Committee Members’ Biographies

Chairman Alf Smiddy (BComm, FCA, FMII, MSc)

Alf Smiddy is a Chartered Accountant by profession, having worked with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and subsequently in leadership roles in the Irish and international hospitality and beverage sector for over 20 years. He was Chairman and Managing Director of Cork head quartered Beamish & Crawford Plc for over twelve years, and on the board of its parent company, Scottish & Newcastle (UK) Ltd (a FTSE 100 company) until the takeover of the Group in 2008 for €12b by a global beverage conglomerate.  He is presently on the Board of The Dalata Hotel Group Plc - the largest hotel group in Ireland, and also with hotel operations in the UK; and previously was a Director of The Moran & Bewleys Hotel Group.

Alf is an honours Commerce graduate from University College Cork. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, a Fellow of the Irish Marketing Institute, and has a Diploma in Corporate Direction from the Irish Institute of Directors. In 2009 he graduated with a Masters in Executive Leadership from Boston College and the University of Ulster.

Since 2008 Alf has been working as a Director, Business Advisor and Consultant for organisations across a range of sectors (private and public sectors) including Hotel & Hospitality, Financial Services, Marketing & Technology, Retail, Research & Education, Agriculture & Food, Engineering and Local Government. He has extensive experience in Non Executive and Executive Chairperson and Director roles, and also working in leadership positions in a multi-national hospitality and consumer goods business environment across many continents. He also works with leadership teams and CEOs in the Private and Public Sectors in Ireland on Organisational Development, Design & Strategy, Marketing & Business Development, Debt & Balance Sheet Restructuring, Strategic Financial Management, and HR. He has extensive experience in working in family companies & partnerships, and dealing with the myriad of issues faced by owner managers of SMEs and family companies.

Alf is a Director of Cork Chamber of Commerce (the representative body of c1,200 companies in Cork City and County, and has also served as a member of the National Executive Council of IBEC. Alf was born in Cork (1962), and lives in Glanmire, Co Cork. He is married to Jo Smiddy, a Resource Teacher specialising in teaching children with special needs, and they have five children.


Dr. Dermot Keogh 

Dr. Dermot Keogh is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Emeritus Professor of History and Emeritus Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration Studies, University College Cork. He is a graduate of University College Dublin where he also completed his MA.  He did his doctorate at the European University Institute, Florence.

He is the author of 12 monographs, edited five and co-edited nineteen volumes. His books include, The Vatican, the Bishops and Irish Politics, Ireland and Europe, 1919 1948; Ireland and the Vatican: The Politics and Diplomacy of Church and State, 1922 1960; Jews in Twentieth Century Ireland: Refugees, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; The Making of the Irish Constitution 1937; Jack Lynch – A Biography; Sir Bertram Windle, the Honan Bequest and the Modernisation of University College Cork, 1904-1919.

Professor Keogh has been twice a Fulbright Professor;  twice a senior scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars; Washington DC; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast; and Jean Monnet Professor, European University Institute, Florence.
Since his retirement in 2010, Prof. Keogh has been the Burns Scholar, Boston College, a visiting professor at the University of Montana, and a visiting Professor at the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires. He is on the team of editors for Documents on Irish Foreign Policy.


John Lucey SC

John Lucey is a Senior Counsel with an extensive practice in the fields of commercial and personal injuries litigation.  He was educated in University College Cork and the Kings Inns.  In 1987 he was called to the Bar of Ireland and was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1996.  In 2010 he was appointed a Senior Counsel.

He is an accredited mediator, a former member of the Professional Practices Committee of the Bar Council of Ireland, a former chairperson of the Pharmacy Assessment Board and a former board member of the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.  
During his career he has lectured regularly and chaired many seminars on topics of legal interest.


Tom Curran

Caherciveen native Tom Curran graduated with a degree in civil engineering from University College Cork in 1976. The following year, after working in London for a time, he joined Sligo County Council as Assistant Engineer for Planning from 1977 to 1978 before moving onto Drogheda Corporation as Assistant Engineer for all services in the years 1978 – 1982. 

In 1982 he moved onto Limerick County Council as Executive Engineer in water services, planning and roads and in 1988 he took up the position of Senior Executive Engineer in roads, water and environment.
In 1997, Tom became County Engineer in Kerry and then became Director of Services for Roads and Killarney Town Manager.
Tom served as Kerry County Manager from June 2007 until his retirement in June 2014.


Dr. Theresa Reidy

Dr. Theresa Reidy is a lecturer in the Department of Government at University College Cork.

Her research interests lie in the areas of public finance and political behaviour in Ireland. Dr Reidy has been involved in a number of research projects on elections and referendums.

Dr Reidy is Vice President of the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI), co-editor of Irish Political Studies. She has organised a series of academic and practitioner conferences on political reform, referendums, election campaigning and local government. She has given expert evidence to parliamentary committees, the constitutional convention and is a regular contributor to RTE radio and the print media.