opening plenary (wednesday, 24 april)

Senator Pippa Hackett is Minister of State for Agriculture in Ireland with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity. She was appointed to this role in June 2020, only the third senator in the history of the state to be elevated to Cabinet. Senator Hackett was elected to the Agricultural Panel of Seanad Éireann in a by-election on 1 November 2019 and was re-elected in 2020.  She is also a former member of Offaly County Council. She holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Essex, a postgraduate diploma from University College Dublin, and a PhD from the University of Limerick. 

Minister Hackett has four children, and along with her husband Mark, she runs a farm (Moat House Farm) near Tullamore in Co Offaly.  They produce organic beef and sheep, while they also have some bloodstock and forestry. Moat House Farm is situated on the site of a 12th century Norman motte and bailey identified on the ordnance survey map as “The Moat of Down”, hence the business name.

closing plenary (saturday, 27 april)

Dr. Micheál Lehane was appointed Director with the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2016 and is currently the Director for the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring.

Prior to being appointed Director he served as a Programme Manager with the EPA in various leadership roles and in environmental protection & regulation in the UK.  Micheál is also the vice-Chair of the Irish National Accreditation Board and is a Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre CLG.

Micheál is a graduate of University College Cork with a PhD in Geology, holds an MBA from the University of Limerick and is a Chartered Director.