Former Tanaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney, has been appointed to the board of Brindley Healthcare, one of the largest operators of nursing homes in the country. Ms. Harney was introduced to Brindley Healthcare by BGF, who recently announced a €10 million investment in the business. The BGF investment will be used to fund acquisitions and to support growth. The Brindley Healthcare investment is the first investment made by the BGF team in the Republic of Ireland.
Ms. Harney will join Leo Casey, Head of BGF in Ireland, as new directors on the Brindley board. The board is chaired by Noel Daly, former CEO of An Bord Altranais.
Brindley Healthcare is one of Ireland’s largest privately-owned nursing home groups with a reputation for providing the highest standards of elderly care. It was established by entrepreneur Amanda Torrens in 2000 with a 35-bed nursing home in County Donegal. Following a number of acquisitions and the development of new facilities, the group now consists of 8 nursing homes with a combined capacity of over 400 beds located in Counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Kildare and Laois.
Ms. Harney served as Tanaiste from 1997 to 2006. She was Minister for Health from 2004 to 2011 and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 1997 to 2004. Since retiring from politics in 2011, Ms. Harney has taken positions on a number of boards in the Healthcare sector including Irish pharmaceuticals group Pharmed, Irish Hospice Foundation and Biocon – the publicly quoted Indian biopharmaceutical group. Ms. Harney is also Chancellor of the University of Limerick.
BGF set up business in Ireland in late 2017 and has up to €250 million to invest in growing Irish SMEs. The investors in BGF in Ireland are the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the three major banks (AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank). BGF is targeting equity investments of between €1 million and €10 million, with further funding available in subsequent rounds. Originally BGF was set up in the UK in 2011 and has invested in more than 275 companies making it the most active equity investor in the UK and Ireland.
Leo Casey, Head of BGF in Ireland, said: “When we partner with a company, we like to introduce people with valuable skills and experiences to augment the board and we are delighted that Mary Harney has agreed to join the board of Brindley. Mary has a wealth of experience in the healthcare sector in Ireland and internationally and we look forward to working with her, with CEO Amanda Torrens and with the rest of the Brindley team in the months and years ahead.”
Welcoming the appointment, Amanda Torrens, founder and CEO of Brindley Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mary to the board. As Minister for Health, Mary had an enormously positive impact on the nursing home sector and put patient welfare at the heart of the healthcare service. Her experience and insight will play a key role in helping us to achieve our ambitions in the years ahead.”
Mary Harney said: “I am delighted to work with BGF and with Amanda and her team to help deliver on the very exciting and ambitious plans for Brindley. As our population ages, the nursing home sector will grow in importance in Ireland and I think there is a real benefit to having professional, indigenous operators like Brindley leading out the development of this sector.”