Directors


Board of Directors

  • Michelle Norris

    Professor Michelle Norris (Chairperson)

    Professor Norris was initially appointed to the Board in 2012, and re-appointed as HFA Chairperson in January 2017. Michelle is Professor of Social Policy in UCDs' School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, and her teaching and research interests focus on social housing policy and urban regeneration. During her career she has led or participated in 20 research projects on these issues and has produced over 100 publications on the results. Her latest book entitled Property, Family and the Irish Welfare State was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016.


  • Barry O'Leary

    Mr. Barry O'Leary (Chief Executive Officer)

    An accountant by profession, Barry was appointed as Chief Executive Office in September 2012. He has worked with the Housing Finance Agency since 1988, holding the roles of Financial Controller/Company Secretary and Head of Treasury. Barry also has experience of insolvencies and previously worked with the Comptroller and Auditor General.


  • Padraic Cafferty

    Mr. Padraic Cafferty

    Padraic was initially appointed to the Board in 2012, and re-appointed in January 2017. He is the Founder and Chairman of Datascan, Executive Chairman at Northwood Technology Ltd, and Proprietor at Westpoint Business Centre and Sigmund Business Centre, Glasnevin, Dublin. Padraic is a member of the Institute of Directors and Past President of the Irish Security Industry Association. Padraic serves as a non-executive director of the Private Security Authority.


  • Emma Cunningham

    Ms. Emma Cunningham

    Emma was appointed to the Board in January 2017. She works in the Banking Division of the Department of Finance, dealing with a range of issues including policy for the banking and payment sectors, in Ireland and at EU level. Emma has held a number of positions in the Department throughout her career to date, including working as Budget Counsellor in the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union.


  • Clare Curley

    Ms. Clare Curley

    Clare was appointed to the Board in January 2017. She works as Director of Services for Corporate Services, Human Resources, Environment and Climate Action with Tipperary County Council. Clare previously worked as Director of Services for Housing and also as Director of Fire and Emergency Services and Health and Safety with Tipperary County Council. She has also worked in other Local Authorities. Clare holds a BA degree in Public Management.


  • Brian Fitzpatrick

    Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick

    Brian was appointed to the Board in March 2017. He started his business career working as an accountant with Readymix Ltd, progressing to Financial Controller before making his move to the financial services sector when he joined First National Building Society. There he held a number of positions including Group Financial Controller and gained considerable experience in the mortgage finance industry. In 1998 Brian moved to BAM Contractors Ltd, Ireland’s largest civil engineering and construction company, where he worked as Finance Director and Company Secretary until his retirement four years ago. He continued to be a non executive director of BAM Contractors LTD until December of 2019 at which time he resigned from the Board. Brian was appointed to the Board of CIE in April 2019 and is also a member of the CIE Board Audit & Risk committee and the Strategy Committee.


  • Aideen Hayden

    Dr. Aideen Hayden

    Aideen was appointed to the Board in March 2017. A solicitor with a degree in Economics, Aideen holds a PhD in housing policy from UCD. She was a member of Seanad Eireann from 2011 to 2016, nominated by the Taoiseach, where she served as vice chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform. She is currently Chair of Threshold National Housing charity. Aideen was also a founding member of the Residential Tenancies Board.


  • William Johnston

    Mr. William Johnston

    William was appointed to the Board in March 2017. He is a solicitor, an economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and a Consultant with Byrne Wallace LLP. He is the external Examiner for the Law Society in banking law, former chair of the banking law division of the International Bar Association and author of 'Banking and Security Law in Ireland (2nd ed, Bloomsbury Professional, 2020)'. He is a member of the Board and Audit & Risk Committee of the Port of Waterford Company and the Honorary Secretary and Board member of The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.


  • Rory O’Leary

    Mr. Rory O’Leary

    Rory was appointed to the Board on 4 March 2021. He is a Principal Officer in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, currently with responsibility for AHB Policy and Regulation. Rory has held a variety of roles within the Department, including in the Local Government (Finance), Environment and Corporate Divisions. He also had previous experience in the EU Commission (DG Environment) and the Office of Public Works. Rory holds an MSc in Environmental Economics, Policy and Risk from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland and a BSc in Zoology from University College Cork.


  • Lianne Patterson

    Ms. Lianne Patterson

    Lianne was appointed to the Board in March 2017. Lianne joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service in 2005 and was appointed to her current role of Deputy Secretary for Resources, Reform and Infrastructure at the Department of Education in March 2019. Lianne is a chartered accountant by profession and spent much of her career in management roles in Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to her current role she previously held roles as Director of Justice Delivery in the Department of Justice and as Senior Finance Director in the Department of Infrastructure.


  • Jennifer Ward

    Ms. Jennifer Ward

    Jennifer was appointed to the Board in March 2017. Jennifer is an independent consultant working with an active and diverse client base on advisory consulting. Jennifer was a non-Executive Board member of Clúid Housing from 2015 to 2017, and a member of Clúid’s ‘Growing Our Business’ Committee. She previously worked with AIB's Financial Solutions Group in roles as, Head of Investment Planning & Prioritisation and Head of Group Change Management for AIB Group. Jennifer holds an MSc in Management Practice and a BA (Mod) in Economics & Business, both from Trinity College Dublin’s Business School.


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