Clifford , Special Correspondent, Iriish Examiner

Mick Clifford is a special correspondent with the Irish Examiner and frequently appear as a guest and presenter on Irish broadcast media. He presents a weekly podcast with the Irish Examiner.   Mick has worked in journalism for over twenty-five years, covering politics, policing and social affairs. He has written six books, including the best-selling  A Force For Justice – The Maurice McCabe story. In 2016, he was the newspaper industry’s Journalist of the Year.

Prof Kate Kenny, Professor of Business and Society, NUI Galway

Kate Kenny is full Professor of Business and Society at NUI Galway. She has held research fellowships at the Edmond J. Safra Lab at Harvard University and Cambridge’s Judge Business School and has researched whistleblowing in organisations since 2010.  Along with numerous articles in peer review journals on this topic, she has published two books on whistleblowing: Whistleblowing: Toward a new theory (Harvard University Press, 2019) and The Whistleblowing Guide (Wiley Business, 2019, with Wim Vandekerckhove and Marianna Fotaki). She has written and contributed to articles in the Financial Times, the Irish Times, the Guardian and contributed to programmes on Ireland’s RTÉ (radio and television) and TG4.  Her work has been cited in the UK House of Commons, and in EU policy documents.

Stephanie Casey, Integrity at Work Programme Manager

Stephanie Casey manages the Integrity at Work (IAW) programme at Transparency International Ireland. She is responsible for the development and delivery of IAW member support including training, policy guidance and events as well as communicating the aims and vision of the initiative to a wide range of audiences and stakeholders. Stephanie has worked in the non-profit sector for over eighteen years, previously holding senior managerial roles in Oxfam Ireland, the Irish Cancer Society and Arthritis Ireland. Stephanie holds a first-class MA in Ethics from Dublin City University.

Peter van Veen , Board Member, Transparency International Netherlands, Interim Executive & Consultant

Peter is a board member of Transparency International Netherlands (since 2018) and an interim executive and consultant on Corporate Governance, ESG, responsible business practices, business ethics and compliance. Peter was until recently the (interim) Chief Compliance Officer for Roquette Freres in France and before that the Global Ethics & Compliance Director at Dentsu International, the Japanese Marketing & Communications group. Prior to Dentsu International, Peter spent over six years at Transparency International UK where he set up the Business Integrity Programme working with companies, industry associations, government and NGOs to raise standards. Peter provided expert input into standard setting initiatives such as UN Global Compact and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and provided inputas well as into UK and French government consultations in relation to anti-bribery laws. Prior to Transparency International UK, Peter spent 15 years in corporate strategy, consulting and management roles employed by organisations such as Accenture, Bertelsmann and SRI International.

Andrew Breakwell , Commercial Director UK, EQS London

Andrew has been supporting compliance, ethics and risk professionals internationally for over 25 years, with a particular focus on integrated risk management and compliance software solutions and associated consulting and advisory services. Prior to this he was involved in the corporate training and educational publishing sectors.

Elizabeth Gardiner , Chief Executive, Protect

Elizabeth Gardiner is Chief Executive of the UK’s whistleblowing charity, Protect.  She joined the charity as Legal Officer in 2018 and has experience both in advising whistleblowers on Protect’s legal Advice Line and providing training and consultancy to employers seeking to improve their whistleblowing arrangements.   Elizabeth is an employment solicitor with a previous career in policy and Parliamentary campaigning.

Jane Ellis , Director, Ellis Seabrook Limited

Jane is the director of Ellis Seabrook Limited. She is a highly experienced strategic advisor and senior manager who specialises in corporate governance, corporate culture, risk management and business ethics. She is an Australian qualified lawyer, a former partner in competition law at the Sydney office of Ashurst, with additional expertise in anti-bribery and anti-corruption, whistleblower protection and diversity. She is a published author and editor of the book – Corruption, Social Sciences and the Law: Exploration across the disciplines – which takes a multidisciplinary approach to bribery and corruption (Routledge, May 2019). Jane’s recent work includes assessing Transparency International’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund, governance and practice in three ministries in a non-European country and reviewing the governance structure of a national not-for-profit sport association in the UK.

Gráinne Madden, Founder and Senior Consultant, GMJ Associates

Gráinne Madden is the founder and senior consultant of GMJ Associates, which provides guidance to Irish businesses on responsible business practice. Gráinne’s work includes development of corporate responsibility strategy, non-financial reporting and report assurance, development and implementation of ethical compliance programmes and protected disclosure policies. Gráinne also lectures on Corporate Responsibility to MBA students in Trinity College Dublin and Griffith College Dublin.

Dr Lauren Kierans, BL, Assistant Professor of Law, Maynooth University

Dr Lauren Kierans lectures in Whistleblowing Law at undergraduate level and as a Professional Certificate at Maynooth University. She is also a qualified barrister specialising in Whistleblowing Law. Lauren holds a PhD on Protected Disclosures and has published articles, book chapters and national reports on whistleblowing law. She co-authored Protected Disclosures Act 2014 – Annotated Legislation with Anthony Kerr (published by Round Hall). Lauren was awarded the governmental project for the drafting of the protected disclosures procedures guidance for public bodies on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.