Who we are

Our history.

Since 2009, Castlebridge has been the go-to authority for pragmatic advice on the business of data.

Recognised internationally for our insights and direct approach, we help clients get to the fundamentals of their data-related challenges and build information-enabled organisations.

While the team has grown and changed over the years, we have remained focussed on our core mission and vision from 2009 and have seen that focus pay dividends as organisations mature in their thinking and find they need help to “do great things with data”!

Jump to Year

Teenage Kicks

Castlebridge’s standing, client base, and range of experience continues to grow.

  • Worked with a leading International Organisation advising on AI Ethics and Regulatory frameworks for a developing nation
  • Continue to serve current and prospective clients across our key service offering areas.
  • Continue to collaborate with Adapt Centre and with the IVI on academic and industry research projects
  • Continue to innovate in development of services to support clients, while paying attention to the importance of fundamentals
  • Daragh O Brien receives an award from NUI Maynooth for his contributions to industry and academic research in the fields of Data Governance and Data Quality over the past 20 years.

Building for the Future

Castlebridge continues to maintain and grow our Data Protection business nationally and internationally directly and through partners.

Increasing demand for Data Governance, Data Strategy, and other Data Management services at home and abroad validates the decade-old holistic model for data management!

  • Engaged with Utilities Sector clients on Data Strategy and Data Governance frameworks, including advising on data aspects of mergers and corporate restructuring
  • Continued to grow our data protection advisory and data strategy services internationally.
  • Developed new training delivery partnerships to expand our Education Services market domestically and overseas.
  • Recognised for a 3rd year in a row as a “Thought Leader” in Data Governance by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.


Like many businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic posed some challenges for Castlebridge. But, in keeping with our corporate culture of solving problems and rising to challenges, we used the time to work on our business and to support our clients in developing sustainable data transformation plans.

  • Conducted research and published whitepapers and guidance on data-driven responses to Covid-19
  • Supported medtech clients to ensure DPIAs and all other data protection obligations were in place to smooth adoption of telemedicine during pandemic.
  • Assisted a leading international education body in developing a data strategy for the future development of online professional education.
  • Moved all our training fully online and developed our Pathfinder model to support large group training roll outs using blended learning approaches
  • Delivered data protection skills training to a leading Regulatory body.
  • Launched our Advisory Clinic service for quick consultations on Data Protection, Data Governance, or Data Strategy topics

Planning for the Future

Our 10th year started with a review of our original mission and vision. The consensus of staff, and of clients we consulted with, was that the instincts that guided the original plan were right.

  • Data Protection clients begin to ask for guidance on Data Governance and Data Quality issues as their data management practices mature
  • Develop Data Strategy roadmap for an EU Public Health body
  • PROTECT-ITN receives approval and funding. Recruit our first PhD candidates
  • Castlebridge recognised as an independent Research Body by Irish Government
  • Recognised as a “Thought Leader” in Data Governance by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.
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Norming, and Performing

Castlebridge firmly established as a leading provider of advisory services for data protection and data governance, particularly for complex scenarios.
Clients recognise value of multi-disciplinary teams and our extended network of Associate consultants.

  • Deliver extensive briefings on Data Protection and Data Governance to a range of Irish Public Sector bodies, SMEs, and NGOs.
  • Engaged with clients in the UK and US on GDPR readiness engagements
  • Advised a large UK-headquartered public sector organisation on implications of GDPR and Brexit on operational data governance roadmap
  • Ethical Data & Information Management by Daragh O Brien and Katherine O’Keefe is published by Kogan Page

Storming and Forming in a growing market

Castlebridge moved up a gear in 2017 with the addition of Peter Davey as COO.

Client demand was largely for data protection advisory services, but there was still a core focus on Data Governance and Data Management.

  • Formally develop our Associates model to support flexibility of resourcing.
  • Team grows further as GDPR-related projects pick up momentum
  • First formal office acquired to facilitate group-work in the team
  • Engage with clients in Ireland, UK, EU, and US on a variety of Data Governance and Data Protection projects and training engagements in sectors from financial services to government to charities.

More Collaborations

Castlebridge collaborated with other firms in our network on a range of projects across EU in 2016.

  • Advised large Belgian insurance company on Data Governance and Data Strategy, with a focus on GDPR readiness.
  • Advised large US data management vendor on product strategy for data protection trends.
  • Advise a global telco on Data Protection impact assessment of data virtualisation strategy for data warehousing across multiple regions (has hard to do as to say).

Building Collaborations!

2015 was a year of collaborations and innovation.

  • Formally become lead beneficiary of the PROTECT-ITN project proposal with the Adapt Centre in Trinity College Dublin
  • Formalise the Castlebridge Data Management Framework for use with clients (it evolves from this point)
  • Castlebridge publishes first whitepaper on Data Ethics, including our E2IM (Ethical Enterprise Information Management) framework
  • Develop GDPR Change Programme for leading Irish Utilities sector company
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responding to subject access request

Momentum Continues!

When Opportunity called, Castlebridge was ready and available to take that call (even though we were already busy delivering courses and executing projects for a variety of client organisations!)

  • Work with Benlux partners on projects in telecoms and insurance sector for Data Governance and Data Protection
  • Begin advising a leading energy utility on data protection
  • Begin advising a leading water utility on data protection and data governance
  • Begin advising a leading gas utility on data protection and data governance

More Growth

Castlebridge enters its first growth spurt as business in response to growing demand for our holistic approach to data protection and data management from the business perspective.

  • Work with partners in Benelux on Data Governance and Data Quality strategy for large EU institution
  • Law Society of Ireland launches Certificate in Data Protection Practice, based on syllabus design by Daragh O Brien. This includes a focus on data governance and data management skills unique in the market for almost a decade.
  • Public Affairs Ireland engages with Castlebridge to develop and deliver updated Data Protection training courses in anticipation of GDPR demand
  • Developed Data Governance and Data Quality Strategic Roadmap for leading international airline

Building Momentum

Our early focus on the “business side of data” begins to get traction in the market and our word-of-mouth reputation continues to attract interesting clients with complex projects.

  • Begin delivering Data Quality Essentials training as live instructor led course
  • Begin long-running engagement with leading Irish Telco on Data Protection Advisory and Data Governance (one of our team went on to be the DPO there)
  • Contribute to legislative consultation on the draft text of the GDPR.
  • Advise Irish public body on Data Protection compliance requirements for large public sector tender and on data exchange with other public bodies in process design
  • Advise Irish public body on Data Protection, Data Governance, and Data Quality risk and mitigation for high profile data integration project
  • Receive accreditation as a FETAC (now QQI) training provider
  • Begin offering FETAC accredited course in Data Quality Management (N32840)
  • Deliver Data Quality Certification training to leading Irish Financial Services organisation (we were the only provider of this kind of training in the market at the time)
  • Deliver tutorial sessions on overlap between Data Governance, Data Quality, and Data Protection at industry events in US and UK

Initial Growth Spurt

  • Deliver in-house data protection training to large Public Sector organisation
  • Begin to offer outsourced Data Protection Officer/Manager support services
  • Deliver tutorial sessions on overlap between Data Governance, Data Quality, and Data Protection at industry events in US and UK
  • Castlebridge becomes a Member of the Innovation Value Institute in NUI Maynooth, contributing to the development of the IT-CMF
  • Begin offering public and in-house courses in Data Governance and Data Quality Management and Data Protection, including online delivery of some courses
  • Ark Group publishes the “Data Governance and Strategy Toolkit”, written by our CEO, Daragh O Brien
  • Support high profile public sector organisation with training and change management for the roll out of their “Data Protection Code of Practice”

Baby Steps

2010 saw the first full year of trading for Castlebridge. This year set the tone for our strategy of collaboration with partners whenever possible.

  • Castlebridge developed and delivered data protection training for ICS/ICS Skills
  • Collaborated with a leading Irish Further Education College to develop FETAC accredited course in Data Quality Management (N32840)
  • Contribute to development of DPC’s voluntary code of conduct for Data Breach Notification
  • Deliver tutorial sessions on overlap between Data Governance, Data Quality, and Data Protection at industry events in US and UK

In the Beginning…

Castlebridge founded by Daragh O Brien, building on over a decade of experience in business transformation, data strategy, and regulatory roles in telecoms sector.

The simple mission of the company is to “Change how People in Organisations think about Data”, with a focus on data governance, data quality, and data protection as part of a holistic data strategy for organisations.

  • Support organisations through external advisory
  • Develop organisation capabilities in data management through staff and management education
  • Help organisations see data as a BUSINESS issue not a IT function!
  • Technology neutral, but focussing on the HUMAN FACTORS in sustainable data change

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