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Keynote Speakers:

John Moran, Chairperson, Land Development Agency and Maurice Buckley, Chairperson, Office of Public Works

Public Affairs Ireland is delighted to announce our upcoming State Lands Conference

The management, sale and development of public lands and buildings is more complex than property that is exclusively in private ownership. Issues concerning the disposal, development and management of public lands and properties can present real challenges for even the most experienced public sector property professionals and advisors.

As managers of public buildings and lands are subject to additional rules and obligations designed to ensure transparency in transactions, the achievement of value for money and procurement and disposal processes that can often be complex and difficult. Additionally, the development of public property often involves special planning considerations. There is also the ever-watchful presence of the Comptroller & Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee.

This practical and focused seminar that will be of relevance to public servants directly involved in the management, development or disposal of public real property and their advisors.

Attendees will benefit from the experiences of others in the public service, whether in property management, development functions or financial and corporate services.

Conference Schedule

8.00 –  Registration

9.00 – Opening remarks from Chair – Chair session 1: Kathryn Meghen, RIAI

9.05 – Keynote Address – The OPW and Priorities for the State in Land Management – Maurice Buckley, Chairperson, OPW

9.35 – Keynote Address – The State Lands Development Agency – Priorities and Plans –  John Moran, Chairperson, Land Development Agency

10.05 – Public Land and the Management of Large Capital Projects – Structures, Processes and Delivery Processes – Mark Varian, Eversheds Sutherland

10.25 – EU Procurement Law – Aspects of Capital Developments – Peter Curran, Eversheds Sutherland

10.45  – Question & Answers

10.55 – Coffee Break and Networking

11.20 – Remarks from Chair – Chair Session 2: Garrett Fennell, PAI

11.25 – Mitigating Risks and how the PRAI can help – Declan Power, Manager of State Property Unit, PRAI

11.55 – Ireland’s Climate Action Plan and the Implications for State Lands – Paula Butler Consulting (Formerly SEAI)

12.25 – An Economic Outlook for the Property Market – New Opportunities or a New Crash – Marie Hunt, CBRE

12.55 – Question & Answers

1.00 – Conference Close and Lunch

Our Chairpersons:

Kathryn Meghen is the CEO of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, an organisation with a far-reaching remit to promote, support and regulate the profession. As CEO she oversees the development and implementation of RIAI policies and services to support the members and deliver the RIAI strategy. Kathryn represents the RIAI on a number of external committees, including the Construction Industry Council, Construction Sector Group and the Architects Council of Europe where she chairs the regulatory issues taskforce. She is on the editorial board of Architectural Ireland and the RIAI Annual Review, Irish Architecture. Her publications include the RIAI’s New Housing 2 books as well as articles written for Architecture Ireland and National Media.


Garrett Fennell is a solicitor and a specialist consultant in regulatory and public affairs. Garrett has advised a large number of public bodies on compliance issues and practices. Garrett is a founding Director of Public affairs Ireland and established a specialist regulatory and public policy consultancy in 1997. He formerly worked as a public affairs consutlant with the ESB.


Our Panel of Speakers:

Maurice Buckley is Executive Chairman of the Office of Public Works (OPW). As the name suggests, the OPW builds and maintains a wide range of new and historical public buildings and infrastructure including Government Offices, Cultural Institutions, Security Facilities, Community Flood Defences, Parks, and Gardens. It carries out conservation/ restoration work and actively maintains some 800 of the thousands of designated National Monuments throughout the country. 70 iconic sites across its Heritage Portfolio have now been developed as fully serviced visitor destinations. After an international career in technology, manufacturing, and consulting in the private sector Maurice was Chief Executive of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) for ten years prior to joining the OPW in 2017. He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Director, currently serving on the Boards of Engineers Ireland and National Gallery of Ireland.



John Moran is perhaps best known for his role as Secretary General at the Department of Finance getting Ireland out of the bailout mess and on the road to a post crisis recovery.  He has recently been appointed as Interim Chair of Ireland’s Land Development Agency which was created to do a better job of managing Irish state land to see up to 150,000 housing units built there. John is Founder and CEO of RHH International, a thought-leadership consulting and social entrepreneurship company and advises many companies particularly those trying to disrupt the status quo.



Mark Varian  is Partner and Head Eversheds Sutherland Projects and Construction Group. He specialises in construction and energy law. He has acted for State bodies, Government departments, educational institutions, developers, employers, banks and contractors. He has extensive knowledge in tendering procedures, appointment of consultants, services contracts and building and engineering contracts. Mark has been recommended in Chambers Global in the area of construction for a number of years.


Peter Curran is Head of Procurement in Eversheds Sutherland and has 20+ years’ experience of advising public sector bodies on all aspects of Irish/EU Public and Utilities Procurement Law. He has advised awarding authorities, funders and bidders on the procurement of some of the most significant projects and land transactions to have come to market on the island of Ireland in recent years. He also advises on procurement litigation and has been involved in a number of leading cases. Peter has been acknowledged as a leading procurement law advisor by all independent legal directories (Legal 500, Chambers Europe/UK, Who’s Who Legal) and the Eversheds Sutherland Public Sector Projects team is ranked ‘Tier 1’ by Legal 500. He is an active member of the Procurement Lawyers Association and a member of the Editorial Board of the Public Procurement Law Review.



Declan Power is currently a divisional manager in the Property Registration Authority (PRA), with responsibility for the State Property Unit. The PRA is the state agency with responsibility for registration for all property transactions involving commercial, residential, agricultural and state sectors. Approximately 220,000 transactions are registered annually. Declan has 22 years’ experience in all aspects of property registration. His current role in leading the State Property Unit includes liaising with all public sector property holding bodies, including Government Departments and all local authorities.



Paula Butler is an environmental consultant with over 20 years’ experience. She holds an Honours Degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Environmental Management from Aberdeen University, Scotland. She worked for the Irish engineering firm E.G. Pettit & Company and established their Environmental Management Section. Paula then worked for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) from 2002 to 2013. During this time, she was responsible for the implementation of the Building Energy Rating (BER) scheme in Ireland and was promoted to Head of Delivery and was responsible for the domestic grant schemes with a budget of over €35M in 2013.


Marie Hunt established the research department at CBRE Ireland more than 20 years ago, which is now regarded as one of the most authoritative sources of property information in the Irish market.  A regular commentator in the Irish media on property matters, Marie produces a range of property market publications and carries out specialist consultancy work on behalf of a broad range of institutional, private and public sector clients of the Irish business. Marie is an Executive Director of CBRE in Ireland and a member of the company’s Executive Committee. Marie is a chartered surveyor and a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors, Ireland.  In 2018, Marie was awarded Businesswoman of the Year by Image Magazine in Ireland. Marie is also a board member of the Irish registered charity To Children With Love.

Proud Conference Partners:


Eversheds Sutherland is Ireland’s only full service international law firm providing expert legal services to a predominantly business client base across a broad spectrum of areas. From our offices in Dublin and Belfast, we strive to work in a collaborative partnership with our clients to deliver premium legal advice on time, and within budget through our innovative project management structure which is unique among the legal profession. We work with some of Ireland’s largest, most successful and progressive companies as well as many exciting and innovative smaller companies. Being the Irish member of Eversheds Sutherland means we can provide a seamless service through our 69 offices in 34 countries across Europe, the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. At local or international level, we aim to help all our clients in achieving their commercial objectives.


The Property Registration Authority (PRA) is the State organisation responsible for the registration of property in Ireland.  The PRA was established in 2006 to manage and control the offices of the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds and to promote and extend the registration of ownership of land. Our role is to provide a system of registration of title (ownership) to land, which is comprehensive and readily accessible.

Conference Details
State Owned Lands
28 November 2019
9.00am – 1.00pm with lunch provided afterwards
Croke Park Stadium, Jones’ Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 3
Fee: €325