Meet the Speakers

Conference Presenter:

Conall O'Mórain

Conall is a graduate of UCD where he studied economics and politics. He worked in RTE as the station’s first ever Business Correspondent and has almost a decade of experience as an institutional stockbroker. He taught enterprise in DCU and set up his own broad-based communications company, The Media Group.

He chairs and MCs business related events nationally and internationally and he writes and comments on business and economic matters.

Conference Opening:

Robert Troy

Deputy Robert Troy is Fianna Fáil’s Frontbench Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation. He previously served as the Party’s Frontbench Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, at which time he was a strong advocate for infrastructural investment to support regional development.

Robert is now responsible for the party’s policy for the SME sector. He is also a member of the Irish Delegation to the Council of Europe where he contributes frequently.

ISME Chair Address:

Ross McCarthy

Ross McCarthy is Managing Director of Keystone Procurement, a commercial strategy and procurement advisory company based in Wexford. The business is built around procurement and commercial services related to sourcing and procurement. Ross is among the most prolific writers on procurement matters in Ireland.

He has a strong interest in business policy. This interest is informed by and influenced by the regular work he undertakes with SMEs in Ireland and internationally.Ross became the ISME Chair in May 2019.

Keynote Speaker:

Jim Gavin

Jim is an Assistant Director in the Irish Aviation Authority, Safety Regulation Division and current Manager of the Dublin Senior Football Team, who hold a record five-in-a-row title. He has been involved with Dublin inter-county teams for 22 years, he has won 32 trophies representing Dublin, as either a player, coach or manager.

Jim is on the board of Bóthar, an Irish charity who enable families and communities to overcome hunger and poverty and he is a patron of TOUCH Ireland, a voluntary charity providing educational, food and clothing support to children.

How to win the race for talent with

Christopher Paye

Christopher is General Manager of Ireland's most popular recruitment website He started his career in online recruitment as an Account Manager in, progressing to Sales Director and then he moved to

So far in 2019 Christopher has worked closely with SME’s to help them grow their businesses, providing them with a steady stream of talented and motivated candidates.

In Conversation with:

Marc O'Dwyer

Marc is CEO Big Red Cloud, a business that specialises in developing simple and easy to use Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll software. To date, the company has in excess of 75,000 customers and converts 55% of trials into sales. Marc is part of ISME's National Council.

Marc is a very keen sportsman, he's played rugby for 20 years, league squash for 10 years, he has competed in 11 Marathons, two Triathlons and six Ironman Races.

Theme Speaker:

Norah Casey

Broadcaster, radio and television personality, publishing entrepreneur and human rights campaigner, Norah Casey was formerly a Dragon on the television series Dragons’ Den. Nora has several TEDx talks and her digital learning platform Planet Woman seeks to empower women. She is owner of Harmonia Publishing Ltd, and is the current Publisher of the Year.

Norah has served on numerous boards, including the Press Council of Ireland, the London-based Women's Irish Network and The International Women's Forum. This year, Nora received a 2019 Lord Mayor of Dublin Award.

Workplace Wellness with:

Sinéad Proos

Sinéad Proos is the Head of Wellness at Laya Healthcare. With over 18 years international experience spanning FMCG, Infant Nutrition & Health Ingredients Industries. Sinéad has held positions at NUMICO, DANONE Early Life Nutrition, Procter & Gamble, SKIM decision behaviour experts and most recently at Food for Health Ireland.

Within these positions, she has successfully led multidisciplinary teams to deliver innovative ingredients, products & services within international health and wellness industries.

The Great Debate Panel:

Dr Laura Bambrick

Laura is a policy analyst and government specialist with an extensive knowledge of public policy. Prior to taking up the post of Social Policy Officer with ICTU, Laura worked as a political aide in the Office of the Tánaiste in the Labour/ Fine Gael coalition government and as an opinion pollster with Ipsos MRBI.

She has also worked in research and policy advisory roles in the Office of the United Nations Assistant Secretary General and in the social justice unit of the Society of Vincent de Paul.

Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh

Pádraig is an Independent Senator and the rapporteur of the Public Consultation Committee for SMEs in Ireland. He is currently a member of the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism & Sport and the Public Consultation Committee. Pádraig is a fluent Gaelic speaker and Connemara native.

He is a former board member of RTÉ, CROI, Board Iascaigh Mhara, Fáilte Ireland West and Chair of the National GAA Research Board. He is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business.

Conall Mac Coille

Conall began his career as an economist in the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), before moving to the Bank of England. He has published several articles on the trade performance of the UK economy and has written extensively on the Irish economy.

His current role is Chief Economist in Ireland's leading brokerage Davy. Conall contributes widely to national and international broadcast media and is regularly quoted in Irish print media.

Richard Boyd Barrett

Richard Boyd Barrett is the People Before Profit TD for Dun Laoghaire. He was elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011 and 2016. He is currently a member of the select committee on Budgetary Oversight and is also a member of the Dáil Business committee. He is a founder member of People Before Profit.

Richard has a long history of community and grass-roots campaigning on issues such as Water charges, Environmental issues, Housing and workers’ rights.

Colm O'Reilly

Colm is CEO of The Sunday Business Post and a director of the Business Post Media Group. Colm has 25 years’ business experience gained in the Drinks, Hospitality, Investment Management and Media industries across Ireland, UK and USA. A finance professional by training Colm has specialised in strategy development, business performance management, operations management and business restructuring.

Most recently Colm was CEO of private equity platform Kilcullen Kapital Partners and was responsible for the development and execution of an SME investment strategy across the telecoms, financial services, hospitality and real estate sectors.