Derek has worked in public affairs and communications in Ireland (North & South) for over two decades. This includes six years at the most senior level of government serving as the Programme Manager and Political Adviser to an Irish Cabinet Minister in the Fianna Fáil & Progressive Democrat government (2004 – 2007) and the Fianna Fáil & Green Party government (2007 – 2011).
In the private sector Derek was Public Affairs and Internal Communications Director for BEERG Sárl, a European network of senior HR Directors. Derek devised a public affairs strategy that secured changes to some aspects of the employee data provisions of the draft GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). He also developed a training module on the impact of social media in modern labour relations and delivered this programme at training events in Washington, Brussels and London, including in-house with Hewlett Packard and IBM.
Derek has several decades of political campaigning experience in national elections and referendum campaigns. Derek was the director of research and messaging for the successful 2013 campaign to retain Ireland’s upper house of parliament: Seanad (Senate). Derek also wrote the campaign playbook and advised the Yes side in the pre campaign phase on messaging and rebuttal for the 2015 Marriage Equality referendum.
Derek has worked with Fianna Fáil candidates and on national Fianna Fáil campaigns in a range of local, national and European elections since the early 1990s.
Derek’s written work has appeared in major Irish and British newspapers, having written articles and op-ed pieces for newspapers and periodicals in Ireland and the UK, some appeared under his own name while many others were written for clients.
Derek is an experienced speech writer, having written speeches for various senior figures in business and public life. He has also written many smaller scale and humourous speeches for a range of occasions, including for business promotions, weddings, family events and commemorations.
Additional Information & involvements:
- UN and OSCE Election Monitor – 2018-2022 roster
- Member of the UK Speechwriters Guild
- Member of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (MPRII)
- Member Irish branch Association of European Journalists
- Member of the European Policy Centre (EPC)
- Member of the European Movement (Ireland)
- Life Member of the Irish Red Cross
- Director of the Three Strand Forum (Lessons from the NI Peace Process)
- Secretary of the Fianna Fáil delegation to the Forum for Peace & Reconciliation 2002 – 2004. Worked on Northern Ireland policy since mid 1990s
- Programme manager for Democratic Progress Institute’s Turk/Kurd study visits on the NI Peace Process 2012 – 2016
- Adviser to the Glencree Centre international programme and Committee Member of Glencree’s Middle Eastern Project Group 1999 – 2004