President's comment - April 2019

Mar 31, 2019
Welcome to a new edition of Accountancy Ireland, the final edition before our annual general meeting on 17 May in Dublin.

Annual Dinner

Our Annual Dinner took place on 7 February at Croke Park, a venue which fittingly echoes the all-island (and indeed international) spread of our membership.

Our guest speaker, Mr Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, underlined the stark climate change challenge facing the world and our profession’s key role in driving the sustainability agenda.

Accounting for sustainability is an area where we must be prepared to take the lead. A chance to play a leading role in good governance and integrated reporting represents both a significant challenge and a huge opportunity for our profession going forward.
I would like to congratulate Deborah Somorin, a truly outstanding recently-qualified member who was presented with a Chartered Accountants Ireland Inspiration Award. The award recognised her commitment to changing lives by establishing Empower the Family, a charity that changes the trajectory of families from disadvantaged areas through education.

Sporting success

The selection of Croke Park as our venue on 7 February also reflected our focus on the links between business and sport.

Throughout the year, we have sought to celebrate members who make us proud in the sporting arena while also excelling in their professional career. They are a fantastic example to young people and tremendous ambassadors for our profession.

This edition includes contributions from some of these remarkable members. They provide a valuable insight into the mind-set of those who excel in top-level sport and can perhaps inspire some thoughts on how we can bring that determination into our own lives.


Our next major event is Influence, a new one-day event which takes the place of our traditional Annual Conference.

Taking place at Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny on Friday 10 May, Influence will examine what members can do to position themselves and their organisation to harness the latest in disruptive technologies. 

Thought-provoking sessions will include a Davos speaker on organisational transformation, the CFO of a $100 billion US tech giant, an Irish networking guru and an Australian martial artist and TED speaker. Further details are available on the Institute’s website.

Looking ahead

At the time of writing, the practicalities of Brexit remain uncertain. As things become clearer, the Institute will continue to help members come to terms with the new trading reality. We will do everything we can to support our members, who will have a vital role to play in helping businesses across the island of Ireland to adapt.

In the months and years ahead, our Institute will continue to do all it can to facilitate a thriving all-island economy and to promote closer mutual respect and relationships between the UK, Ireland and Europe.

During my term as President, it has been my privilege to engage with members both at home and overseas. In particular, it was a great honour to represent Chartered Accountants Ireland at the White House at the recent St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Ceremony in Washington DC.

Finally, as this is my last comment article as President, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our programme of events, education and support throughout the year.

I would like to give special thanks to the Deputy President Conall O’Halloran, the Vice-President Paul Henry, Immediate Past-President Shauna Greely and all of the Council members, along with CEO Barry Dempsey and all Institute staff. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Feargal McCormack