Our Team

Debbie Grey

Chief Executive

Debbie obtained an MBA in Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries at Liverpool Management School, UK. She joined the IEC in March 2023. Debbie started working in the racing industry in the UK in 2016 after being in the IT world. She worked for the Injured Jockeys Fund, The Racing Centre and National Association of Racing Staff. Debbie has had an interest in horses all her life breeding both warmbloods and thoroughbreds.

Alan Creighton

Head of Environment & Nutrition

Alan was educated at the CBS Naas and received his Degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the Dublin Institute of Technology. He joined the IEC in June 1995 to work in the Microbiology unit. He took up the role of environmental scientist in 1999, and as Head of Environment and Nutrition in late 2017. He works with trainers and stud owners at home and internationally on all aspects of equine biosecurity, nutrition and performance. He is a former Showjumper and has a massive interest in all aspects of thoroughbred racing, is a keen breeder and pin hooker.

Professor Ann Cullinane

Head of Virology

A veterinary graduate from University College Dublin (UCD) with a PhD in equine virology from the University of Glasgow, Ann has been Head of the Virology Unit at the Irish Equine Centre (IEC) since 1987. As a World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, formerly OIE) designated expert for equine influenza and equine herpesvirus, she is responsible for the WOAH reference laboratories located at the IEC.  Ann is an Adjunct Professor at UCD and has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers that illustrate her commitment to vaccinology, diagnostics and disease control. She chairs the WOAH Expert Surveillance Panel on equine influenza and, in 2021, was elected Vice President of the WOAH Biological Standards Commission.

Dr James Gibbons

Head of Microbiology

James qualified with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University College Dublin in 2000. After graduation, he spent several years in practice in Ireland, the UK and overseas before returning to UCD to complete a PhD in veterinary microbiology in the area of antimicrobial resistance. In 2011, James moved to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies where he worked as lecturer in veterinary microbiology and public health with responsibility for diagnostic microbiology. In 2013, he returned to UCD as lecturer in veterinary public health and spent the following 5 years teaching and researching in this area. He joined the Irish Equine Centre in 2018.

Patrick Kelly

Head of Finance

Patrick is a Chartered Accountant and was educated at University of Westminster London and Dublin Business School. He joined the IEC in June 2017 taking on the role of Head of Finance. Previously, Patrick has worked as a Finance Director for US plc’s listed on the NASDAQ and New York stock exchanges in the technology and software sectors. Patrick has had a huge interest in the racing industry all his life.

Desmond P. Leadon

Clinical Consultant


Des was educated at Blackrock College, graduated as a Veterinary Surgeon from Trinity College Dublin in 1975 and returned there for his post-graduate MSc. studies. He came to the Centre in April 1984 having returned home to Ireland from the Rossdale practice in Newmarket, where he completed his studies on equine prematurity, with Dr. Peter Rossdale, which resulted in the award of Fellowship of the RCVS. Des is a founding Vice-President of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine, a Past President of BEVA and of WEVA, and is Veterinary Advisor to the ITBA.

Dr Margaret Wilson


Margaret graduated from UCD in 2004, following three years in equine practice in Ireland and Australia she completed a residency in Veterinary Pathology at UCD. She is a qualified specialist veterinary pathologist with many years diagnostic gross and histopathology experience across a wide variety of species in the UK and Ireland as well as experience leading multidisciplinary teams delivering diagnostic pathology services. She was recently appointed as Head of Pathology at the Irish Equine Centre. Her work involves diagnostic postmortem investigations for endemic and exotic diseases in animals, surveillance for exotic and notifiable diseases and research on emerging disease trends and antimicrobial resistance. Together with her husband and children she breeds National Hunt and Connemara foals on their family farm in Co. Kilkenny.