The Authority

The Authority of the HPRA is appointed by the Minister for Health in accordance with the powers conferred by subsection 2 of section 7 of the Irish Medicines Board Act, 1995.

Member Profiles

Mr Michael Donnelly - Chair

Michael Donnelly Chairman Authority of the HPRA Michael, who was appointed to the Authority of the HPRA as Chair by the Minister for Health in April 2021, has spent his career in healthcare.

He has over 35 years of experience in Ireland and the US at senior executive, non-executive director, and executive director levels in private companies, listed companies and public sector organisations. He was Professor of Research Pediatrics at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and directed research in Neonatology at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Michael was the Neonatology Lead in design and construction of the new Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and its Basic Science Research facility.

Michael has published extensively and been granted US and international patents. His research was funded by US National Institutes of Health and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. He has been on medical device standards development panels and reviewer of US National Science Foundation research applications. As Head of Research and Development for listed companies he directed external research programmes. He has directed US FDA regulated trials on the development of diagnostics, devices, and medicines.

Michael is a Barrister and member of the Law Library with a focus on commercial matters.

Dr Joe Collins - MVB PhD CSci CBiol FRSB MRCVS CertEP CertVR

Joe was appointed to the Authority of the HPRA in September 2020.Dr Joe Collins, member of the Board of the HPRA

Joe graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD in 1987. He has since worked in Ireland and the UK in private veterinary practice, in the pharmaceutical industry and in the university sector. Joe is currently Chief Veterinary Advisor (Europe) at The Donkey Sanctuary, a UK headquartered global NGO, a member of the Charity Board at the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) and teaches on animal remedies and scientific animal protection (SAP) training courses in Ireland.

Joe has previously been President of Veterinary Ireland and FEEVA (the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations), and served on the National Committee for the Protection of Animals used for Scientific Purposes and the Veterinary Council of Ireland. Joe holds a PhD in equine welfare and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biologists. His main interests are in animal welfare and protection, veterinary medicines and professional standards.

Mr David Holohan - BCOMM, MBA, CDir, M.lnst.D, CMgr FCMI, Chartered FCSI

Mr D Holohan

David has worked in the asset and fund management industry across a range of roles, including Head of Research, Chief Investment Officer and fund manager. He currently works for Banca Mediolanum’s Irish Operations.

He was initially appointed to the Authority of the HPRA by the Minister for Health in January 2016 and is serving a second term. 

A Harvard Business School alumnus, David graduated from the General Management Program (GMP) and also holds the Harvard Business School Corporate Director Certificate. David also graduated from Imperial College London with an MBA with Merit and from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree.

David is a Chartered Director (UK) and Member of the Institute of Directors (Ireland). He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (UK) and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (UK). 

David is Chairman of the Governing Body of the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire (IADT) and serves as non-executive Chairman of the charity, One in Four Ireland. He is a former Non-Executive Director of the Ireland's National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) and the Dublin City Childcare Committee (DCCC). 

Mr Brian Jones

Brian was initially appointed to the Authority of the HPRA by the Minister for Health in January 2016.Mr B Jones

Brian is Group CEO of the Partnership of East London Cooperatives, a not-for-profit Social Enterprise providing clinical services to 1.1 million patients in North East London. With experience of leading a multi-skilled clinical team, operating within a rapidly changing healthcare system, he has an understanding of working collegially with partners from across multi-agency stakeholders to deliver outstanding care to the populations they serve.

His experience has provided him with a deep understanding of clinical governance and risk, enabling his organisations to create environments in which excellence in clinical care can flourish.

Prior to his most recent role, Brian spent seven years within public health.

Dr Elizabeth Keane - MB, MPH, FFPHMI

A consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr KeaneDr Keane is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health in the School of Public Health in UCC.

Dr Keane worked in hospital medicine for 5 years prior to undertaking a Masters in Public Health in UCD and completed Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine in 1989. She was appointed the first Director of Public Health for Cork and Kerry in 1995.

Dr Keane was Dean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the RCPI from 2014 to 2017.  In addition, Dr Keane is an Examiner for the Membership Examinations. She is a former Chair of both the National Cancer Registry Board and the Board of the National Disease Surveillance Centre (now HPSC). She has also served on the boards of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Interim Health Information and Quality Authority.

Dr Keane’s main areas of interest include health status epidemiology, health protection, the public health aspects of blood borne viruses and international health regulations.


Dr Paula Kilbane - CBE FRCP FFPHM 

Dr Paula Kilbane HPRA Authority Board Member

Dr Paula Kilbane trained in London in public health medicine and subsequently held consultant posts there prior to returning to Northern Ireland in 1986. Following a post of Director of Public Health, she became a CEO in two of the Health Boards in Northern Ireland from 1993 to 2009.

Following relocation to Dublin in 2012, she served on a number of Boards in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors. She is currently a member of the Board of HIQA (second term) where she has chaired the Regulatory Committee, and CES - The Centre for Effective Services.

She has served on a number of all-island bodies and in other sectors, including European funding and higher education.

Her professional interests include regulation, risk assessment, quality and patient safety, health information systems and health technology and strategic redesign of services.

A graduate of QUB, she is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians UK and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (UK and Ireland).

She was awarded the CBE in 2003 for services to health in Northern Ireland.


Professor Sharon O'Kane - PhDProfessor Sharon O'Kane - Authority Member

Sharon was appointed to the Authority of the HPRA in July 2021.

Sharon is an experienced Non-executive and Executive Board member with deep technology, innovation and governance expertise in the private, public and university sectors. She is a scientific and technical business leader within the international Medical Device and Pharmaceutical sectors, with experience spanning start-up company foundation through publicly listed global corporations.

Sharon is an R&D scientist who has been a Company Director for over 23 years, with experience of both private and public biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Sharon is currently a Non-Executive Director of the global medical device company LivaNova plc (LIVN: Nasdaq), where she is Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee.

Sharon is a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, and Entrepreneur in Residence at University College Dublin (UCD). Previously Sharon was the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Manchester, a Non Executive Director of the Manchester Inward Development Agency, and a founding member of the Manchester Business Leadership Council. Sharon is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors USA, Institute of Directors (IoD) Ireland, IoD UK, and Women on Boards.

Sharon has a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and has had Corporate Governance training at Harvard Business School. She earned a BSc (1st Class Honours) in Biomedical Sciences, a Diploma in Industrial Studies and a PhD in BiomedicalSciences from the University of Ulster. Sharon has received a number of academic and patent publications, prizes and awards.

Dr Diarmuid Quinlan - MB, BCh, BAO, BSc (Hons), MICGP, MRCGP, Masters in Medical Law &Dr Quinlan Ethics (merit), DCH, DFFP, Dip Practical Dermatology (distinction).

Dr. Quinlan works as a GP in Glanmire, Co. Cork. He is a graduate of UCC, completed specialist training in General Practice in Kent, England and then worked in Australia prior to returning to Cork. He is a director of Diabetes in General Practice, a diabetes charity. He is the National Clinical Lead for Diabetes in Primary Care. He is on the Cork committee of the Southdoc out-of-hours service. He is a clinical risk advisor in primary care, with the Medical Protection Society. He won the ICGP  Quality in Practice award in 2013 and 2018. He is an undergraduate tutor in UCC and an online dermatology tutor for Cardiff University, Wales. He is a medical columnist for a number of publications.

Professor Richard Reilly

Professor Reilly is Professor of Neural Engineering at Trinity College, Prof R ReillyThe University of Dublin. This post is a joint position between the School of Medicine and School of Engineering. He is a Principal Investigator of the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering (TCBE) and also a Principal Investigator at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN). His research interests are in clinical neural engineering based on signal processing of electrophysiological, neuroimaging and bioacoustic data for the development of quantitative methods to understand neural function and the underlying pathophysiology of sensory and cognitive processing.

He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Fellow of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering & Science and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. He was awarded the Haughton Medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland in 2013. In 2004 he was awarded a US Fulbright Award for research collaboration into multisensory integration with the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, New York.  Professor Reilly received his BE degree in Electronic Engineering, a MEngSc and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University College Dublin.