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Our Director Team

Barbara McGrath

Barbara McGrath

Managing Director

Barbara McGrath is the Managing Director of the Brightwater Group which encompasses Brightwater, Brightwater Executive and Mentors of which she is Chairperson. She joined the company in 2005, was appointed to the board in 2011 and became MD of the Group in 2017.  In 2018, she was the driving force with two fellow directors in an MBO and is now concentrating on both organic growth as well as acquisitions of companies in synergy with the Brightwater Group.

Connect with Barbara on LinkedIn

John O'Donnell

John O’Donnell

Finance Director

John O’Donnell is the Finance Director of the Brightwater Group. He joined the company in 2002 as a financial controller. In January 2008 he was promoted to Finance Director and was appointed to the board in 2011. In 2018, John along with two of his fellow directors took part in an MBO. As well as being responsible for a busy finance department, John is an integral part of the leadership team driving the business forward through both organic and acquisitive growth.

Connect with John on LinkedIn

Estelle Davis

Estelle Davis

Managing Partner - Executive Division

Board Director - Brightwater Group


Estelle is the Managing Partner of Brightwater Executive and a Director of the Brightwater Group. She leads the Executive branch, focusing on senior management level assignments across VP, Director and C-Suite levels. Estelle joined Brightwater in 2003, initially on the insurance division before transferring to the financial services desk. She works with a variety of clients such as multinationals and private equity backed portfolio businesses. She is an expert in the financial services, banking, treasury, funds, insurance and aviation leasing sectors and has an innate understanding of her clients’ requirements as well as the sensitivities of recruiting business leaders.

Connect with Estelle on LinkedIn 
Jean O'Donovan

Jean O'Donovan

Director

Jean is Director of Brightwater’s Professional Services division. She joined Brightwater in 2003, was promoted to Commercial Director in 2017 and in December 2020, was appointed to the Board. Her remit covers a broad range of disciplines including accountancy, taxation, banking, fund services, legal, compliance & risk and insurance. With nearly twenty years’ recruitment experience, Jean personally specialises in the recruitment of senior accountancy & finance professionals on a temporary & contract basis. Her knowledge of the professional services market is unrivalled, and she has an instinctual grasp of the challenges her clients face on a daily basis. 

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Mark Byrne

Mark Byrne

Commercial Director

Mark is Commercial Director in Brightwater’s Dublin’s office. He joined Brightwater in 2003 and has over 20 years’ recruitment experience. In 2011 Mark was promoted to Commercial Director where he is directly responsible for the IT, Engineering, Supply Chain, Pharmaceutical, Sales & Marketing and HR recruitment teams. He personally specialises in recruiting for senior sales professionals on a permanent basis and has brought an award-winning sales & marketing team to new heights of success. He works with a broad variety of clients such as multinationals, family run businesses and SMEs.

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson

Commercial Director

Tom is the Commercial Director of Brightwater’s Cork office managing a team recruiting across various professional disciplines including Accountancy, Engineering, Life Sciences, IT, Business Support, HR and Sales & Marketing. He joined Brightwater in 2015 bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge of the accountancy market in the Munster and Connacht regions. While responsible for the overall operations of the Cork office, Tom specifically recruits for senior level accountancy and taxation roles for public practice, financial services and industry.

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn

Gareth Fleming

Gareth Fleming

Commercial Director

Gareth is a Commercial Director based in Brightwater’s Dublin office. Joining in 2020 his remit covers all things Technology both nationally and internationally. Gareth has specialised in the technology and digital recruitment space for 14+ years' and has worked with a broad variety of clients across traditional and disruptive fields ranging from large global banks to hyper-growth, fintech and med-tech scale-ups. Gareth’s knowledge of the international tech recruitment market has seen him complete successful tech mandates in Ireland, USA, Middle East and City of London across all IT verticals and industries whilst growing high performing teams.

Connect with Gareth on LinkedIn

Aoife Clarke

Aoife Clarke

Director of Operations & HR

Aoife is the Director of Operations and HR for the Brightwater Group. One of the longest serving staff members of Brightwater having joined in 2000, she has responsibility for the day to day operations of the Group. This includes management of the Group’s administration team, the HR function, co-ordinating internal training, facilities management, reviewing and implementing systems and procedures as well as project implementation such as GDPR.  She is on the NRF Skillnet committee which specialises in meeting the training demands of the recruitment industry.

Connect with Aoife on LinkedIn

Eimear Walsh

Eimear Walsh

Commercial Director

Eimear is a Commercial Director with Brightwater with direct responsibility for Talent Acquisition and Training across the Group. She now heads up our internal talent division having had previous roles across the Group including managing the financial services team as well as working as a recruiter in the retail, sales & marketing divisions. Having joined Brightwater in 2006 and appointed Commercial Director in December 2020, Eimear is ideally placed to understand what it takes to succeed in the recruitment industry.  She is also responsible for developing training programmes within the Group to enhance the skills & knowledge of our consultants.

Connect with Eimear on LinkedIn

Cathal O Donnell

Cathal O Donnell

Commercial Director - Engineering & Operations, Science and Supply Chain & Logistics

Cathal is a Commercial Director with Brightwater overseeing the engineering, life sciences and supply chain recruitment divisions for the Dublin branch. Having joined Brightwater in 2010 initially as team leader of the engineering & construction team, he was appointed Commercial Director in December 2020. With nearly 20 years’ experience recruiting for the technical sector, Cathal personally specialises in recruiting for senior level engineering professionals across engineering, construction and operations. He has a successful track record in large volume public sector recruitment assignments and works with a range of private and public sector clients both in Ireland and overseas. 

Connect with Cathal on LinkedIn

Emma Anglim

Emma Anglim

Commercial Director - Business Support

Emma is Commercial Director of Brightwater’s Business Support division. She joined the Group in 2007 as a consultant focusing on the temporary & contract business support market and was appointed Commercial Director in December 2020. She has a proven track record in leading a successful team focusing on business support recruitment on a permanent, contract and temporary basis across a broad range of industry sectors. Emma personally specialises in recruiting for temporary & contract business support roles and has developed an extensive network of clients by providing quality service with fast and efficient turn-around times.  

Connect with Emma on LinkedIn

John Duffy

John Duffy

Associate Director - IT

John is a highly experienced IT professional and heads up the internal IT department for the Brightwater Group. He joined the Group in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in network security, systems implementation and change management. He has overseen various projects including implementing a new CRM system and managing the sourcing of all IT suppliers. He is responsible for upgrading and modernising all IT systems for the Group.

Connect with John on LinkedIn

James O'Donnell

Associate Director - Financial Services

James has over 17 years recruitment industry experience, most of which has been developed within the financial services sector. He spent more than a decade in two of the world’s largest financial services markets recruiting in both London and Sydney. Over that period, he worked with some of the sector’s leading organisations, successfully partnering with them to place professionals across institutional and investment banking, asset and funds management and insurance. He brings with him a wealth of experience, a deep, international network, and a passion for providing best in class client and candidate experience.

Connect with James on LinkedIn