Call us: (01) 280 4164

Our People

  • Barbara O’Connell

Barbara O'Connell

Barbara O’Connell is co-founder of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABI Ireland), where she has been chief executive for over 13 years.  ABI Ireland is a national organization that provides community neuro-rehabilitation for people with an acquired brain injury.  Barbara has built the organization from an idea to a national organization with services throughout Ireland that are internationally accredited and recognised. Prior to setting up ABI Ireland, Barbara worked as an Occupational Therapy Manager in Ireland’s National Rehabilitation Hospital, pioneering the design, implementation and management of social re-integration programs for people with an ABI, bridging the identified gap between post-acute services and return to the community.  Across her career she has worked directly with clients and staff in Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry and Intellectual Disability.

Barbara has an MBA in Healthcare & Business from Smurfit Business School UCD.  Along with women in leadership training she completed an Executive Education course in Non-Profit Strategic Management in Harvard Business School in 2012 and Strategic Decision making in the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013.  Additional achievements for Barbara include the two awards she received in 2012; Women Mean Business - Social Entrepreneur of the Year and National Winner of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award for Social Enterprise.


Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer: Dee Clare | Email: DClare@abiireland.ie | Phone: 01 280 4164


National Services Manager

  • Donnchadh Whelan

Donnchadh Whelan

Donnchadh was previously with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland as Regional Manager of the East and North East from 2007 – 2015 prior to commencing his current role as National Services Manager in August 2016. He has acquired extensive experience in the management, development and strategic management of social & healthcare services across the not for profit, voluntary, private and public sectors. His original background is nursing, and he is currently registered on the Psychiatric and General Registers of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Of note Donnchadh is a certified Brain Injury Specialist (ACBIS) and holds a HDip in Healthcare (Risk Management) from UCD and a BA & MA in Health Management from the IPA. Additionally he has been a board member, Vice-Chair and Chair of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) and board member and Secretary of CNEASTA (The Irish Council for Training, Development and Employment for Persons with Disabilities).


Department Managers


Board of Directors

  • Denis Buckley

Transparency and Good Governance

ABI Ireland is committed to best practice in terms of promoting openness and transparency in our organisational governance.

We welcome the development of the charities regulator and are delighted that our CEO, Barbara O’Connell, has been appointed a member of the board of the new Charities Regulatory Authority.

ABI Ireland has adopted and is compliant with the Governance Code for Community Voluntary and Charitable Organisations. We have also signed up to the Fundraising Principles and have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) since 2003

In 2014 the Board commissioned an external review of our governance practice and compliance with the Governance Code. The review was based on an assessment of our organisational practice against the recommended actions of each principle.

A brain injury can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere

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