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Countess Special Advisors


Tracy Donegan, a registered midwife and passionate women’s health advocate, has been a vocal campaigner to improve Irish maternity services since 2005. In addition to her advocacy work, Tracy is a prolific author, having penned five books and developed several apps for pregnancy and fertility. Her work extends beyond writing, as she is widely recognised as an international speaker on mindfulness, maternal health, breastfeeding, and positive birth experiences.

Originally hailing from Dublin’s Northside, Tracy ventured around the globe and now calls Texas her home, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Despite the geographical distance, Tracy maintains close ties with her native Ireland, continually sharing her expertise and dedication to making a positive impact on women’s health and maternity services.

Jill Kerby

Jill Kerby has been one of Ireland’s best known personal finance journalists for the past 31 years. A weekly columnist for The Irish Times for eight years and The Sunday Times for 13 years she also wrote columns for The Business Post, Business & Finance magazine, The Farmer’s Journal, Women Mean Business has been a regular contributor on money and finance on national and regional radio and television. She has been the co-author of the best-selling ‘TAB Guide to Money Pensions and Tax’ since 1999 (and the ‘TAB Guide to Property’ 2005-08) and edited Irish Pensions Magazine for 10 years.

Praised for her insight – and her regular warnings during the 2000’s in her columns and at public forums about the unsustainable growth in Irish mortgage lending and personal debt – she is deserving of her reputation for clear thinking and consumer advocacy. (She says she has ‘mixed feelings’ about being described as “the most sensible woman in Ireland”.)

A native of Montreal, Canada she has lived in Dublin for 42 years and is married to the retired Irish Times financial journalist and media consultant Brendan McGrath. They have a son, Jack, who lives in Australia.


Dr Annette Neary is a Consultant Physician based in Galway. She specialises in Internal Medicine and Nephrology for adults, and older teenagers. She teaches RCSI and NUIG medical students regularly.

Her practice requires her to assess the quality of evidence for use of medication in multiple different conditions, often in combination, and taking into account both the short and long-term effects in individual patients. She works closely with colleagues in many other fields including gynaecology, urology and surgical specialities.

She decided she wanted to be a doctor as a child in the 1970s, and has been aware of gendered expectations ever since. She believes that people contemplating medical intervention for gender identity issues deserve to have good quality, evidence-based care.