Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Membership of Aware’s Board of Directors is entirely voluntary and no remuneration is paid to the directors. All directors are Garda vetted and are also required to sign the Aware Volunteer Agreement; this means they are committing to the ethos and culture of Aware and committing to compliance with Aware’s policies and procedures.

Mr. Alan Duffy, Chairman

Alan joined HSBC Bank plc in July 2006 to establish its Irish corporate banking business and has twenty five years of international corporate banking experience.  Alan took on the role of CEO with effect from 16 May 2014. Prior to joining HSBC, Alan held the position of Head of Wholesale Banking for ING Bank N.V. based in Dublin. He has also held the position of Head of Lending with Banque Bruxelles Lambert as well as spending five years with Scotiabank (Ireland) Limited, with responsibility for originating a wide range of corporate transactions across the Nordic market. A Business Studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Alan also holds an MBA from The Smurfit Graduate School of Business.  He is a member of the Institute of Bankers and has recently completed a Certificate and Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Directors, London. Alan was elected Chairman in September 2017.

Mr. Stephen Crowley, Secretary

Stephen Crowley lives in Carrigaline, Co. Cork and has been involved with Aware as a Support Group Facilitator for five years. He also plays a key role in the Aware training team, delivering training to new volunteers. Stephen works as a Training and Development Specialist with Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited. He has worked with the company for 22 years across various departments including production and processing. Stephen is passionate about people and personal development, and in his free time he has completed a Diploma in Life & Executive Coaching and also studied Emotional Intelligence for two years in Carlow Institute of Technology. Stephen is married to Susan and has five children who he describes as ‘wonderful’.

Ms. Annette Byrne

Annette’s professional background is in Sales and Marketing, and she currently manages a signage company in Dublin. Annette came into contact with Aware over 20 years ago when she experienced depression and attended an Aware support group. She went on to train as a support group facilitator, served as Secretary of the Board for three years and Chairman for five years. Annette was closely involved in the pilot for Aware’s Life Skills programme in 2010, and in 2013 was part of the Strategic Review Committee. She is currently vice chairman of the Board, a member of the national facilitator training team, and a member of the steering committee for the Investing in Volunteers Programme. Annette is also a Trustee of Aware.

Ms. Jennifer Chamberlaine

Jennifer is currently Head of Marketing at BearingPoint Ireland, a leading management and technology consultancy, and a non-executive director with Paralympics Ireland. Jennifer has established and managed effective local marketing functions in a number of organisations and brings 13 years experience in creating and implementing marketing strategies.  Having started her career in a marketing consultancy specialising in market research and strategy, Jennifer worked until recently in the financial services sector where she managed marketing programmes to grow the domestic debit card brand to a national household name. Jennifer holds a first class honours degree in marketing from Dublin Business School, a diploma from the Digital Marketing Institute and a graduateship in marketing from the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

 Mr. Simon Holmes

Simon is Executive Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development at ICON plc, one of the world’s leading contract research organisations helping to bring new medical treatments to market. He is responsible for the company’s investor relations function and for the proactive identification and evaluation of potential acquisition candidates. Prior to this role, Simon was Group Director of Marketing, a position he assumed on joining ICON in July 2005. A graduate of the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University, Simon holds an MBA from the UCD Smurfit Business School and previously held senior positions with Microsoft, LogicaCMG and Cable and Wireless.

Dr. Declan Lyons

Dr. Lyons is a Consultant Psychiatrist at St. Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin and Lecturer in Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin. As an old age psychiatrist, Dr. Lyons has a special interest in depression and its impact on older adults. He is Director of the Evergreen Rehabilitative Programme at St Patrick’s, and also co-ordinates a memory clinic with an emphasis on early diagnosis of dementia and other memory disorders.

Mr. Michael McCarthy

Michael lives in Co. Meath where he has farmed all his working life. For over 20 years he has facilitated Aware support groups in the Dublin area and found great benefit himself from using Aware services. Michael is married to Rosemary with three grown-up children and five adorable grandchildren.

Mr. Colm Carey

Colm is a Support Group Facilitator with Aware in Dublin.  He has worked in market research for over twenty years building up vast experience of the business of brands and consumer psychology. He has an honours degree in pure psychology from University College Dublin and a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy skills.

Colm has also worked as a strategic Planner with Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising.  He is a regular contributor to Marketing Magazine – Ireland’s leading marketing publication on issues relating to marketing and brand development – and contributes to radio and television shows on marketing and consumer psychology related issues.

Mr. Peter Cosgrove

Peter is a an expert on the Future of Work and was the Founder of the Future of Work Institute in Ireland. He has worked in the fields of banking, management consultancy and most recently with Cpl in the staffing sector. He is a regular contributor to the national media on areas of talent and the future of work. Peter is on the steering committee of the 30% club and is former Chairman of Junior Achievement Ireland and Blackrock Athletic club and the former President of the National Recruitment Federation.

Dr. Keith Gaynor

Keith is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan. He specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders and depression. He has previously worked for the NHS at the Warneford Hospital, Oxford. He completed his clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, London. He completed his PhD in University College Dublin. He has written widely in academic journals on the topic of CBT and is regular contributor to the Irish media on issues of mental health. He has just released his first book “Protecting Mental Health”.

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Lisa is a graduate of UCD School of Medicine. She is a member of the Irish College of General Practitioners and The Irish Student Health Association. She holds post graduate qualifications from The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and The Irish College of Psychiatrists. Dr Lawless currently works as a GP in the College Health Service at Trinity College Dublin providing a wide range of care to staff and students. She has a special interest in mental health care particularly amongst adolescent and young adult populations. Dr Lawless has a wide range of clinical experience having worked for many years in hospital and community based medicine. She enjoys teaching and previously worked as a lecturer in Clinical Neurophysiology at The University of Ulster.

Sarah Watson

Sarah is a Commerce graduate from UCD and holds a post graduate diploma in professional accounting from the UCD Smurfit Business School. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Sarah commenced her career with PWC where she worked on various financial services clients, spending time both in Ireland and the US. She held various financial and risk management roles with UniCredit Group, BOI Group and Bank of New York. Sarah currently heads up the Finance function for Scotiabank in Ireland where she has responsibility for all financial and regulatory reporting.

Board of Directors

Membership of Aware’s Board of Directors is entirely voluntary and no remuneration is paid to the directors. All directors are Garda vetted and are also required to sign the Aware Volunteer Agreement; this means they are committing to the ethos and culture of Aware and committing to compliance with Aware’s policies and procedures.

Aware’s Board of Directors meets six times per year and minutes are recorded at every meeting. These minutes are circulated to the directors after each meeting.

Membership of the Board of Directors is based on:

The board has a number of working committees, further details of the Board Committees>>

Aware services are independently and regularly evaluated to ensure effectiveness and any recommendations are considered and implemented by the board and senior management.

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each year to approve the company’s accounts. All directors (excepting office holders) retire from the board at the AGM and are eligible for reappointment at that meeting.

The Board of Directors report to the Members of Aware. The Members meet independently of the board a number of times per year.

The board and Finance Committee have approved a range of financial policies and procedures which are subject to review and external independent audit each year.

Aware is independently audited (current auditors are PWC) and annual accounts are published each year in line with best practice. The accounts are posted online for members of the public to view.

The Aware accounts have been prepared in accordance with the new standard FRS102 (The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland). FRS102 is the applicable standard for Public Benefit entities whose financial statements are intended to give a true and fair view of the financial position and income and expenditure for a period.

The Board of Directors agrees a Strategic Plan for the organisation every three years.




1800 80 48 48

Available Monday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm

More Information

Email at any time. You can expect a response within 24 hours.

More Information
Support & Self-Care Groups

Aware Support & Self Care Groups offer a unique opportunity to talk openly about depression or bipolar disorder and its impact.

More information

Get Updates

Sign up to the Aware Newsletter by email to receive updates on Aware’s programmes, events, campaigns, services, volunteering opportunities & more...