Patricia qualified from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, and spent the first five years of her career in mixed veterinary practice. She joined the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2001, where she worked in the National Disease Control Centre during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, and thereafter primarily on OIE List A disease and international trade. In 2004, Patricia went to work with the Irish Embassy in Warsaw as Ireland’s first Agricultural Attaché to Poland. She returned to DAFM in 2008 and took up policy responsibility for Ireland’s Border Inspection Posts. In 2010, Patricia moved to Brussels to join the Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, where she had responsibility for research and innovation policy in areas including the bioeconomy and health and gender in research. At the beginning of the next Commission mandate, she moved into the Cabinet of Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, first as his senior expert and subsequently as Deputy Head of Cabinet. After ten years in Cabinets, Patricia returned to Ireland, and is currently a member of the senior management team working with Ireland’s Chief Veterinary Officer.
Since qualifying from UCD, Patricia has completed an MSc in European Food Regulation (University of Ulster), a Diploma in European Law (Law Society of Ireland), and the King’s Inns Diploma in Law.