Tirlán unveils new Governance Academy

Pictured at the Tirlán Collaboration Hub in Abbey Quarter, Kilkenny were Tirlán representative structure committee member Brendan Hayes, with milk supplier Anne Marie Doheny and chairperson, John Murphy. (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

A new Governance Academy has been unveiled by Tirlán, as part of its ongoing work to build a diverse and vibrant farmer representative structure for the future.

The new bespoke educational programme will set even higher standards for governance excellence for the farmer-owned co-operative.

The Governance Academy is structured in tiers, which will facilitate a gradual entry / re-entry to study and encompass development up to and including board level. It will provide the opportunity to achieve academic awards accredited by UCC.

The first intake of 25 farmers includes non-shareholders, primarily sons and daughters of existing shareholder suppliers, chosen from among over 100 expressions of interest for the inaugural programme.

The course involves a blend of in-person workshops, online webinars, interactive case studies and expert-led discussions to deliver a dynamic and engaging learning experience that encompasses key aspects of co-op governance.


Tirlán chairperson, John Murphy, highlighted the important role the new Governance Academy will take in helping to build a deeper knowledge of the Tirlán organisation – Ireland’s leading food and nutrition business – for the future.

“We’ve launched the Governance Academy to provide our members with the tools and knowledge they need to excel in their governance roles to represent their fellow farmers. By investing in the Governance Academy, we are strengthening our foundation for sustainable growth and innovation,” Mr Murphy said.

“It will offer educational opportunities for members that wish to fulfil governance roles within the representative structure and it follows the endorsement by members last year for a series of proposals to enhance and modernise our Co-op, delivering greater gender-balance and involvement of our younger farmers.”

The exciting new collaboration between Tirlán, University College Cork (UCC) and the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), represents the company’s latest step in fostering a culture of responsible governance and leadership excellence.

Participants will also have access to industry-leading experts, thought leaders and peer networking opportunities, providing invaluable insights and perspectives on governance challenges and opportunities facing the dairy and grains sector.