The Governing Body of Munster Technological University has been established in accordance with the provisions of the Technological Universities Act 2018 and its functions are as identified in the Act.


For more information on the Governing Body Membership, please click the profile links below. 

Jimmy Deenihan is a former Kerry footballer and Government Minister who served as Minister for Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht; Minister for Rural Development and Food and Minister for The Diaspora during his political career.

Before entering politics in 1983 he taught physical education, history and geography at Tarbert Comprehensive School in Co. Kerry. He played Gaelic Football with his native Kerry at all levels from 1970-1983. He continues to coach underage football teams, and serves on the Boards of a number ofvoluntary organisations.

Maggie Cusack completed her BSc in Cell Biology at the University of Glasgow and her PhD in Protein Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool. She began multidisciplinary work in Geosciences at the University of Glasgow where she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and established a research group in biominerals. As well as research and teaching commitments, she was Associate Dean for the Faculty of Physical Sciences Graduate School, International Lead for Science & Engineering and Head of School of Geographical & Earth Sciences. In 2017 Maggie joined the University of Stirling as Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. In 2018, she completed the Senior Executive Programme of the London Business School. Maggie was awarded the Saltire Society’s Scottish Science Award in 2008, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011 and, in 2017, she was awarded the Schlumberger Medal by the Mineralogical Society. 

On 1st January 2021, Maggie took up the role of Inaugural President of MTU.

Denis Leamy is the Chief Executive of Cork Education and Training Board since 2019. Cork ETB manages 27 schools, 5 Further Education Colleges, 1 Training Centre and 160 Community Education Centres providing education and training to over 37,000 learners with an annual State budget of €220 million. 

Previously, he was CEO of Pobal for ten years, an Irish Government Interagency body for Social Inclusion and Local and Community Development with an annual budget of €600 million.

 A graduate of Maynooth University and Institute of Public Administration, he has a wide range of experience of managing youth and family projects in Dublin and Kilkenny and across the EU. He is Chair of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Directing Committee since 2018 and a member of OECD LEED Forum Board since 2012.

Sigbritt Karlsson is the 19th President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology. She took office on November 12, 2016.


She has an academic background from KTH, where she earned her Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialisation in biotechnology. She also has a PhD in polymer technology from KTH, and is professor of polymer technology targeting the polymeric materials technical environment. 

From 2010 to 2016 Karlsson was President for the University of Skövde. Then she returned to KTH - as President.

Jerry is an experienced Regional Director with Enterprise Ireland with a demonstrated history of working in the international trade and development industry. He is skilled in Business Planning, International Business, Market Research, Management, and Start-ups. He is a strong business development professional and he graduated from NUIG.

Aoife O’Brien is the Cluster Manager of KerrySciTech, a not-for- profit organisationestablished to connect, promote, influence and develop Kerry’s science, technology and engineering ecosystem. Aoife joined KerrySciTech from the SFI-funded Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) at Tyndall, where she worked as the EU Grants & Communications Manager and was responsible for driving IPIC’s strategy to secure EU funding and ensure success through the Horizon 2020 Programme. She also managed the Centre’s communications strategy, highlighting IPIC as a world leader in photonics research and maintaining strategic relationships with national and global stakeholders. 

A former Communications Manager with Kerry Group, Aoife also worked as a senior executive with ICT Ireland & the Irish Software Association (now Technology Ireland) at IBEC. There, she was responsible for Education & Skills, Environment and Trade Policy and led significant events and initiatives focused on promoting Ireland as a location of choice for technology companies. 

Christina Mandrusiak (MA Learning & Technology, CEC) is a senior learning professional and development coach with more than 25 years’ experience in post-secondary and corporate education.  Her post-secondary career spans academic, business, trades, and international student programs where she has been a member of program and curriculum advisory panels, curriculum designer, content author, and lecturer.  She has worked with universities, colleges, and trade and technical schools.

She has held senior corporate training positions with several national (Canadian) and international organisations including Dell Canada and Hubbell Power Systems, a position which brought her to their Global Operations centre in Shannon, where she partners with corporate leadership to maximize individual and organizational performance.  Her strengths include leadership development, culture and diversity education, performance management, coaching, and mentoring.

Vice President, Business Transformation, Dell - Working with business units to turn around performance and achieve their strategic goals.

Very active in leadership development.

Frequent speaker on Diversity and Inclusion panels such as Disability:in’s 2021 global conference.

MTU alumni.

MSc. (Hons.) in Supply Chain Management, TU Dublin ; Bachelors Business Studies, Accounting & Finance, University of Limerick; Certificate in Business Studies MTU, (1992).

Active in development of Basketball at club (Ballincollig) and national level.

Project Coordinator, Le Chéile School Completion Programme MTU Alumni
Masters in Social Policy, UCC 

Ingrid O’ Riordan has spent the last 22 years working with Educational Welfare Services in the primary and post primary sector. Before that she worked in Youth Homelessness, Youth Justice and in Child Protection. 

Ingrid has supervised Social Work, Social Care and Teaching Practice students for the last 20 years.

Ingrid’s work is concentrated on evidence based practice. She works closely with many organisations both locally and nationally aimed at Educational Equality for all 

Ingrid is Chairperson of Midleton Camogie Club, is an Executive Member of Midleton GAA and is a Croke Park Safeguarding Tutor providing Safeguarding training to GAA coaches across the city and county.

Chairperson of Kerry ETB

Managing Director of Jim Finucane Auctioneers Ltd, Tralee

Elected member of Kerry County Council, and a member of the Economic Development S.P.C.

Former member of the Governing Body of IT Tralee. Served as a member of the Governing Body of University College Cork and led Kerry Education Services (VEC in Kerry) as it transitioned to Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) in 2013.

Former President of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) 

Diploma in Leadership through the I.M.I. and U.C.C.

Martin Dineen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Diploma in Corporate Direction. He is currently Chief Financial Officer for Lisavaird Co-op Group and Director and Secretary of Lisavaird Food Group. 

Martin also serves as an Independent Governor on the Board of Writtle University College. Martin has held senior financial roles in Ireland and the UK in large PLC companies including Kerry Group and Premier Foods UK.

Mary Hegarty has 25 years experience in Retail Business in Bantry Town and 15 years experience of local Government serving on Cork County Council & Banty Town Council from 2004 to 2019.  






Her profile of Board Membership include:

  • Vice chairperson of Cork ETB
  • Director of Crawford Art Gallery Cork
  • Member of Cork Co Co Arts & Policy Committee
  • Member of Cork Co Co Library Services Committee 
  • Trustee of Co-Action Disability Services West Cork
  • Board member of Employability Services West Cork
  • Member of the Build Committee of West Cork Music
  • Chairperson & member of a number of Boards of Management of second level Schools in West Cork
  • Former Governor of CIT
  • Member of MTU sub committee & Chair of the Arts Sub Committee 
  • Served for 15 years on the Board of West Cork Music
  • 10 years experience as a member of Bantry Harbour Board
  • 10 years a member of Bantry Agriculture Show
  • Mary has a great interest in the Arts & Culture & Tourism & Marine Leisure

Paula Cogan is CEO at Cognate Health a role which she commenced in September 2020. Cognate Health is a leading supplier of Occupational Health Services in Ireland. Services include on site and online medical support for employees of the largest companies as well as Government bodies and Educational Institutes. Paula is also currently President of Cork Chamber and is the second female to hold this role in 200 years. Prior to her move to Cognate Health, Paula had worked for over 25 years in the hospitality industry and had held senior roles in sales and marketing, culminating as Global Head of Sales for Doyle Collection, an Irish owned and operated luxury hotel company with properties in Ireland including the flagship Westbury Hotel as well as the UK and the US. 

Paula sits on the board of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Glucksman Gallery at UCC. She completed her primary and postgraduate studies at UCC and in 2015 undertook a Diploma in International Sales and Marketing at Cornell University. Paula lives in Berrings, Co Cork with her husband Mike and three sons ranging from 21 to 16 years of age. She loves travel, watching sport and spending time in West Cork with the family. She is an avid reader and is fascinated by history and its impact on modern day politics and diplomacy.

Joan Cleary has been a lecturer in mathematics and statistics in IT Tralee since 1992 and has lectured across all Schools. She previously lectured in three universities and as a taught at second level in Australia. Her research area is mathematics and mathematics education, and was involved in setting up the Teaching and Learning Unit in IT Tralee and instigated national workshops on teaching mathematics and the national mathematics learning support network. 

As a previous member of Governing Body Joan secured EU funding for the on-campus creche for children of students that opened in 2008 and remains a director. Joan is the area representative on the national executive of the Teachers Union of Ireland, representing the branches in MTU Kerry, Galway-Mayo IT and Limerick IT. She sits on the national industrial relations fora the National Negotiation Forum for TUs and the IoTI IR Forum.

Mary Cooney is a lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Studies and she joined CIT/Munster Technological University (MTU) in 2009.

As an academic she has thirty years of experience and she has lectured in three universities across Europe in Psychology and Education. Mary worked as a HR Consultant in Human Resources Advisory Services with one of the big four multinational professional services with a range of clients in the public and private sector. 

During her time as a lecturer over the past twelve years at CIT and now MTU, Mary was a member of Academic Council from 2010, and served for one term of office. In 2015, she was appointed as the Academic Staff Member of Governing Body until December, 2020 when MTU was established.

On Governing Body, she was a member of several Committees including:Finance; CIT MTU Sub-Committee; Presidential Appointments Committee and the Joint Governing Body MTU Steering Group.

Peter Somers has 40 years’ experience in various roles and functions in MTU. 

He is the Timetabling Co-Ordinator on the Bishopstown campus. 

Prior to joining the Buildings & Estates Office, he worked in a number of areas in the Finance Office. 

He is an executive member of the FÓRSA National Higher Education Branch and has been an active and supportive member of the MTU TASS Forum since its inception in 2014.

He has previously served as a member of the Governing Body of CIT in the period 2005 – 2010.

Tom Doyle is a lecturer and répétiteur at MTU Cork School of Music where he teaches on the Bachelor of Music, BA in Musical Theatre, and MA in Music programmes. Since becoming a lecturer in 2015, Tom has actively sought to engage with different disciplines, university bodies and working groups: he currently sits on the MTU Assessment Appeals Board, is a member of CPEER, helps to organise the visual art exhibition space (‘Pause’) at the School of Music, and works closely with the MTU Arts Office on a variety of projects and initiatives.

Outside of the university, Tom is highly sought after as a freelance musical director and pianist in Cork City and its environs. Since 2015, he has been honorary Treasurer of Cork Orchestral Society, and more recently became a Trustee for Creative Lives, a charity that supports and encourages people to be creative in their everyday lives.

Ursula Barrett has worked as a lecturer in adapted physical activity in the Department of Health and Leisure at IT Tralee for the past 15 years. Previously she worked as the Sports Coordinator for Kerry Sports Partnership and as a Sport and Recreational instructor with St. John of God’s Services. While in IT Tralee she has taught across numerous departments, supervised research, been involved in course development, European projects and served on the Academic Council. In recent years she has also been the branch chair of the IT Tralee TUI branch. 

In a voluntary capacity she has served on many committees including a secondary school Board of Management and the Irish Sport’s Council’s steering group for the Sports Inclusion Disability programme. She is a director of Camp Abilities Ireland (a residential sports camp for children with vision impairments) and volunteers with her local athletics and youth clubs. She has been involved in community capital projects such as Ardfert playground and more recently a new multi-sports facility. 


Aisling O'Mahony is the President of MTU Cork Students' Union and the chief representative of over 12,000 students.  This is Aisling's second term as President and prior to this she held the role of Vice President Education.  Aisling is the principal spokesperson and the chief executive officer of the Union and co-ordinator of all activities of the Union.  

Aisling was a member of CIT's Governing Body and looks forward to making positive contributions as a member the newly formed MTU Governing Body.

Alan Murphy is currently studying the MSc in Cybersecurity Management at MTU Cork Campus. He also currently the MTU Cork Student Union Class Representative for Cybersecurity Management and the Postgraduate Representative to MTU Academic Council. This year Alan received an award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution to Student Life at MTU at the MTU Cork Student Union Council Awards.

Alan is an honours graduate of the BSc in Business Information Systems in UCC. Alan has a background in Financial Services & Banking, specialising in Problem Management.

Alan was the Co-Founder & Treasurer of a Charitable Activities Committee during his time in second level education. 

My name is Chris Clifford. I am the current President of MTU Kerry Students’ Union. LI am a Health & Leisure Graduate and a former deputy/VP Education for ITTSU/MTUKSU. I have currently only served in the Students’ Union in a socially distanced world but I am really looking forward to seeing both staff and students return to campus. My main aims of the year is to create a more enjoyable student environment both on and off campus and really give Tralee a University town standing. I am looking forward to working with you all in the future and help towards providing the best opportunity to each and every MTU student.