Two new directors have been appointed to the board of Coillte, the Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, Pippa Hackett, has announced.

Current CEO of the organisation, Imelda Hurley has been appointed as an executive director and Frank Hayes has been appointed as non-executive director.

Coillte, Ireland’s state forestry company, is responsible for managing over one million acres of primarily forested lands.

According to a statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Imelda Hurley’s appointment has followed “precedence whereby the CEO of the company has been appointed to the board”.

DAFM has stated that this “will ensure coherence between the wishes of the board and strategy implementation by the company”.

Hurley will remain on the board until November 2026 when her term as CEO is due to come to an end.

Coillte board

DAFM said that Frank Hayes, a former director of corporate affairs with Kerry Group, will sit on the Coillte board for a five-year period from January 21, 2022.

The department said that his appointment to the board followed a competitive process in accordance with guidelines set out by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

Minister of State at the DAFM, Pippa Hackett has welcomed the appointment of the two directors stating:

“Together they bring a broad range of experience and skills to the board and will be hugely beneficial in the strategic development of the company. Their appointments mean that the board of Coillte is once again operating at full strength.

“I am pleased also that with these appointments that the gender balance target of 40% for state boards has been exceeded in addition to the fact that Coillte also has currently has a female CEO and chairperson,” Hackett said.

“As the state forestry company, it is imperative the Coillte leads the way in implementation of a multi-functional forestry model, which successfully balances commercial, social and environmental needs.

“Their work will be central to a whole range of Government priorities in the coming years and I am engaging closely with them on implementation of these. I wish the new appointees and the entire board well in their endeavours,” the minister concluded.