Board of Directors

Tom Walsh

Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Tom Walsh founded Staycity in 2004 with his brother Ger when they spotted a gap in the market for a mid-market, user-friendly alternative to hotel accommodation.
Beginning with just one apartment in Dublin, strong bookings for short let stays prompted the addition of further outlets in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Paris. The company now has over 7,000 apartments across 10 European cities with plans to operate 15,000 by 2023.
Tom was previously an engineer, working as plant manager of Henkel Loctite Ireland, a high-tech chemical and biomedical manufacturer. He holds a primary degree in engineering (Dublin) and a first class honours business degree from UCD.

Tom Walsh

Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Tom Walsh founded Staycity in 2004 with his brother Ger when they spotted a gap in the market for a mid-market, user-friendly alternative to hotel accommodation.
Beginning with just one apartment in Dublin, strong bookings for short let stays prompted the addition of further outlets in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Paris. The company now has over 7,000 apartments across 10 European cities with plans to operate 15,000 by 2023.
Tom was previously an engineer, working as plant manager of Henkel Loctite Ireland, a high-tech chemical and biomedical manufacturer. He holds a primary degree in engineering (Dublin) and a first class honours business degree from UCD.

Ger Walsh

Co-Founder

Ger Walsh is the co-founder of Staycity and has previously served as its IT & online marketing director. Before Staycity, he worked in the pensions and insurance industry of software specialist Exaxe; and with biometrics specialists, Daon. He achieved an honours software engineering degree from DCU.

Keith Freeman

Chief Operating Officer

Keith Freeman was appointed chief operating officer at Staycity in February 2014, joining Staycity from Whitbread where he had worked for over eight years, most recently as one of the company’s regional managers for the Premier Inn brand, opening new sites and establishing the brand in Ireland.
Prior to Whitbread Keith worked at various establishments in the hospitality and leisure sector, gaining experience in many departments and a reputation for being a hands-on operator with meticulous attention to detail.

Keith Freeman

Chief Operating Officer

Keith Freeman was appointed chief operating officer at Staycity in February 2014, joining Staycity from Whitbread where he had worked for over eight years, most recently as one of the company’s regional managers for the Premier Inn brand, opening new sites and establishing the brand in Ireland.
Prior to Whitbread Keith worked at various establishments in the hospitality and leisure sector, gaining experience in many departments and a reputation for being a hands-on operator with meticulous attention to detail.

Wayne Arthur

Chief Financial Officer

Wayne Arthur joined Staycity in January 2019 from casual dining chain Prezzo, where he had been CFO for the past two years. Prior to that he was finance director of Premier Inn having held a number of positions at the company including financial controller, head of trading - responsible for revenue management and pricing, strategic planning director, and three years as finance director for the UK business.

Paul Dowling

Chairman / Non-Executive Board Member

Paul has over 30 years experience in general management with very strong business development skills. He is currently working as director and private investor in a number of companies including power trading company ElectroRoute, H2OZone, Ardgowan Distillery, Island Renewable Energy and Pioneer Green Energy. His previous roles include head of strategy for SSE Group and leading the renewable energy business for SSE.
One of Paul’s most notable achievements has been the development and sale of the Airtricity Business to EON and SSE for circa €2 billion in 2007/2008.

Paul Dowling

Chairman / Non-Executive Board Member

Paul has over 30 years experience in general management with very strong business development skills. He is currently working as director and private investor in a number of companies including power trading company ElectroRoute, H2OZone, Ardgowan Distillery, Island Renewable Energy and Pioneer Green Energy. His previous roles include head of strategy for SSE Group and leading the renewable energy business for SSE.
One of Paul’s most notable achievements has been the development and sale of the Airtricity Business to EON and SSE for circa €2 billion in 2007/2008.

Patrick Dempsey OBE

Non-Executive Board Member

Patrick’s distinguished career in the hotel business began at Forte, where he become managing director of the Posthouse chain as well as the London Forte hotels division. In 2001 he was appointed CEO of Compass-owned Restaurant Associates UK & Ireland.
In 2004 he joined Whitbread as managing director of Marriott in the UK, becoming managing director for Premier Inn in 2005. In 2009 he was appointed managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants as well as joining the main board as executive director.
Patrick is one of the UK’s most highly respected hoteliers and was appointed OBE in 2012 for services to the industry.

Michael Flaxman

Non-Executive Board Member

Former Accor chief operating officer and member of Accor’s global executive committee, Michael Flaxman is a much respected hotel operator having spent 27 years with Accor working across its hotel portfolio, which included brands such as Sofitel, Adagio, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. He left Accor in 2011 and has since been working as a consultant to the hotel industry.

Michael Flaxman

Non-Executive Board Member

Former Accor chief operating officer and member of Accor’s global executive committee, Michael Flaxman is a much respected hotel operator having spent 27 years with Accor working across its hotel portfolio, which included brands such as Sofitel, Adagio, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. He left Accor in 2011 and has since been working as a consultant to the hotel industry.

Stephen Vernon

Non-Executive Board Member

Stephen Vernon is one of Ireland’s most accomplished property entrepreneurs and a well-known philanthropist through the John Pollard Foundation, named after his grandfather. He is also the co-founder of Dublin and London listed property investment company Green REIT Plc and chairman of the investment manager.

James George

Non-Executive Board Member

James George is International Managing Partner of the global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. James has been at OC&C for more than 20 years and has helped to shape their global footprint and hugely successful multimarket growth plans. At OC&C James serves clients across a range of industries with a specific focus on defining transformational strategies for Retail and Leisure companies. Alongside his consulting career James invests in a number of highly successful and high growth leisure businesses as well as owning a 750 year old pub in Cornwall (www.tinnersarms.com). James is a graduate in Chemistry from Oxford University, a father of 4 and a keen runner on the cliffs of his native Cornwall.

James George

Non-Executive Board Member

James George is International Managing Partner of the global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. James has been at OC&C for more than 20 years and has helped to shape their global footprint and hugely successful multimarket growth plans. At OC&C James serves clients across a range of industries with a specific focus on defining transformational strategies for Retail and Leisure companies. Alongside his consulting career James invests in a number of highly successful and high growth leisure businesses as well as owning a 750 year old pub in Cornwall (www.tinnersarms.com). James is a graduate in Chemistry from Oxford University, a father of 4 and a keen runner on the cliffs of his native Cornwall.