Council is the governing body of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. It sets our mission, vision and strategic direction and approves general policies.
Council also ensures the accountability of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland by monitoring and supporting the implementation of policies, directives and general functions.
Prof Mary Horgan is the first female President in the 360 year history of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. She is in her second term as President of the College. She is a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and practices on the frontline in University College Cork in the South of Ireland. She is former Dean of the School of Medicine in UCC. She currently serves on our National Immunisation Advisory Committee and our National Public Health Emergency Team – which advises the Irish Government on public health issues during this pandemic. She is also Chair of the National Research Ethics Committee. She also trained in the US where she worked in St Louis from 1990-1997.
Prof Mary Higgins is an elected Fellow and Censor on the RCPI Council and was appointed Vice President in October 2021. Originally from Kildare, Mary graduated from University College Dublin and completed her training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Ireland, with membership and then fellowships of the RCPI and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK). Following an MSc in University of Oxford she gained further research experience by a MD (Diabetes) from UCD. She gained experience in Maternal Fetal Medicine in Toronto, Canada and returned to Ireland to her current post, as Associate Professor in University College Dublin and a consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist in the National Maternity Hospital. As a Principal Investigator in UCD Perinatal Research Centre she has more than 100 publications and supervises PhD, MD, MSc and undergraduate students. Mary was a ministerial appointee to the Slaintecare Medical Advisory Council (2018-2021). She is currently completing a Masters in Medical Education and has a Diploma in Entrepreneurial Education. She is an Associate Fellow AMEE (Association for Medical Education in Europe) and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators. Within RCPI, she is Chair of the Examination Board for the MRCPI (O&G) and the Board of the Postgraduate Certificate in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Professor Michael Keane is Registrar of the College, and an elected Fellow on RCPI Council. Prof Keane is Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics at UCD and Consultant Respiratory Physician at St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH). He graduated from UCD in 1989 and following initial clinical training in Dublin, moved to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine in 1995. He subsequently took up a faculty position at University of Michigan in 1998 and in 2000 moved to University of California, Los Angeles where he was Professor of Medicine and Programme Director for the UCLA Interstitial Lung Disease Center. Professor Keane returned to UCD and St Vincent's University Hospital in 2007 where he is an SFI Principal Investigator at the UCD Conway Institute and SVUH Lead Clinical Coordinator for Lung Cancer services. He is Lead Clinical Director, Chairman of the Medicine Division, Chair of the SVUH Medical Executive and a member of the hospital Board of Directors. He is Clinical Director of the UCD Clinical Research Centre and a member of the Molecular Medicine Ireland Board of Directors. His research interests centre on molecular investigation into, and treatment of, inflammatory lung diseases; particularly pulmonary fibrosis.
Dr Maeve Skelly is Treasurer of RCPI. She graduated from UCD and trained in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and General Medicine in St Vincent's Hospital Dublin while completing a PhD through the Dept of Pharmacology in UCD. Dr Skelly completed her training in Queen's Medical Centre Nottingham and University of Nottingham. After a couple of years as a Consultant in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals she returned to Ireland to take up her current position as a Consultant Gastroenterologist in University Hospital Limerick. Dr Skelly has been Treasurer of Irish Society of Gastroenterology, Clinical Lead for Bowel Screen in the Mid West and BST Programme Director of UL Hospital. Dr Skelly has served three terms on Council of RCPI and one term as Censor.
Professor Bergin is a Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, St James’s Hospital, Dublin and Professor in Infectious Diseases, Trinity College Dublin. Professor Bergin is the co-NSD for Infectious Diseases, RCPI, Director for the Training Site Accreditation Programme RCPI and the Co-Clinical Lead, National Infectious Diseases Programme, HSE. He was the co-PI of the inaugural HRB-funded Medical Education Research Grant awarded to RCPI and UCC. Prior roles include co-Founding Member and Chair of the Irish Hepatitis C Research Outcomes Network (ICORN); President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Ireland; Vice-President of the RCPI; Dean of Postgraduate Training, RCPI; National Lead, Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) programme, HSE; Clinical Director of the Surgical and Medical Subspecialties Directorate, St. James’s Hospital and Director of the Wellcome/Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility at St. James’s Hospital. Professor Bergin qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1989.
Dr. Anna Clarke MD, MPH, FFPHMI, FFPH, FRCPI, Diploma in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare. Dr Clarke currently works as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health HSE East in response to the Covid19 surge. Prior to this, she worked in the National Immunisation Office and undertook project work in NDTP until February 2020. She is the Clinical Lead for the International Clinical Fellowship Progarmme, RCPI. She is a member of the Education and Training Committee of the Institute of Medicine and National Immunisation Advisory Committee. A former Dean and NSD of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, she is a current examiner for the FFPHMI examination. In addition, she is a member of the Education, Training and Professional Development Committee and on the Education and Training General Assessors Panel, Medical Council of Ireland, having previously served as a Member and Vice President. Her main interests are education, training and immunisation.
Professor Rónán Collins is an elected Fellow on RCPI Council. He is a Consultant in geriatric and stroke medicine at Tallaght University Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin and current National Clinical lead for stroke. He is a Fellow of RCPI and RCP London, and a Fellow of the European Stroke Organisation. Professor Collins was a Member of the National Cardiovascular Working Group on ‘The Changing Cardiovascular Health’ strategy and the Irish Heart Foundation Council on stroke. He is currently on the board of Directors of SAGE advocacy and the Institute of Medicine at the RCPI. His research interests include stroke, atrial fibrillation and arts in health, reminiscence and telemedicine.
Professor John Cooke is a full-time Consultant Geriatrician at University Hospital Waterford. He is an honorary Clinical Associate Professor at RCSI and Clinical Senior Lecturer at UCC. John has been an advocate for undergraduate and postgraduate education since his graduation from UCC in 2004. He currently acts as joint NDTP lead for the South/South West Hospital Group. He is a member of the RCPI Specialty Training Committee and Clinical Advisory Group for Geriatric Medicine. John completed his specialty training in Ireland before doing a fellowship in Clinical Gerontology at King’s College Hospital London. He was conferred with a PhD from the University of Limerick in 2015. His research interests focus on cardiovascular ageing and frailty. He supervises a mixture of masters and doctoral students completing research in this field.
Professor Francis Finucane is an elected Fellow on RCPI Council. Prof Finucane is a consultant endocrinologist at Galway University Hospital and an honorary personal professor in medicine at NUI Galway. He graduated from RCSI, then obtained an MD from TCD followed by an MRC-funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, UK. His research focuses on how dietary and physical activity behaviours influence health. Since returning in 2010, Prof Finucane has established a regional bariatric service in the West of Ireland. He is a member of several international scientific organisations, has over 70 publications and he peer reviews for several high impact medical journals. He has served on RCPI policy groups on obesity and physical activity and on the RCPI examinations board. He would like to develop the College’s role in defining clinical and public health policies relating to obesity and enhance clinical training in this area.
Dr Emer Kelly is an elected Fellow on RCPI Council. Dr Kelly is a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine in St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. She trained in respiratory medicine, critical care and general internal medicine in Ireland before undertaking further training in Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, USA in the Harvard Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. Dr Kelly has a clinical and research interest in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She has a keen interest in medical education and has a Diploma in Medical Education from the University of Dundee. She has research interests in feedback in medical education and technology enhanced learning and served as the Clinical Lead for Digital Strategy and Innovation in the College. Dr Kelly is currently the incoming E Learning Resources Director of the European Respiratory Society.
Professor Cathy McHugh is an elected Fellow on RCPI Council. Professor McHugh is a Consultant Endocrinologist at Sligo University Hospital. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine Board, chairperson of MRCP part 2 Clinical Examination board. Professor Mc Hugh is the lead for Postgraduate Education and Research in Sligo, undergraduate lead for General Internal medicine for NUIGalway/Sligo students. She is a current national HPRA clinical trials board member (Health Product Research Authority), IHCA National Council member (2009-2011). A native of County Roscommon, she has an MBA from Smurfit Business School, a Diploma Medical Education from the University of Dundee, and MD from the University of Southampton.
Dr Pamela O’Connor is a neonatologist at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin. An NUIG graduate, she trained in paediatrics in Ireland, followed by fellowship training in perinatal and neonatal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, returning to a consultant post in 2003 at the Coombe and Crumlin hospitals. As director of neonatology in Crumlin hospital, she further developed services for the neonate with complex medical and surgical needs. Dr O’Connor is FRCPI since 2004, and in 2019, she was elected as a fellow representative on the board of the Faculty of Paediatrics. She is honoured to represent the specialty of paediatrics on the council of the RCPI. She is a director on the board of Helium Arts charity that supports children with chronic medical conditions. She is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society.
Mohammed I. Ranavaya, is a Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia, a consulting physician and American board certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Prof. Ranavaya advises the US Federal Government Department of Labor and has been an advisor to several US states on workplace injury issues and disability management. He has served as consultant to multinational insurance companies and businesses, advising them on injury management, rehabilitation, and return to work issues. He has advised multiple national and international governmental departments and agencies, including Worker's Comp and Motor Accident compensation systems and trained personnel in impairment and disability assessment as well as strategies in return to work. Prof. Ranavaya is the section editor and primary author of several chapters of the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides 6th ed) and has authored over 10 chapters in various internationally recognised textbooks on physical medicine and rehab, chronic pain management and disability medicine. He recently authored Physician's Guide to Medico legal Practice published by AMA press.
Dr Yvonne Smyth MB FRCPI MA graduated from NUIG in 1997. She completed her internship and General Professional Training in University Hospital Galway (UHG). Thereafter she worked in Beaumont, Tallaght and Cork University Hospitals before returning to UHG to complete the Cardiology Specialist Registrar training program. She was enrolled in the specialist division of the medical registrar in both Cardiology and General Internal Medicine in 2007. Her particular areas of interest include cardiovascular imaging and heart failure. She undertook a subspecialty fellowship in Cardiovascular Imaging in the Cleveland Clinic USA and achieved level III board certification from the American Society of Echocardiography in 2008 and 2018. In 2013, she took up a joint Cardiology/Acute Medicine consultant post in University Hospital Galway. In 2015 she became Co-Lead for the National Acute Medicine Programme. She has a MA in Healthcare Management, Diploma in Clinical Education and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.
Dr Lucy Geraghty is the Chair of the Trainees’ Committee, having been involved in the Committee since commencing training with the RCPI in 2016. She graduated from UCD in 2014, and completed her intership in the UCD Intern Training Network. After spending a year working in Western Australia, Lucy completed the BST in General Paediatrics before training at HST level in General Paediatrics. She became a member of the RCPI in 2017 and is currently in clinical training and conducting research as part of the Neonatology HST scheme in the National Maternity Hospital.
Karyn Harty joined Council as a lay member in January 2019. She is a partner at McCann FitzGerald solicitors in Dublin, where she specialises in commercial disputes and is a frequent adviser to commercial and semi-state organisations, working closely with executive and non-executive directors in the context of litigation, investigations and regulatory proceedings. A graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, Ms Harty was admitted as a solicitor in Belfast in 1997 and joined McCann FitzGerald’s Dublin office in 1998, where she has been a partner since 2005. A CEDR qualified mediator, she is a member of the international working group of the Sedona Conference (WG6) and the Women’s White Collar Defence Association, and is the author of the Law Society of Ireland Civil Litigation Manual Chapter on Discovery and a co-author of the Irish chapters in International Fraud & Asset Tracing, 3rd Edition 2015 and International E-Discovery, 2016.
Feargal O’Rourke was appointed as lay member on Council in October 2017. Mr O’Rourke is Managing Partner of PWC. He was elected to this position in 2015, and will serve a four year term. As Managing Partner, Mr O’Rourke is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the firm and its role in PWC’s global network.