The people we serve are at the heart of all our work. It is so important to us that they receive the highest quality of support on their recovery journey, and so we hold ourselves to the very highest standards.
We have operational and governance processes in place to ensure that we work in an open and transparent manner. This also ensures that we comply with our statutory and legal responsibilities, and with the governance obligations of our funders.
We are governed by a Constitution and our independent, non-executive Board of Directors is committed to maintaining best practice in corporate governance, including adhering to the Charities Regulator Charities Governance Code.
Currently there are seven members of the Board, drawn from diverse backgrounds and bringing to their role a broad range of experience and skills, including significant expertise in business, finance and health and disability services. Together they are responsible for providing leadership, developing strategy, identifying and mitigating risk, and monitoring the budgets and outcomes of the organisation.
There are three Sub Committees of the Board, focusing on the areas of Remuneration; Finance and Audit; and Quality, Safety and Risk.
Niamh is a post-primary teacher in County Laois. She holds a Masters in Chaplaincy and Education and worked in youth retreats for five years.
Niamh was diagnosed with auto-immune Encephalitis in 2008. Following her diagnosis, she went through rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire and accessed Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s services in Tullamore. As a result, Niamh has been living with a brain injury and autoimmune condition since. She has been involved in advocacy work with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland since 2016.
Ann has retired from the HSE following a long career encompassing Clinical, Administrative, Managerial and Strategic Planning roles across several divisions of the Health Services. These include Primary and Community Care, Mental Health, Older Persons Services and Health and Well Being.
She has also acted as Interim Lead for Quality and Safety in the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation. She has successfully led multi-disciplinary, integrated service initiatives across Primary Care and Hospital Services in the North East and has championed progressive models of care including new models of Nursing Home care and technology supports. She has also championed the introduction of service user advocacy services, safeguarding and social prescribing at a national and regional level.
Ann completed her PhD in 2014, focusing on the organisational barriers to Person-Centred Care within Public Residential Care Services for Older People. Ann’s interests include hill walking, travelling, current affairs and reading.
Colm has 35 years’ experience working in the Irish Agribusiness industry. All these years were spent with Glanbia plc working with Glanbia Agribusiness, a former business unit of Glanbia plc. His final 12 years with Glanbia Agribusiness were as Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Group Managing Directors of Glanbia plc.
Colm holds a degree in Agricultural Science (Econ) from University College Dublin, an MBA from Dublin City University and Professional Diplomas in Corporate Governance, Business and Executive Coaching, Advanced Business and Executive Coaching, all from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
He is currently Chairperson and Trustee of Irish Community Air Ambulance (I.C.A.A. trading as I.C.R.R.), non-executive director of Grassland Fertilisers Ltd., South-East Port Services Ltd., D. Walsh and Sons Ltd. and an accredited Business Coach and Mentor. Colm is married to his wife, Helen with a daughter, Ella.
Marzena is a Fellow of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and a Master of Finance and Accounting from Nicolas Copernicus University in Poland.
Currently working as an independent consultant with ITSA Bagels Limited and SIXT Leasing Ireland, Marzena has over 15 years’ experience in senior finance and IT roles with companies including ALD Automotive.
Marzena is a highly-resourced finance management professional with comprehensive experience in leading, directing, and controlling financial operations. She was appointed to the board of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland in April 2019 where she is also is a member of the Finance & Audit Committee.
Andy is currently the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland having previously served as the National Secretary of the Society of St Vincent De Paul (SVP), which is one of the largest voluntary charitable organisations in Ireland.
Prior to his role at the SVP he was Chief Executive of St John of God Community Services, an organisation providing a range of services to those with learning disabilities and mental health issues across Ireland.
He served in the Defence Forces for 19 years, holding a range of training, command and staff appointments. He also served abroad, including three trips in the Middle East with the United Nations, Central Africa with Goal, and the Balkans with the European Union. Andy has a BSc from NUIG, an MSc from the University of Ulster and a certificate in Charity Law, Trusteeship and Governance from the Law Society of Ireland. His interests include current affairs, rugby and reading.
Hugh is Director and Senior Consultant with management consulting firm OCS Consulting and has extensive experience in the area of organisational review and strategy development.
Hugh was founding Chief Executive of Age Friendly Ireland (2012 to 2017) and in this role led the development of Ireland’s World Health Organisation (WHO) inspired ‘Age Friendly Cities and Counties Programme’, providing technical support and leadership to the 31 participating local authorities, the Heath Service Executive and other programme partners.
Hugh was previously a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities; the WHO and European Union’s Age-friendly Environments in Europe Advisory Committee; and the Department of An Taoiseach’s Steering Group on Smart Ageing. Hugh has also lectured in services marketing, strategic management and research methods at the Institute of Technology in Carlow (Ireland). Hugh graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) with an MBS.
Board Sub Committees
The Board has three Sub Committees focusing on the areas of Remuneration; Quality, Safety and Risk; and Finance and Audit.
Remuneration Committee members 2021: Hugh O’Connor (Chair), Clair Cullinan, Seamus Moore
Quality, Safety and Risk Committee members 2021: Seamus Moore (Chair), Marzena Golinska, Andrew Heffernan, Barbara O’Connell (Chief Executive), Karen Foley (Head of Service Operations), Donnchadh Whelan (National Services Manager), Trevor Nesirky (Quality, Safety and Practice Development Manager)
Finance and Audit Committee members 2021: Evelyn Fitzpatrick (Chair), Marzena Golinska, Clair Cullinan.
Quality and Accreditations
In 2003, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland became the first service provider in the Republic of Ireland to achieve CARF accreditation. CARF is the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Services. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that assesses the facilities and services of a wide range of rehabilitation providers globally. CARF accreditation is a prestigious and internationally recognised quality mark, signalling that the services we provide meet or exceed international best practice.
CARF accredits organisations in three-year blocks. In 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021 and again in 2023, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland achieved the highest level of accreditation in acquired brain injury residential rehabilitation services, home and community rehabilitation services and governance standards. According to CARF: “This achievement is an indication of your organisation’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons-served”.
In 2018, we also received gold standard accreditation in recognition of our Case Management Service.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s neuro-rehabilitation assisted living services are registered with the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and are monitored under the Health Act 2007 (Care and support of residents in designated centres for persons (children and adults) with disabilities) regulations 2013.
We ensure the rights and responsibilities of the people we serve are upheld, both in policy and practise.
We listen carefully to the people we serve. Their feedback helps us to learn and continuously improve, so that they always receive the highest possible quality of service. We survey those we work with every year, and we are grateful to see our commitment to excellence reflected in their responses.
said our services ‘enabled me to do things better’
said I ‘got what I needed, when I needed it’
said they had the ‘opportunity to make important choices’
said ‘staff treated me with respect and courtesy’
said they ‘do better in social situations’
said they ‘felt safe here’
said ‘staff paid attention to what I said’
said ‘I participated in life decisions’
Transparency and Accountability
Charities Institute Ireland Triple Lock
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is a member of the Charities Institute Ireland (CII) and proudly certified with the Triple Lock standard. The Triple Lock standard is available to members of the CII who deliver best practice in transparency and accountability, particularly in the areas of governance, fundraising and reporting. Triple Lock certification demonstrates that an organisation is strong, credible, well governed, that it implements quality work and does so in a way that respects the people for whom the organisation is founded.
Our ambition is to ensure that every brain injury survivor can access the rehabilitation and support they need within their community, so that they can live their best life as independently as possible. There is still a long way to go. Our Strategy 2020 – 2024 is a roadmap to guide us along our journey, and a commitment to be a voice for change on behalf of brain injury survivors and their families.
Join our mailing list to be among the first to hear about news and developments in our services, upcoming events, supports and resources for brain injury survivors and their families.
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