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Friday 9th July 2021 14:23

Farewell & Thanks

Una Kernan, ESB Networks is leaving / Gearóid Quinn
After years of dedicated service….! Yes, we all know how it goes, see the name and think “OMG, they cannot be going”? And then there is the variety of roles, positions and memorable encounters, all remembered through rose tinted glasses…? Not really, it is a measure of ESB careers, how departures record the interactions, connections and friendships made over the years. That is the case for Una Kernan, and despite it being 40 years, she is departing early to enjoy her life, travel, family and the company of friends.
Una’s career in ESB started in 1981, in Dublin South District, later to become Dublin Region, Leopardstown Road. For over 12 years, she worked in many roles across the District / Region, giving her a great oversight of the business that always served her well. Colleagues in Payroll attest that there were never any discrepancies in Pay Packets, and if someone thought otherwise, she helped them understand their mistakes! Una’s abiding memories of Leopardstown were the fantastic social life…!!
In 1993, she moved to Fleet Street working in the Consumers / Database area and from there she was appointed to manage the Dublin Contact Centre. While there she oversaw the move from Fleet Street to Finglas and involved with setting up the Wilton Contact Centre, later to become the National Customer Contact Centre, establishing a wide network of close contacts and understanding of ESB Networks activities right across the country. Recruitment for Wilton involved progressive and innovative thinking and she brought great drive to this campaign, with her laptop in constant use preparing documents for the volumes of applicants. Una saw the benefit of introducing screening assessment of candidates, a standard feature for HR recruitment since. The Wilton team worked right through to Christmas week for a January start-up of the Contact Centre, and partied well, sharing birthday celebrations with her friends at the Maryborough Hotel! From spending so long working in Cork, she developed a love of the Real Capital!! (and why wouldn’t she?)
With her strengths in people and organisation capability, Una moved to Human Resources Team in 2000, spending a short while in Customer Supply before Recruitment and Selection in Shared Services where she “travelled the country, interviewing and meeting many wonderful people doing good work in all parts of (One) ESB”. She dealt with a wide range of HR activities including developing competency behaviours for the Competency Framework; she was part of the design and roll out of the ESB Business Strategy in 2012 and assisted with Communications Plans and improving the Core Brief process and Staff Surveys. Una had a major involvement in the Management Development Training Programme, introducing Performance & Development for ESB Networks and was part of the Project Team to bring about transition to One HR. Quoting John O’Gorman, former HR Manager “Una is a highly competent and dedicated HR professional who brought energy and innovation to all the roles she undertook in the HR community, both in ESB Networks and across ESB Group. Her breath of experience and her willingness to get involved and lead the way in improving how business was done, is well known and appreciated by all who had the privilege of working with her.”
Following Storm Darwin in 2014, Una led the team that created an additional Emergency Response Contact Centre in Leixlip to handle the unprecedented volume of calls during and after the storm. From a standing start, this critical unit was mobilised to cater for the worst storm in Ireland in 25 years. ESB Networks was well complimented for its public relations and customer interactions during Storm Darwin and subsequent storms, with this facility vital to storm management plans.
Una joined the OneSource project in 2015, and as throughout her career in ESB, Una advocated and demonstrated safe, professional, and value-added working. She especially enjoyed her time on OneSource where she helped her ESB Networks colleagues to undertake their work safely. Una’s “can do” attitude, along with her ability to understand the point of view of others, her personable style of communications, and her upbeat manner was key to the success of the OneSource project. Una saw this as an opportunity to give something back to her colleagues and ESB, and embraced the new direction. Gerry Mooney, former Safety Transformation Manager, comments “ Una was instrumental in the Safety Change Programme. She has left an enduring legacy in One Source. I have no doubt her work in designing and championing the framework for procedure compliance has protected and will continue to protect the safety of our colleagues for a long time to come”
When the Lean Connections project was set up in 2019 to improve delivery of Major Projects, Una joined the team as Change Manager. While the focus of the programme is to improve technical process, Una was clear from the outset that to introduce the cultural change needed to the benefit of ESB Networks, customers and staff, through applying a Lean approach meant, as she described, “winning the hearts and minds of the people involved”. This has been critical to the success of the programme as she recognised the need to help people cope with the pressures of increasing workload to satisfy customers demands. Again, Una saw this as giving back to her colleagues, ESB Networks and for customers, and once more contributing to another significant change within ESB Networks. “Una is a loyal and committed lifelong member of the ESB family. She is an exemplar of being caring, trusted, courageous and driven. She is an active promotor, leader and change agent for the betterment of ESB. Her exceptional people skills and unique culture change skillset will be sorely missed. On behalf of the current and all past Networks Senior Teams, I wish Una and John the very best.” Brian Brady, Networks Programme Manager.
In the midst of a busy career Una found time to further deepen her knowledge by pursuing a degree in Human Resources and also undertaking a role as a business coach. Her innovation came through once more during the Covid pandemic, embracing the virtual working environment and investigating the use of online facilities long before anyone thought of that being Smart! Over her career in ESB, Una has been highly professional and well respected across both ESB Networks and the ESB group. She has an outstanding ability to work with people across all of ESB to improve the way we do our business and the results she has achieved throughout her career and the many friendships she has made along the way are a real credit to her.
Una has had many careers in one, and in her own words “has had wonderful opportunities, met so many fantastic people and had a lot of fun”. She has decided it is now time to move on, and making up for the confinement of the last year or so, she plans to travel, a lot! There is a whole world to explore and of course her beloved France, which she likes almost as much as Cork! She wants to pursue her love of learning, including languages, music, walking, running, cooking, fine dining and maybe a glass or two of wine. She might do some writing, maybe a little bit of work, but definitely spend a lot more time with family and friends.
Una finishes up on the 2nd August and has decided to depart quietly, but it would not be right that she goes without proper acknowledgement. She will be missed and we wish her the very best as she begins this new and exciting chapter in life, where she is sure to bring huge energy and innovation to her plans for the future, no matter what she decides to do. Gearóid Quinn, Lean Connections Manager

Farewell & Thanks from Eddie Nally /
I retire officially from ESB today (July 9th). I would like to thank everyone who took the time over the last number of weeks to send me good wishes by email, sms and whatsapp as well as phone calls – they are all very much appreciated. Thank you to ESB for a great life of challenges and opportunities over the last 42 years. To all the teams and management I worked with from the peat stations in the 1980’s, distribution in Dundalk in the 90’s and Shared Services/Business services in the 2000’s, it was a pleasure working with you all. Most recently to my colleagues in the Networks Training Centre, Portlaoise and those on the Leap project in 2020, it was a privilege being associated with you. To all the services in ESB i.e. MPF, Credit Uion, ESU, EAP Services, Staff Insurance, Sports & Social Clubs and the ESB GAA Club, my sincere thanks for your support and care over the years. I don’t know where the time has gone but it was a fantastic journey. I wish you all good health and success in the future and to be safe always. Slán. Eddie Nally

Farewell & Thanks from Siobhan Tinkler / Patricia Nolan
I would like to sincerely thank the Learning & Development Delivery Team for arranging my farewell MS Teams call last Friday. I also want to thank everyone for being there and for their kind words and lovely messages on the chat and in the call. It was a m morable send off which made me feel very special indeed. I would also like to thank everyone who emailed, called or sent me good wishes by text in the run up to my Retirement. I very much appreciate it all. I have enjoyed the 42 years I worked in ESB and am grateful for all the lessons learned, friendships formed and for the courtesy and support that was always extended to me and my family. I wish you all the very best in the future and am grateful and proud to have been part of ESB for all this time. I am looking forward to my next adventure and to ‘finding my slow’. Thank you all. Until we meet again. Go n-éirí an bóthar libh. Siobhán Tinkler


Thanks from Donal Lordan /
On behalf of my family and myself, I’d like to say thank you for all your kind thoughts, words and prayers following the recent passing of my father, Dan Lordan. To those who travelled, made contact, sent flowers, left condolences and sent mass cards it was greatly appreciated at what was a difficult and sad time for us. Regards, Donal Lordan

Thanks from Rob Sutton /
Following the recent passing of my Dad, Francis I would just like to say Thank You on behalf of myself and my family to all those who got in contact. The messages of condolence, cards and presence in the Church Yard of those who travelled were greatly appreciated at such a sad and difficult time for our family. Kind Regards, Rob Sutton.