Awards NightThursday 3rd
Nov 2016

Nominate Now

Judging Panel

Colette Cowan

CEO, University of Limerick Hospitals Group

Colette Cowan was appointed to Chief Executive Officer of the UL Hospitals Group in November 2014. Colette has been leading the reform agenda as the Hospital Group strives to become one of the top three teaching hospitals in the country by 2018.

She brings to the role 27 years of experience in the health service. From Portumna, County Galway, Colette completed her nursing training at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, and worked there for five years as an intensive care staff nurse before moving to the then Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Nenagh. In 2007, she was appointed Director of Nursing in Nenagh, the youngest person ever in the country to have filled such a role.

In March 2012, Colette was appointed Director of Nursing at Galway University Hospital (incorporating Merlin Park Hospital), before becoming the first Group Director of Nursing and Midwifery in the West North West Hospitals Group (now Saolta University Healthcare Group) eight months later. In that role Colette was responsible for the nursing and midwifery profession of 3500 nurses across seven hospital sites and part of an executive team leading a staff of 8000 and managing a nursing budget of €175 million. She also took a lead in the establishment of Saolta as one of the country’s first hospital groups.

Since her appointment as CEO of the UL Hospitals Group, Colette has been invited to sit on a number of strategically important national bodies, including the DOHC National Maternity Strategy Steering Group, the DOHC Policy on Trauma Network for Ireland Steering Group, National Emergency Medicine Taskforce and the National Sexual Abuse Steering Group.

Colette is adjunct Professor of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway. She is currently studying for an MSc in Business and Management at the Institute of Public Administration.

Colette Cowan

Margaret Swords

Chief Operations Officer, RCSI Hospitals Group

Margaret Swords is on secondment from her post of Deputy CEO/Head of Operations in Beaumont Hospital as Group General Manager of the Louth Meath Hospital Group.  Margaret has more than 20 years of senior management experience in acute hospital management and has led the significant reconfiguration of services in Louth County and Our Lady of Lourdes hospitals.  Margaret holds an MSc from Trinity.

 Tony Fitzpatrick

Union Representative, INMO

Tony Fitzpatrick is an Industrial Relations Officer with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation for the Dublin North East Region. The INMO is Irelands only dedicated Nurse and Midwife Union representing over 38,000 nurses and midwives and is also the voice of Irish Nursing and Midwifery abroad. The INMO is affiliated to the International council of Nurses(ICN), the International Confederation of Midwives(ICM), the Standing Committee for Nurses and Midwives in the European Union(EFN) and the Nursing and Midwifery Committee of the World Health Organisation(WHO).

Tony has worked as a Registered Nurse in Ireland and Australia. He graduated with a Higher Diploma in Emergency Nursing from RCSI while working in Beaumont Hospital. Tony also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wales.

Tony is currently Joint Chair of the RCSI Joint Union Management Forum. He is delighted to be involved in the judging process as he passionately believes in the importance of recognising staff and teams that  demonstrate excellence in their work.


Tony Fitzpatrick II

Rosarii Mannion

National Director Human Resources  – Health Service Executive

Rosarii Mannion has over 15 years of human resources experience including management experience in Community and Hospital Services in the HSE. She has held a number of senior management roles her most recent posts being Assistant National Director Human Resources, Dublin North East and Group HR Director in RCSI Hospitals.

Rosarii is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, a qualified Mediator, Conflict Coach and holds a BA, HDip, MA and MSc


 Ciaran McKinley

Market Access Director,  AbbVie Ireland

 Ciaran McKinley