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Minister Naughten Announces Appointments to the Board of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA)


Dublin, 3 July 2017


Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., has appointed Ms. Carol Gibbons, of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and Ms. Rachel Shelly of IDA Ireland (IDA) to the Board of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) for a period of two years.  He also intends to re-appoint Paul Holden to the Board and designate him as Chairperson.


The DHDA is the State agency charged with managing the Digital Hub cluster, which is aimed at creating an international centre of excellence for digital content and technology enterprises. The Digital Hub is located in Dublin's south-west inner city, in the historic Liberties area. At the end of 2016, the DHDA was home to 97 digital enterprises, with 707 full-time employees.


Minister Naughten said "I am pleased to appoint Ms. Gibbons and Ms. Shelly to the Board of the Digital Hub Development Agency. I believe, given the complementary roles played by EI, IDA and the Agency, that these appointments will ensure that the Agency has access to key expertise and competence, particularly in providing business support and promoting indigenous expertise, at an important time of change and opportunity. Along with preparations for its merger with Dublin City Council, the Agency is engaged in significant expansion of its enterprise office capacity through the development and refurbishment of properties on its Dublin 8 campus. The re-appointment of Mr. Holden as Chairperson will provide for a continuity of leadership of the Board at this critical time for the Agency."


The appointments were made pursuant to Section 15 of the Digital Hub Development Agency Act 2003 and in accordance with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards.


Notes to Editors


Ms. Carol Gibbons is Director ICT Programmes & Manager Electronics Sector in EI. Prior to this, Carol held a number of senior sector positions, spanning a 16 year career in Enterprise Ireland, Forfás and IDA Ireland.  Prior to her time in Ireland Carol spent a number of years working in Research and Development in London and the U.S. with a view to commercialising research.


Ms. Rachel Shelly is IDA's Manager of East Coast US & Canada: Content, Consumer & Business Services sector. Before joining IDA's Dublin Headquarters, she was based in IDA's New York office from 2006-2011, managing corporate relationships with strategic IDA clients in her territory, and drove new business development on the US East Coast. Prior to joining IDA in 2006, Ms. Shelly spent 15 years in the private sector, where she held a number of marketing and management roles.


Mr. Paul Holden is Managing Director of Rédacteurs, a Dublin-based professional services firm specialising in information design and development. Mr Holden was first appointed to the Board on 29 May 2012 and has been Chairperson since 20 January 2014.


Appointment process

Section 15 of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) Act, 2003, provides that the Members of the Agency shall consist of not more than 14 persons, including the Chief Executive who is an ex-officio appointee, who shall be appointed by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Section 15(6) of the DHDA Act provides that the Board shall include persons, who, in the Minister's opinion, have a special interest or expertise in matters relating to the functions of the Agency or matters related thereto. Although persons from the Development Agencies satisfy these criteria, the Act does not make specific reference to the Development Agencies and therefore the exceptions set out under 9.1 of the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards did not apply to their appointments.  Therefore, pursuant to Section 9.3 of the Guidelines, the Minister secured Government approval for a derogation from a Public Appointments Service process for these appointments.


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