Board of Directors

Cyril Forbes

Cyril Forbes is the Chairman of Microfinance Ireland and an independent director with expertise in both Public and Private sectors, based on a 50 year insurance career. Currently Director of the Social Finance Foundation and Former Deputy Chairman of JLT Ireland Ltd, Director of Don Bosco Teenage Care, The Dublin Docklands Development Authority & Business in the Community, The Housing Finance Agency and Chairman of Kennedy Forbes Ltd and The Crafts Council of Ireland.

Brendan Whelan

Brendan Whelan is CEO of the Social Finance Foundation, having worked on its establishment in 2006/7. The Social Finance Foundation (SFF) is the parent company of Microfinance Ireland. Prior to joining the SFF, Brendan worked as General Manager, IT, Operations and HR in Bank of Ireland. Brendan is a University College Dublin Commerce graduate and a graduate of Management Studies from Stanford University in California. Brendan is a Fellow of Institute of Bankers in Ireland. Brendan is also a Board member of Special Olympics Ireland and Chairman of St. Catherine’s Association in Wicklow, which provides services to children with intellectual disabilities.

Gerry O’ Neill

Gerry O’Neill is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts. He retired from the Whelehan Group in 2005 having served for 30 years as finance director and company secretary. In recent years, he has been a board member of First Step, and has provided business and financial advisory services to a number of developing companies in the Irish healthcare sector.

Dr Mary O’ Shaughnessy

Dr. Mary O’Shaughnessy is a lecturer with the Department of Food Business and Development and Centre for Co-operative Studies, UCC. Her research interests include sustainable rural development, co-operative and social enterprises. She is a board member of the EMES University Based International Research Network on social enterprises, NUI Academic Board (Rural Development) and the Hope Foundation.

Audrey Boyd

Audrey Boyd has 38 years banking experience across AIB Group and is Head of Small Business, Distribution, AIB Group.

Her business experience includes Corporate Banking, Sectoral Banking, Credit Risk, Retail & Business Banking, Head of Business & Credit Performance and Enablement for Local Markets. She also held the role of Head of Restructuring in Financial Solutions Group where she managed a lending portfolio of €10.9bn and led a team of 380 colleagues .

Audrey was previously a director of AIB Commercial Finance Limited and a Board member of the British Chamber of Commerce.

Audrey has completed a MSC (Mgmt.) Business Administration, Certified Accountancy (ACCA) and a Diploma in Industrial Engineering and is also a Qualified Financial Advisor.

Audrey has extensive experience in both customer engagement and credit assessment / decisioning across the SME sector.

Thomas McEvoy

Thomas McEvoy is Head of Enterprise at Louth County Council. He has spent over 25 years in Enterprise Development and Investment, and works closely with entrepreneurs and the SME sector in Co. Louth through the Local Enterprise Office.

Prior to joining Louth County Council, he worked for IDA Ireland for over 13 years where he headed up FDI Property Solutions, the Press and PR Department, was Acting Director of Europe, and looked after new business into Ireland from International Service companies. He has also worked in the United States where he was based for a number of years, and was employed by the Enterprise Boards in Cavan and Louth, and lectured in business at the University of Limerick.

Thomas is a graduate of NUIG (B.Comm and MBS), Durham University Business School and the IMI (Grad.Dip Strategy).



John Irwin

John Irwin is a native of County Meath. John is the General Manager for Modulr Europe, a Fintech business that provides new digital payment service to make money flow more efficiently through businesses and the economy. John has over 30 years’ experience in financial services in Capital, Business and Consumer markets dealing with a broad range of customers from Corporate to Institutional to SME and Personal customers. John has a B.Sc in Business and Information Technology and an M.Sc in Business Administration – both from Trinity College Dublin.


Sue O'Neill

Sue O’Neill is Managing Director of Shellcove, an Association Management Company (AMC), which she founded in 2004. and is Chair of the SFA National Council.

Sue has over twenty years’ experience in helping clients by offering bespoke marketing and management services allowing them to refocus their efforts on what’s core to their organisation. She is passionate about business development and seeking opportunities for clients through marketing and communications initiatives.  She has provided services to organisations such as Dublin City University, IBEC, Small Firms Association, Irish Medical Devices Association, The Irish Tyre Industry Association and The Vintners Federation of Ireland. She has also worked with many SMEs building their brand, their profile and winning them business.

Sue’s experience also extends to working with the academic sector in connecting both SMEs and multinational organisations to drive innovation and collaborative research. In addition, she advises and mentors start up companies.

Sue holds an MBA from Dublin City University, a Diploma in both Digital Marketing and Print Management and is a Graduate of the IMI Business Development Programme. She has previously served as a committee member of the Institute of Business Analysis & Consulting. She has been a member of the Small Firms Association since 1993 and has served on the council since 2004.

Enda Bannon

Enda Bannon is a founder and CEO of Pinemont LTD, a corporate bridging company incorporated in 2015. He is responsible for the credit function and all fund raising. He has significant lending experience in the SME sector and has overseen the rapid expansion of the business since 2015.

Enda was a joint founder partner in BMOL Partners in 1994 and has extensive experience in all levels of tax work whilst acting as the tax partner in the firm.  He has specific experience in corporate finance and has executed numerous corporate transactions including real estate transactions in Ireland the UK & Germany. He has completed a number of design and build development projects in Ireland and the UK over the years.

Enda was a joint founder of BMOL Partners in 1994 having worked in Arthur Young, Accountants from 1987-1994. Qualified as a Tax consultant in Arthur Young following which was employed in the tax department specialising in small and medium sized business enterprises, partnerships and sole traders.

Fiona Kilcullen

Fiona Kilcullen is a Principal Officer in the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment having joined in 2000

Currently she has responsibility over the Finance for Growth and State Aid Units of the Enterprise Development & Internationalisation Division.   

She is a chartered accountant. Prior to joining the civil service, she worked as an Accountant in a number of government agencies as well as private practice.

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