Press Release

Southern Region

HR on the Soapbox

5 November 2014

Southern Region Soapbox Event - Speakers  

Don Hegarty (Chartered FCIPD), Helen Morley (Chartered FCIPD) and Barry Hill (Chartered FCIPD)

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) Ireland Southern Region attracted a large gathering of HR & Business professionals to DeVere Hall, UCC (Sponsor) to hear Don Hegarty (Chartered FCIPD), Helen Morley (Chartered FCIPD) and Barry Hill (Chartered FCIPD) speak about their varied experience in HR, at an event entitled HR on the Soapbox.

Conor O’Connell (Chartered FCIPD) Chairman of the Southern Region Committee welcomed the audience and spoke briefly about UCC and its connection with the city. He introduced Joan Buckley, Head of ACE (Adult and Continuing Education) at UCC who spoke of her valued association with CIPD and the HR related courses on offer at the University. Conor then introduced the keynote speakers for the evening, each of whom gave insightful, informative and sometimes humorous presentations on their area of expertise.

Don Hegarty (Chartered FCIPD) and employer representative on the EAT, kicked off proceedings by asking Why HR. To answer this question, he took the audience on a tour of our industrial past from the 60s through to present day; demonstrating on the way how the Personnel function emerged and how it evolved into HR as we know it today citing the help & support of organisations such as CIPD and locally UCC - CIT who provided educational programs to equip students to manage human capital to the high standards set by the profession.

He was followed by Helen Morley, (Chartered FCIPD) and HR Manager with Bridhaven who spoke about Work/Life Balance from her own personal experience as well as from the business perspective. She said the term is understood differently by individuals, depending on their circumstances, stating that the balance was right if you were 'content within yourself '. She spoke of her passion for HR giving examples of various roles she held and how she managed her Work/Life balance within each. She was clear, that you must have a strategic plan of where you want to go - you must put yourself in the driving seat and know what you want at a given time - most importantly; you have to ask for what you want, so it can be considered by your employer in the light of business needs.

The final contributor was Barry Hill (Chartered FCIPD) HR Consultant who regaled the audience with an honest, sometimes witty presentation, giving a warts 'n' all account of life as a HR Consultant. He offered a definition of consultancy as a person who provides expert advice, professionally. Barry’s advice to anyone who was considering taking up this type of business is to do plenty of research, have a sound plan, good product knowledge, expertise, integrity, commitment, flexibility and patience. He also noted that you will also need considerable confidence and as Barry described it, 'Neck'. He gave some examples of the type of work he called upon to do - from Audits to Bullying & Harassment cases and everything in between, highlighting the need for Personal Indemnity Insurance. He said that building his reputation as a HR Consultant took time and hard work - having established himself; his work now comes almost entirely through referral.

Southern Region Soapbox Event - Open Forum

Following the presentations, the audience divided between three tables each hosted by a Speaker, for an Open Forum. Conor O’Connell, Liam Linehan and Charles Dolan assisted, one to each table. After a period, the speakers returned to the stage and points raised at each table were read out for the benefit of the entire audience.

To conclude, Conor O’Connell thanked the Speakers, Don, Helen & Barry; the sponsor UCC as well as Margaret McCarthy, Willie Weir & Mari Manning. He presented each Speaker with a token of appreciation for their time. These gifts were kindly sponsored by The Irish Examiner.

Our next event will be a Team Table Quiz and Social Evening on the 27th November, 2014 @ 7:30pm at the Flying Enterprise Bar, South Gate Bridge, Cork - an email will issue to members shortly.

Speaker Bios

Don Hegarty, Chartered FCIPD has been the Employer Member of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) since 2007, reappointed for another term in 2010. He is also a part time HR Consultant & Chairman of Pension Trustee Board, mainly to Phillips 66, Whitegate Refinery and Bantry Bay Terminals. Throughout Don's extensive career he served as HR Director at GSK, Cork from 1994 to 2006, with responsibility for the full range of HR functions, including Public Affairs and was Chairman of the Pension Trustee Board for DB Pension across all the GSK Ireland Sites. He was Personnel Director / Company Secretary at Beamish and Crawford where over a thirteen year period he collaborated on design and introduction of the DB Pension scheme, being a Trustee from 83 to 1993. Fifteen years in the Dairy Industry as Production Supervisor, Production Manager assuming responsibility for the Training and the Personnel Function. He completed HR and “Training Mgt” Training in Dublin 1965 to 1977. He’s been a Full time HR practitioner since 1997.

Helen Morley, Chartered FCIPD holds a MA in Human Resource Management from Bournemouth University in the UK. She has over 25 years’ experience working in an HR capacity in businesses throughout Ireland, UK, Europe and the USA and has a hands on, customer focused, results driven passion for getting the job done! Her roles have been in a broad range of companies as diverse as the Gaming Industry, Traffic Management, Global International On-Line Retailing and Healthcare. Helen is currently the HR Manager at one of the largest Nursing Homes in Ireland. Helen’s strengths are in strategic planning, change management and Operational Excellence.

Barry Hill, Chartered FCIPD is a Partner and Senior HR Consultant at Real HR Solutions. He has a wealth of experience having worked for over thirty years at a senior level in both Human Resources and Sales management, as well as HR Consultancy. He currently works with a large number of client organisations, mainly in the food, drinks and hospitality sectors, providing individuals and organisations with comprehensive and legally compliant HR solutions to workplace issues. .Previously Barry worked with CMP Dairygold and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Barry's strengths are in the areas of HR compliance auditing, industrial relations, grievance/discipline and termination.

Sponsor Bio

UCC (University College Cork) was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges - at Cork, Galway and Belfast. These new colleges were established in the reign of Queen Victoria, and named after her. Queen's College, Cork (QCC) was established to provide access to higher education in the Irish province of Munster. Cork was chosen for the new college due to its place at the centre of transatlantic trade at the time and the presence of existing educational initiatives such as the Royal Cork Institution and a number of private medical schools.

Since 1908, UCC has grown - from 115 students to over 20,000, from one building to dozens, from less than 20 staff to more than 1,600 today. Since 1997, we have become a university in our own right within the NUI, but we retain the UCC name as part of our heritage of learning since 1845.

UCC is home to the Boole Library in honour of George Boole FRS, inventor of Boolean logic (foundation of the Digital Age) and first Professor of Mathematics, QCC, 1849-1864. The Boole Library in UCC holds a very extensive and important collection of his letters, manuscripts, books and papers.