Clare McGrath


Clare is an active Water Safety Ireland instructor, examiner, tutor and international referee and she has worked as a referee at the highest level at European and World competitions. Clare has been involved in the organisation of Regional and National lifesaving competitions, both pool and beach for 20 years. She works with Clare County Council, as the Water Safety Development Officer, within the Environment Section.

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Philip Keleghan

Philip Keleghan is from County Wicklow and has been involved in Water Safety and other aquatic activities for over forty years. He is an active Water Safety Instructor, Examiner, and Swimming Tutor. He is currently the National VIce Chair and head of the technical Commission.

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Tom O’Mahony

Tom O’Mahony lives in Dunboyne, Co. Meath. His is a retired civil servant and served as Secretary General of the Department of Transport and Sport. In a previous role in the Department of the Environment he was involved in the statutory establishment of Water Safety Ireland, then Irish Water Safety, in 1999. He is very active in the fields of sport (where he is President of St Patrick’s Athletic FC and a member of the Board of the Federation of Irish Sport) and music (as a recording artist under the stage name Tommy Keyes)

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Simon McGarrigle

Simon is currently living in Galway, Ireland, with his wife and young daughter, and works in a Sales & Marketing role for Finol Oils. Simon hails from Donegal, where his passion for the sport of lifesaving began from an early age and continues to this day. Throughout his teenage and early adult years, he was a Water Safety Ireland Instructor, IRB Crew, Coxswain & Instructor, a lifesaving sport coach & team manager in Donegal. He also instructed for WSI Dublin while he lived in Dublin. He has competed, coached & refereed nationally, and has also been team manager and referee at European & World Championship lifesaving events. Simon has been involved in organising both pool and beach competitions nationally for 10 years and is currently a member of the International Life Saving Federation of Europe Sports Commission as well as being the current chair of the Water Safety Ireland Sports Commission and a member of the WSI Technical Committee

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Natalie McGuinness

Natalie McGuinness is a strategy and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in various industries including technology, education and professional services.  She is Chief Marketing Officer for Mason Hayes & Curran, with responsibility for the firm’s marketing strategy in Ireland, the UK and USA. Previously, she worked for Vodafone and UCD. She is a three-time graduate of UCD with a BA, MBA, and a Diploma in Corporate Governance. Natalie is also a member of Dublin Chamber Council, Chambers Ireland and the St. Patrick’s Day Festival Board.

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Leo Mahon

Leo is from Co. Kildare and has been involved in Water Safety and other aquatic activities for over thirty years. He is an active Water Safety Instructor and examiner in Kildare.

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John Claffey

John has been an active committee member of WSI Kilkenny for over 20 years as an Instructor, Examiner, Swimming Teacher/Tutor and Cardiac First Responder Tutor , Pool, Beach and IOW Lifeguard Tutor, First Aid Responder Tutor and Pool Risk Assessor, Water Safety Awareness Tutor. During this time John has served as a member of the Lifeguard Commission and as Chair of Water Safety Awareness Working Group. John is an elected Council Member of Water Safety Ireland, and Chairman of the Rescue Commission, IRB and a member of the Technical Committee.

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Paul Burke

Paul has been involved with water safety for nearly 40 years. He has held many positions since 1984 on the Cork Area Water Safety Committee such as Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and Fund Raising Officer. He spent 7 summer seasons (1984 – 1990) working as a Beach Lifeguard on Inchydoney Beach.

Paul is a qualified Examiner, Instructor, Risk Assessor, Poolguard Provider, Beachguard Provider, Surf Lifesaving Referee & Swim Teacher Tutor. He is the current chair of WSI’s Swimming Commission and has sat on a number of Commissions of WSI and ILSE since 2000, such as the WSI Sports Commission (2000,2001,2002), WSI Lifesaving Commission (2003,2004), WSI Education Commission (2016), WSI Audit & HR Commission (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021),  ILSE Development Aid Commission (2000 – 2005), ILSE Auditor (2004,2005) and the WSI internal auditor since 2016.

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Paul Devins

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Dervla Quinn

Dervla is a practising solicitor and member of the residential tenancies board disputes committee. She is a year round swimmer active in Greystones Co. Wicklow swim community. In 2018 she was rescued from the sea which inspired an interest in promoting water safety.

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Mary Plunkett

Mary has worked in financial services for over 25 years across a diverse base of institutions in Banking, General Insurance, Life and Pensions and Funds. Working primarily within pillars of Strategic Planning and Governance, Mary has built vast experience having worked with leading financial services clients at exec level.  Mary holds a Diploma in Company Direction with Distinction from the Institute of Directors, an MSc Investment & Treasury from Dublin City University and is a qulaified accountant. Mary also holds the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland leading qualification and is a qualified Data Protection Officer.

Working in Risk management & Compliance for many years, Mary has in-depth experience in design of Risk & Compliance Governance Frameworks, monitoring upstream regulation, Compliance Monitoring Programmes, Compliance Roadmaps, setting Risk Appetite and Risk Policy and establishing governance programmes to manage same. Mary has valuable experience in engaging with diverse stakeholder groups to deliver transformation programmes, cultural change, offshoring, management of 3rd party suppliers and contractual commitments.

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List of Council Members

John Claffey; Paul Devins; Leo Mahon; Simon McGarrigle; Paul Burke; Philip Keleghan; Dervla Quinn; Natalie McGuinness; Mary Plunkett; Tom O’Mahony.