Cormac has recently joined the firm as a partner in our tax department.
Cormac, originally from Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, is the middle child of three, with two sisters. His mother is a retired secondary school teacher who spent the majority of her career in Avondale Community College. She was the deputy principal, teaching business and accounting, and a key influence on Cormac’s choice of career. His father spent the majority of his career with Irish Fertiliser Industry in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, but his real passion lay in supporting his local and county GAA teams. “My parents have been a huge influence on my life. They gave me my interest in business, and in coaching and mentoring people specifically, and in sport.”
Cormac attended Avondale Community College in Rathdrum, under the watchful eye of his mother! “I loved my time in secondary school, it was a growing school but had a great sense of local community and I have lifelong friends who I went to school with. The school had a big focus on sport and I pretty much tried my hand at everything from GAA and basketball to cross-country running”. Outside of school Cormac’s main focus was on GAA. He played with his local team Avondale from a young age until his recent retirement from the sport, and represented Wicklow in both football and hurling up to U21 grade.
Cormac attended UCD to study a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) and stayed to complete a Masters of Accounting (MAcc), developing a deepening interest in accounting and tax through his studies. He started his career in Deloitte, which provided his first exposure the complex world of tax, particularly personal and corporate taxes. During his time there he completed both the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and Chartered Accountancy qualifications with first-time passes.
After his training contract, Cormac left Deloitte in 2006 and joined an Irish property company providing tax advice for Irish property investors. From there he joined EisnerAmper Ireland (then MKO Partners) in 2007 as an assistant manager in the tax team. He became a partner in 2013 and remained with the firm until he joined Crowe as a partner in the tax department in May 2020.
“As a generalist tax practitioner, dealing with a variety of different tax issues, I gain a well-rounded view of what is happening within the business and tax environment. I work with private individuals, US multinationals, and SMEs,” he says. “I have a keen interest in helping businesses grow and develop internationally, whether that is an Irish business expanding to non-Irish markets, or international companies looking to use Ireland as a base for Europe.”
Cormac has a passion for the coaching and development of others, something that has been an import aspect of his personal and professional life. “I have always loved working with others, identifying their strengths and helping them develop. Maybe it is a result of my mother’s influence as a teacher! In professional life it started with my participation in Deloitte’s new trainee induction training and has continued throughout my career working with and mentoring colleagues. Outside of work I have been a coach with my GAA club’s senior football team right down to working with the U5 academy teams and now my son’s U9 team.”
Outside work Cormac has a busy family life. He married Carol in 2007 and they have three children: Eoghan (9), Isabelle (7) and Alice (2). Carol, who worked with Cormac in Deloitte and is also a chartered accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser, changed career paths and now works as a secondary school teacher in their local school, where she teaches business and accounting.
In his spare time Cormac is an avid sports fan and is involved in his local Avondale GAA club. “I have been involved with our local GAA club since I was a young boy. Although my playing days are behind me I still contribute as much as I can; I now coach the U9 team in the club, and also do the statistics and video analysis for our senior football team. That, coupled with previous roles as club secretary and now as part of the treasurer team, keeps me busy!”
He is also a horse-racing fan and attends race meetings whenever the opportunity arises. “I love going over to Cheltenham for the first two days of the racing festival every spring with my father and friends. I have enjoyed many wonderful days there over the years – with celebration and disappointment in equal measure.”
To keep fit, Cormac has traded in his football boots for cycling shoes. “I am extremely lucky where I live. I can be on the coast going past Brittas Bay or in the Wicklow mountains within an hour from my house, I find it is a great way to get some fresh air, keep fit and clear the head after work.”