Executive Committee

Between conferences, power is vested in the Executive Committee, which is elected annually at ADC. It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to take action on ADC motions. The Executive Committee nominates a Finance and General Purposes Committee to deal with financial and other matters that are referred to it by the Executive Committee, see Rule 7. The Executive Committee meets monthly and makes important decisions about Union strategy and policy. The Executive Committee also acts as the employer body for the Union’s employees.

President,  elected every two years at ADC
Vice President, elected every two years at ADC
General Secretary, full time employee of the Union
Deputy General Secretary, full time employee of the Union
Financial Secretary, full time employee of the Union

As well as these Officers, there are also two Trustees who are elected every three years and 16 other members elected at ADC.

Executive Committee 2016


Ann McGee, President

Terry Kelleher, Vice President

Niall Neely, Trustee

Tanya O’Neill, Trustee

Fergal Bermingham

Debbie Brennan

Joan Byrne

Roisin Cogavin

Daniel Copperthwaite

Cormac Donoghue

Aisling Farrell

Kevin GarrySue Kelly

Helen Linehan

Michelle McCaffrey

Conor McDonald

Laurence O’Loughlin

Brian Quigley

Jean Taylor

Betty Tyrrell-Collard

Executive Profiles


Ann McGee, President

I joined the CPSU in 1993 upon joining the service. A native of Leitrim, I have worked in Sligo all my life. I was a member of the Executive in 2013 for a year, before taking a break, and returning to the Executive in 2015. I was elected President at ADC 2016. I want pay restoration at the top of the agenda for the Executive. Family-­friendly issues need to be prioritised, extra hours, flexi and work-sharing are vital. The union has to work hard to get those in place, and they’re being taken away one by one. Another priority is disability, and the interests of disabled members. I believe that with an ageing population, the return of the six­-month sick leave entitlement is important.

Terry Kelleher, Vice President

I joined the CPSU in 1989, and first joined the Executive in 1994. At ADC 2016, I was elected Vice President. I firmly believe things are different now for workers since I first joined the union. The winds of change are blowing through my workplace in An Post. The National Lottery has been lost to An Post and more of the back office functions are being outsourced. I see myself as a “traditional trade unionist” and I am an outspoken critic of social partnership. I believe unions should be fighting a lot harder, that unions should be more co-ordinated in defending Irish working people against the unjust and unfair policy of austerity. I fear that austerity will continue for another 10 years. Neo­liberal policies are being pushed to create a low paid, anti­union workforce, with reduced public services, and no social safety net. I am a long-time activist and now chair the An Post branch and believe the union should do everything it can to reverse pay cuts and extended hours. We shouldn’t be waiting for other unions to act but lead the way to reverse these austerity policies.

Niall Neely, Trustee

A member of the Letterkenny General Branch, I have been a member of the CPSU for 27 years, eight of those as a rep. Top of my priority list is a reversal of all pay cuts to a point where members get back a salary where they could try to make ends meet. Outside of work, my family takes top billing.

Tanya O’Neill, Trustee

I have served three years on the Executive Committee and I was recently elected as Trustee at this year’s ADC in Killarney. I work in the Office of Revenue Commissioners in Limerick. I have been Branch Secretary for the Limerick Revenue Branch for the last four years and I am also Secretary to the CPSU Youth Committee. Restoration of pay and conditions is at the top of my agenda for this year’s Executive Committee. I like helping people and fighting for people’s rights. In particular, I want to see more young people join the union. The sooner younger people become involved, the more experienced they become in union representation and in joining committees. The CPSU Youth Committee is a great way to encourage younger members to join.

Fergal Bermingham

I want to see the restoration in full of our wages, terms and conditions within the next two years. This will need an immediate renegotiation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The union needs to take the lead in the SO/EO integration talks to ensure that the best deal is achieved for both SOs and Cos. There should be pay and annual leave increases for all Clerical Officers and promotion outlets have to be enhanced and ring-fenced for all Clerical Officers going forward. We have to fight the outsourcing of our work and continue to strive for a more equitable society both in Ireland and worldwide. I believe the CPSU needs to engage more in the TTIP debate and to highlight the issues around Climate Change.

Debbie Brennan

I have held all positions on the Carlow General Branch since moving to Carlow from Dublin, nine years ago. Presently I am the Branch Secretary. We are a small branch but cover members in Companies Registration Office, WRC, Garda, Courts Service and DSP. I’ve been a member of the CPSU since joining the service in 1998. This is my first year on the Executive. Pay and conditions are the big major issues for all members so it is high on my agenda. I’m looking forward to a busy and challenging year on the Executive Committee working for our members. Outside of work, I am heavily involved in GAA, being the Registrar of the Carlow Camogie County Board.

Joan Byrne

I have been a member of the Executive for the last 15 years. I hope to bring my experiences from that service to the new Executive. Our union will face many challenges during the coming year and I hope the experience I have gained will enable me to make useful contributions to the many debates on issues that will affect our members. I look forward to working with the new Executive to ensure that our members’ interests are to the fore in all our decisions during the coming year.

Roisin Cogavin

I am a CO in the DSP. My aim while being on the Executive Committee is to represent both the COs and the SOs across all the Departments. To achieve the full restoration of our pay and conditions, the reduction in our working week, the stopping of the continued outsourcing of our work and to seek additional staff, where needed.

Daniel Copperthwaite

I joined the CPSU in 2007 on the same day I joined the service. I believe that is happening less now, as younger people don’t have an awareness of trade unions and what they can do for them, so they have to be approached in the workplace. My family has a history of involvement in trade unions, so I have always had that awareness. I believe membership of a trade union is vital, as it gives members more protection in the workplace, from health and safety to workload issues, and workplace rights. This will be my third year on the Executive. I went forward with support from my branch and bring my experience on the Youth Committee and the National Committee. Pay restoration is my priority, followed by health and safety issues in the workplace. Additional hours are a huge issue for members, as are terms and conditions of work.

Cormac Donoghue

The proposed amalgamation of the Staff Officer and Executive Officer grade brings a challenge to us and there are positives and negatives in this. It is important that we get the best outcome for all our members and it is vital that we consider all the options. I feel my role as an Executive member is to make sure I look at the bigger picture, focus on what is best for all. I’m passionate about our jobs, the Civil Service should be the example of what a positive working environment is, but sadly it is not. Our employers are always focused on the minimum requirements in relation to staff and the maximum when it comes to outputs. Getting the recognition for the service we provide is incredibly important if we want to improve our workplace. We have faced years of cuts to help this country, but thankfully there are some signs of improvement. It is now a time to acknowledge and reward our sacrifices. Thank you for your trust and support, I will continue to be a voice for you and I look forward to working with the new Executive.

Aisling Farrell

I joined the CPSU in September 2003, and have since then been an active member of the union. This is my third year on the Executive. I want to be a voice for those who are in the same position as me – a parent, partner and a young woman parenting young children. Like many other members, I have to juggle the creche, the after­school and the school runs and will bring that experience to the table. I have a child in primary school as well as a pre­schooler. The restoration of terms and conditions is a key priority for me.

Kevin Garry

I am proud to be part of the CPSU Executive, and have been a member of the union since 2002. The union is very important from the point of view of career prospects, good working conditions and working relations with management. My hope for what is bound to be a very busy year is to have a clear career path opened to the members and to make the Civil and Public Service a good place to work.

Sue Kelly

While serving on the Executive I will endeavour to be impartial. I will strive to represent the members and give them a voice. I wish to see the continuation of our union fighting to bring an end to the harsh terms and conditions heaped upon our members under the HRA, and look forward to the reversal of extra hours, and continued pay restoration. Further promotional opportunities are being sought for the Clerical Officer grade, along with the amalgamation of the SO and EO grades – all of which our members duly deserve.

Helen Linehan

My focus this year – as it has always been – is to work to the best of my ability for the members of this union and that all members are treated with the utmost courtesy and respect in their dealings with the CPSU. The Executive Committee and Head Office officials work together to reach positive outcomes for our members with regard to the amalgamation of the SO/EO grade and also the proposed amalgamation of our union with other unions – these two issues being very much to the forefront of the CPSU at present.

Michelle McCaffrey

Originally from Leitrim, I am now firmly settled in Longford. I have been working in Social Protection since 2008 and am based in the Longford HQ having started my Civil Service career in the Chief State Solicitors Office prior to my transfer. I have been an active member of the Longford Branch and the wider CPSU for the past eight years. I have taken part in media campaigns on low pay and have served on the Social Protection National Committee. I am Branch Secretary of the Longford General Branch, representing members from the Department of Justice, Garda, Courts Service and the Department of Social Protection for the past number of years.

This is my first year on the Executive Committee. I am thrilled to have received the support of many members to get me here and I am relying on their increased support going forward. I look forward to the year ahead and hope to rise to the challenges that are presented while hopefully making new friends and acquaintances. I’m ready for learning more about this great union of ours and about how it works and I am ready to help in the fight to restore our pay and conditions.

Conor McDonald

As a CO in Revenue, I am the chair of the Revenue National Committee and have been involved with the European Public Services Union over the last couple of years. Pay and conditions have always been my main priority. Restoration of our terms and conditions must remain as the union’s primary goal for the coming year and my purpose in standing for election was to do my utmost to achieve this end. As a father of young children, the austerity measures have taken a huge toll on me and my family. Like everyone else the additional time and decrease in pay has resulted in stress and hardship. Nothing would please me more than to play my part in overturning the unfair measures we have collectively suffered.

Laurence O’Loughlin

I am a member of the Clare General Branch and work in DSP Ennis. I joined CPSU in 1998 and have been actively involved ever since. I have served at branch committee level in four different Departments/Agencies – Revenue, Defence, Finance and Social Protection. I have previously served on the Executive Committee in 2001 and 2004. I am committed to giving careful consideration to all issues that come before the Executive Committee and to vote in the best interests of all the membership. There are a number of issues that I have a particular interest in – these are:

  • Restoration of pay;
  • Abolition the additional hours;
  • Equalisation of Annual Leave across all grades in the Civil and Public Service;
  • Ensuring a fair promotional process;
  • Achieving an increased ‘weighting’ of work experience in the promotion process;
  • Awarding of Accredited Recognition for work related courses;
  • Ensuring the best possible deal for all members in respect of the Staff Officer/Executive Officer integration;
  • Arranging the best possible deal on union amalgamation;
  • Stop the outsourcing of work;
  • An increase in the Clerical Officer scale up to the maximum of the Staff Officer grade; and
  • Access to open recruitment competitions for all established Clerical Officers and Staff Officers.

Brian Quigley

I have been involved in the union for more than 26 years. I feel we really need to start pushing hard to abolish the extra hours and restore our pay to 2008 levels. We are now had almost 10 years of pay cuts and a small reduction in pension levy does not make up for that. I try not to work out how much money we have lost over the years because it is frightening when you work it out. We will never see that money again so we have to start demanding our pay restoration now. With the amalgamation of the SO and EO grades, I feel that the promotions to SO have to be ring-fenced to protect the CO grades. A lot of work has to be done but it is work that needs to be done.

Jean Taylor

I am currently on my second term on the Executive Committee. I serve as Assistant Secretary of the Revenue National Committee along with being Branch Secretary of the Revenue Dublin Central Branch. It is imperative that we get pay and conditions back on the table and my number one priority is to seek a full reversal of the cuts we have endured through the Lansdowne Road Agreement. I would like to see more industrial relations training made available to equip local reps with the necessary tools they need to represent CPSU members at all levels as well as to encourage more members to get involved at grassroots level.

Betty Tyrrell-Collard

I am a long­standing member of the Executive Committee. A grandmother, from the Blessington area of Wicklow, I was Vice President for two years, President for four years, and a Trustee for three years. I was also a member of the Executive Council of Congress, and am now Vice President of the Dublin Council of Trades Unions and represent Congress on a number of Committees. On the incoming Executive, my focus will be – as it has always been – on the smaller branches, including Kildare Street and Merrion Street. I believe that as an Executive member, I can bring my knowledge and experience to the smaller branches. Equality is also a big priority for me and I will bring that focus to the Executive Committee in the coming year.