BOARD & GOVERNANCE
Embrace FARM Board of Directors and Chairperson are volunteers and donate their time without payment to the continual operation and development of Embrace FARM and its values.
Brian Rohan – Chairperson
Brian Rohan, Chairperson of Embrace FARM is a Dairy Farmer, husband, father of 3 and Co-Founder of Embrace FARM with his wife Norma following on from the death of his father from a FARM accident in June 2013. Brian originally wanted to host a Remembrance Day for all Farmers who died from a FARM accident and have one day in the year where we could remember them.
Following on from phone call after phone call from families who lost loved ones and listening to their stories Brian quickly realised there was little or no help available to these families. Brian felt they had to try and provide some assistance to these people who found themselves in this situation through no fault of their own and so Embrace FARM was born.
Angela Hogan – Board Member
Angela Hogan is a civil servant living and working in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Angela is a single parent to an 18-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. Becoming a single parent because of a FARM accident that claimed the life of her partner Brendan Kelly and changed their lives forever. Brendan was a very popular Agri-contractor in North Tipperary and was well thought of in the community.
The aftermath of a FARM accident is a very traumatic and stressful time. Along with trying to deal emotionally with what has just happened, there are also the practical details that do not go away. Brendan’s accident occurred in July 2011 and it took until May 2017 (the day before our daughter’s communion) to officially finalise matters in court, but even then, it’s not fully over.
Peter Gohery – Board Member
Peter’s life was changed forever in 2009 because of a simple farm accident. He lost one leg and very nearly lost the other, and as a result has limited the work he can now do on the farm.
Pater became a director of Embrace FARM, and now helps other people like me, when they suffer an amputation because of a farm or traffic accident. Peter tells his story and show the type of prosthetic that he wears. Peter is an advocate for farm safety and highlighting the awareness of farming accidents. His place on the board is invaluable.
Peter Byrne – Board Member & Joint Treasurer
Peter Byrne is CEO of National Co-op FARM Relief Services Ltd., trading as FRS Network, and has been involved in the growth and development of FRS from its beginnings in late 1970’s when Macra appointed him to co-ordinate the activities of the various relief milking groups then in existence. Coming from a Farming background near Roscrea, in his native Tipperary, Peter completed a B Agr Sc degree before going on to work for Macra. He has been very supportive of the concept of support for families bereaved by FARM accidents and greatly appreciated the work which Brian and Norma were setting out to do.
He was honoured to be asked to be part of the Board from the outset and feels great progress has been made in getting a very strong, focused, committed and well governed organisation established over the last few years. Embrace FARM fulfils a very important role for families at a really difficult time in their lives and I want to see it grow its range of services and supports to those families.
"Embrace FARM reaches out to support you in your darkest moments. Knowing that there is someone, outside your family, who has gone through the same experience of a FARM accident, is a huge support and comfort. Angela is a valued board member to Embrace FARM from what she has personally experienced and can share to those in need" - Angela Hogan
Gerard Keenan – Board Member & Joint Treasurer
Ger Keenan was invited by Brian Rohan to serve as one of the founding directors of Embrace FARM in 2014. The Rohans and Keenans go back a long way through Brian’s dad, Liam, and Ger’s dad, Richard (Dick) Keenan. Dick Keenan came from a 60 acre farm in Tullaroan, Laois, and in 1942 with his two brothers set up Keenans of Bagenalstown, most famous for its haysheds. In 1978 with his dad and three brothers, Ger Keenan was a co-founder of Keenans of Borris, the company best known for the green diet feeder wagon.
From 1992 to 2016, Ger Keenan was CEO of Richard Keenan & Co., leading the development of the Keenan System (diet feeder supported by nutrition advice) and business growth across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, America, and Africa. For his success in building export markets, Ger was appointed by Minister for Trade, Mr. Enda Kenny TD, to the Irish Export Board in 1996.
Joe Thompson – Board Member
Joe Thompson is currently the Youth Officer for Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB), he works corroboratively with various state bodies, statutory and voluntary organisations, agencies and community groups to develop strategies, policies and programmes to meet the diverse needs of young people and their communities in Laois and Offaly.
Joe represents the Youth Sector as a member of the Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), he has worked on the development of the Plan and the Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) 2016-2021, and chairs the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP). He also sits on the boards of the Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) and Mountrath Community School (MCS)
Joe has worked and volunteered with two of Irelands leading youth organisations (Youth Work Ireland and Foroige), working corroboratively with young people, youth professionals / volunteers and key stakeholders to design, develop and deliver programmes, workshops, events, and conferences to promote / enhance youth mental health and well-being.
Joe is a qualified Counsellor/Psychotherapists and Teacher/Educationist. He has worked as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist with Portlaoise College / Portlaoise Institute for Further Education and subsequently as the Director of the Mountmellick Further Education and Training Centre (incorporating Youthreach).
Joe has worked both nationally and internationally (USA, France, UK, Chez Republic and Japan), held senior management positions in operations, production, engineer and quality management disciplines, within the manufacturing sector (Wyeth/pharmaceutical, Schneider Electric/control equipment, C&M Europe/electronic cable).
Joe is married to Jennifer with four young kids and lives in Portlaoise. He holds a BA (Ord) in Counselling and Psychotherapy (QQI Level 7), BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy (QQI Level 8), Postgraduate Diploma in Management (QQI Level 9), and is accredited with Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, registered with the Teaching Council and Irish Youth Officers Association.
Pat Griffin – Board Member
Pat Griffin is the Senior Inspector for Agriculture and Forestry Safety with the Health and Safety Authority. Pat joined the Authority over 27 years ago and is totally committed to helping to improve safety standards in Farming and forestry.
Pat works in the prevention area developing advice, information and guidance to assist the Farming community. Understanding the absolute need and importance of the support network that is Embrace FARM, Pat has been involved with Embrace FARM from day one.
Padraig Higgins has been a board member with Embrace FARM since the beginning. His own personal story of the loss of his six-year-old son, James, who died in 2008 due to a farming accident. Padraig shares the story of his son to all; his story highlights the heart of Embrace FARM and its ethos of being a support to those affected by farming accidents.
Padraig is an advocate for farm safety, his experiences of being a farmer, of his trauma and grief are completely invaluable to Embrace FARM.
Seamus Banim, is a fellow board member at Embrace FARM. As Director of Communications with ABP Food Group, Seamus brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the board. Being an advocate of farm safety, with ABP having won awards for their farm safety initiatives in the past.
Seamus brings a grounded and well researched opinion and influence on the direction of EmbraceFARM. With a strong background in communications throughout all his career having worked with other larger organisations such as Tesco and Eircom, he is a very valued member to the Embrace FARM family.
ADDITIONAL TEAM MEMBERS
Aisling Meehan – Legal Counsel
Aisling Meehan is a qualified solicitor, tax consultant and Farmer. She trained in the Tax Department of one of Ireland’s top five law firms and subsequently set up her own practice on her family’s award winning dairy FARM in County Clare specialising in agricultural law and tax advice and has a nationwide client base. She takes an active part in shaping agricultural legal and tax policy and was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, a scholarship awarded to future leaders in the agriculture industry.
She is regularly asked to speak on national television and radio and is solicitor to the Irish Farmers Journal. She serves on a number of boards and committees including Embrace FARM, Pallaskenry Agricultural College, the Taxation Committee of the Law Society of Ireland, the Gazette Editorial Board and the Public Relations Committee of the Law Society of Ireland, Communications Committee of Nuffield Ireland, Board of Management of Ballycar National School. Aisling guides the board of Embrace FARM on legal and tax issues and helps in promoting the organisation in the media.
Norma Rohan – Company Secretary
A stay at home mother to three children, originally from West Limerick, now settled in Laois married to dairy farmer Brian Rohan – Co-Founder and Chairperson of Embrace FARM. Norma’s earlier life was spent working in manufacturing quality and supply chain industry. Brian and Norma married in 2011 and their first child was born on the 13th June 2012, when Julie was six days old Brian’s Father was involved in an accident on their farm yard, which left him on life support for three days that was turned off on the 22nd June and there began their journey into grief, trauma and loss. Being a newly married couple with their first baby was meant to be a joyful time, they found their whole lives suddenly turned upside down.
About a year and half later they decided to hold a remembrance service for those killed and injured on the farms of Ireland, Brian wanted more for his father, he didn’t want him remembered as a statistic, he was husband, a father, and grandfather and well-respected within his community, he was more than just a number to his family and friends. There began Embrace FARM with the very first national remembrance service on the 26th June 2014. Embrace FARM is now officially registered as a charity to support those affected by farm accidents where Norma is named as company secretary.
EMBRACE FARM & GOVERNANCE CODE
Embrace FARM is committed to complying with the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations of Ireland. Since being awarded its charitable status in 2017, Embrace FARM has signed up to the registry of organisations that are ‘on the journey’ in adapting the Governance Code. Embrace FARM will be adapting the following Governance Code principles and sub-principles in the development and operation of its organisation.
EMBRACE FARM - FUNDRAISING POLICY
Embrace FARM is committed to adhering to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising as formulated by the Charities Institute Ireland (formally the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group) and supported by the Department of Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs post the Charities Act 2009.
The principles encourage charities to:
In response to this, Embrace FARM with its compliance to its charitable status, please find here our fundraising policy.
For all donors (past, present and future) please find a copy of our donor charter here.
We openly welcome all feedback in the operations of our organisation and invite you to find our Feedback and Complaints Procedure here.
For further information on the Charities Institute Ireland please log onto www.charitiesinstituteireland.ie