Coveney announces five appointments to the
Board of An Bord Pleanála


The Minister for the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., today (13 June, 2017) announced five appointments to the Board of An Bord Pleanála.

The Board is an independent statutory agency established in 1977 under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1976 and is responsible for the determination of appeals and certain other matters under the Planning and Development Acts, 2000 to 2016 and determination of applications for strategic infrastructure development including major road and railway cases. It is also responsible for dealing with proposals for the compulsory acquisition of land by local authorities and others under various enactments. The Board also has functions to determine appeals under the Water and Building Control Acts. The Board will shortly take on additional functions relating to direct applications for large scale housing developments.

At the beginning of 2017, the Minister requested nominations from the various bodies prescribed by legislation for the purposes of making appointments to the Board of An Bord Pleanála. On foot of that process, the Minister has made five appointments. Mr Eugene Nixon will take up office on 12 June 2017 and Dr Maria Fitzgerald will take up office on 10 July 2017, while Ms Terry Prendergast will take up her new role on 2 August 2017. Both Mr Terry O’Niadh and Mr John Connolly will take up office in September 2017, on 4 and 18 respectively.

A brief resumé of the new members is set out below. All five new Members are being appointed for a term of 5 years. This will maintain the Board membership at 9 persons.

Mr Eugene Nixon

Mr Nixon has a Diploma in Analytical Chemistry and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Trinity College. He also has a Master’s in Spatial Planning from DIT. He has worked as a scientific Civil Servant on marine related issues for over 30 years, spending a number of these years working with the Marine Institute.

Dr Maria Fitzgerald

Dr Fitzgerald is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. She has a PhD in Archaeology from Manchester Metropolitan University. She also holds a Professional Diploma in EIA and SEA Management from UCD as well as a BSc in Environmental Management from Sligo IT. She has experience in working in the archaeological and environmental field in both the private and public sector, most recently as a Senior Environmental and Archaeological Manager in Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Ms Terry Prendergast

Ms Prendergast is a corporate member of the Irish Planning Institute. She holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Development and a primary degree in Environmental Economics from DIT. She also holds a master’s in Urban Design & Regional Planning. She has held the post of Principle Planner for the Grangegorman Development Agency and has lectured in Planning in DIT since 1989.

Mr Terry O’Niadh

Mr O’Niadh has a Master’s in Public Affairs and Political Communication from DIT. He was the Non-Executive Director of the VHI Board from 2012 to 2015 and has Board level experience with The North Tipperary Leader Partnership Company. He has held the position of County Manager in North Tipperary Local Authority.

Mr John Connolly

Mr Connolly has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCC and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from NUIG. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland, and has been a Director of the Irish Waste Management Association for 14 years. He is also a member of IBEC’s Environmental Policy Committee and a former chair of its Resource Efficiency Working Group. He has worked for over 30 years in Senior Management positions in Bord na Móna, most recently in the areas of infrastructure development and regulatory/policy affairs.