The membership of the Board reflects the person centred ethos of the organisation, comprising members, service users, parents and business representatives. All are volunteers and, acting collectively, they must ensure the organisation delivers what it was set up to achieve, upholds its values, remains solvent and is properly managed.
Get to Know Us
Donal is a dairy farmer from Cork and across Europe. He is a former President of the IFA and former president of farm co-ops, both here and in Europe. He has been heavily involved in Rotary and Macra na Feirme. Donal's association with Enable Ireland grew from small steps. In the early days he became involved through his wife’s fundraising activities. Donal acted as Chairman of the Cork branch of Cerebral Palsy Ireland and was elected as Chairman of Enable Ireland in 1993. He is deeply committed to the disability sector in Ireland in which he is a constant and consistent advocate for enhanced services for people with disabilities.
Mary Bennett joined the Board of Enable Ireland in 1996 to bring her retail expertise to the organisation and assist in the setting up and development of Enable Ireland's network of 21 charity shops. She has a strong belief in the ethos of Enable Ireland and is grandmother to two children who attend Enable Ireland. Mary also has extensive fundraising experience through her voluntary work with other charitable organisations.
Michael has 25 years of business experience as CEO of the IFA, the largest farm organisation in the country. He is currently chairman of FBD Holdings plc. He has a wealth of understanding of corporate governance, compliance and commercial company experience. Michael joined the board of Enable Ireland in 2010. He regards his directorship on the Board as a privilege and opportunity to make a small personal contribution to the betterment in quality of life for Enable Ireland services users.
John is a parent of an adult with a disability and was involved in the establishment of a branch of Cerebral Palsy Ireland in Limerick to address the scarcity of services for people with disabilities in the area. Cerebral Palsy Ireland grew into the organisation that is today – Enable Ireland. John is pleased to be part of an organisation which has evolved into a large, professionally run organisation. John believes that it is vital for parents to be represented on the Board to give expression to parents' views. He joined the Board in 1992.
Nicola took up her position as a stakeholder Director representing the HSE area Dublin Mid Leinster in 2013. Nicola is married and has three boys. She became interested in Enable Ireland through her niece who attends Enable Ireland services. She was motivated to join the board to give something back for the support her family has received from Enable Ireland.
Nicola is a Christian and a member of a Christian movement called Cursillo which tries to introduce people back to the church and incorporate faith back into peoples lives.
Maureen has been a member of the Board of Enable Ireland since September 2000. She believes that the input of the views and experiences of service users and family members of service users is an essential component of the good governance of all organisations concerned with delivering services to people with disability.
As an experienced health and social care services researcher, Maureen has good knowledge of health and social policy providing a professional, reflective and analytic lens through which contribute to the Board of Directors of Enable Ireland.
Maureen’s involvement with Enable Ireland began when her daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. She looked for a support group in Galway to join and, finding none, she and a number of other parents set up the Galway branch of Cerebral Palsy Ireland.
Enda became a Director representing the Adult Service Users’ Advocacy Group in 2011. He enjoys the role of Director and sees it as an opportunity to express the views of service users at Board level at all times. Enda believes it is important to have the opinions of adults with disabilities heard and to play a role in the future development of the strategies and ethos of Enable Ireland.
Stephen’s connection to Enable Ireland started because he had two children with Cerebral Palsy. He was first appointed to the board as a Stakeholder Director and his interest was based on having a vested interest in the organisation. Stephen lost one child and still has one child with Cerebral Palsy. He continues to have an interest in the Enable Ireland. As a former Chairman of A & L Goodbody, he is happy to share his expertise with Enable Ireland. Stephen was appointed to the board in 2009.
As a neighbour of the Enable Ireland Cork Lavanagh Centre, Sean had long been aware of the great work which goes on there. He subsequently became involved in fundraising for Enable Ireland, and joined the board in 2006. Sean brings a wealth of business expertise to Enable Ireland through his position as Managing Director of Printing & Office Supplies company, with 30 years experience. He was also a founder member and Past-Chairman of TARA, Ireland’s largest Office Dealer Group. Sean's fundraising expertise is drawn from his roles as Past-President of Cork Round Table and Past-President of Rotary Club of Cork.
Annette first became involved with Enable Ireland through the work of her mother who was heavily involved in the setting up of the Marino Clinic in Bray for what was then called the National Association of Cerebral Palsy. Annette became involved in fundraising for the organisation and went on to become Chairman of the House Management Committee in Enable Ireland Bray. She also acts on the Board of Management for the Marino School in Bray. She was appointed to the Board of Enable Ireland in 1998 and brings with her considerable knowledge and experience of the ethos of the organisation.
Trevor is a Director representing Adult Service Users’ Advocacy Group and joined the Board in 2011. He views his directorship as an opportunity to see how the Board is run and how the organisation runs the services. The Board meetings are held in various services around the country and, for Trevor, this provides an opportunity to see how the organisation is run nationwide. As a service user, Trevor, regards his membership as an opportunity to ensure that the views of service users are always to the forefront.
Gemma was appointed a Stakeholder Director of Enable Ireland for HSE Area North East in October 2014. Gemma's son attends Enable Ireland Services in Trim and for her, the Stakeholder Directorship is an opportunity to give back to Enable through her professional experience. Gemma is an ACCA accountant by profession, working at AIG Asset Management Europe Ltd and has been Financial Controller there since 2010, more recently moving into a global role as Global Expense Controller.
Terry's first contact with Enable Ireland started through a partnership between Microsoft and Enable Ireland in the area of Assistive Technology (AT). With a professional background in Information Technology (IT), Terry recognised the enormous opportunity that AT provides to improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities. He subsequently joined the Board in 2004 and brings a wealth of experience in technology and business affairs.
Terry is currently Regional Standards Officer for Europe Middle East and Africa at Microsoft. Prior to this he served as Chief Technical Officer of Ericsson Ireland. Terry is also a Board member of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), and Chairman of NSAI’s ICT standards Consultative committee. Terry has also worked with Forfas, Ireland’s advisory body on science and technology policy where he was secretary to Ireland’s Information Society and Technology Foresight initiatives, and extensively on EU Technology agenda, including EU Framework programmes.
Ben is a Stakeholder Director for Enable Ireland representing HSE Area South. Ben's interest in the organisation arises from his daughter attending Enable Ireland services. He joined the Board in 2013 to contribute to the governance of the organisation given his understanding of disability and the challenges facing parents and people with disabilities. He has been a support member of Cancer Ireland in the past and wants to continue to help people.
Pat joined the board of Enable Ireland in 1985. He first came into contact with Enable Ireland in his role as Financial Controller with the National Rehabilitation Board. Through his previous roles as Company Secretary, Director, Financial Controller and Manager of European Affairs, he brings a wealth of experience and management skills. He is a Director of The European Vocational Training Association and the Wicklow Network for Older Persons. He is also Chairperson/Trustee of Bray Old Folks Association.
Sean is a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy and joined the Board of Enable Ireland in 2000 to represent children’s services in his local area of Kerry. When Sean's child was born, there were no specialist services easily available. The family then approached Enable Ireland where they received an excellent service free of charge. Given this positive experience, Sean decided to contribute to the organisation by becoming a Director where he can share his views and ideas and help the Board to formulate Policy.