IFPA Board of Directors

The IFPA is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, which is elected by IFPA members at the Association’s AGM. The Board is responsible for developing, monitoring and reviewing the IFPA’s Strategic Plan.

The Board meets five times a year, members give their time voluntarily and are not remunerated. The IFPA Chief Executive reports to the Board on implementation of the organisation’s Strategic Plan.

The Board is guided in its governance by the IFPA Governance Handbook and by other best practice principles, including the Dóchas Code of Corporate Governance and the Dóchas Guidelines for Annual Reports and Financial Statements, of which the IFPA is a signatory, as well as the Statement for Guiding Principles for Fundraising. The IFPA Board upholds and promotes the IPPF Code of Good Governance, which includes a set of seven principles that represent good practice in governance.

For our annual reports, please see the publications page.

IFPA Board of Directors 2018

Natalie McDonnell (Chairperson)

Natalie McDonnell is a practicing barrister and a former Policy Officer with both the IFPA and Treoir. Natalie has acted as a legal consultant for the IFPA and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Ruth Fletcher

Ruth Fletcher is Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London. She has published and lectured widely on issues of reproductive rights, health care law and legal theory. Ruth contributed to a submission to the European Court of Human Rights in A, B and C v Ireland and gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Health and Children in May as they considered the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013.

Natasha O’Brien

Natasha O’Brien is a trained barrister. She has previously volunteered with Community Law and Mediation.

Fiona Tyrrell

Fiona Tyrrell is a communications professional with 13 years’ experience working in media and public relations. Fiona is currently Press Officer in Trinity College Dublin with responsibility for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to that she worked as Communications Officer with the IFPA and as a journalist with the The Irish Times and Tuam Herald.

Wendy Lyon

Wendy Lyon is a practising solicitor at KOD Lyons, where she specialises in immigration, sexual and reproductive rights and maternity rights. Wendy is a founding member of Choice Ireland and holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law.

Rosemary Wokocha

Rosemary Wokocha is a Chartered Accountant with over 9 years’ experience working in the charity and non-profit sector in Ireland. Rosemary currently works as Finance Manager at BelongTo, the national organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered young people in Ireland, and One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for people parenting alone, or sharing parenting, and their children.

Jennifer Gargan

Jennifer Gargan is the founder and former director of EPIC, the only independent organisation in Ireland working with children and young people in care. After graduating from UCD with a degree in Social Science and later an MSc in Health Services Management, she worked as a professionally qualified social worker in a wide range of different settings both within the NGO and statutory sectors.

Patricia Prendiville

Patricia Prendiville has over 25 years’ experience working in the areas of equality, rights and social inclusion. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Equality and Rights Alliance and the Advisory Board of Documentation and Advocacy Fund of ILGA-Europe. She has extensive experience working on equality and human rights at national and European level. She currently works as an independent development and equality expert in Ireland and Europe and has written books on facilitation, homophobia and working with young women.

Síona Cahill

Síona Cahill studied at Maynooth University. She is the President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). She previously served as USI Equality Officer and as Deputy President/Vice-President of Equality and Citizenship of USI.

Marianne Byrne

Marianne Byrne is a management consultant specialising in employee relations. She has Master of Science degree in Health Services Management and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

IFPA Senior Management 2018

Chief Executive Niall Behan

Niall Behan has been Chief Executive of the IFPA since 2003. He has campaigned for over two decades for improved access to contraception, better sexuality education and legal abortion services. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the National College of Ireland and an MA in European Social Policy. Prior to his work with the IFPA, he worked as an assistant to the Minister for Social Welfare.

Medical Director Dr Caitriona Henchion

Dr Caitriona Henchion joined the IFPA in 1997 and has been Medical Director since 2008. She specialises in sexual health and contraception and is a member of the Irish Association of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Professionals and of the European Society of Contraception. She has been a leading voice in the reform of Ireland’s abortion laws. Dr Henchion leads the IFPA medical services including post-abortion care. She also delivers the IFPA’s medical training for health professionals.

Counselling Director Maura Leahy

Maura Leahy is a qualified psychotherapist, supervisor and lecturer. She is registered with the Family Therapist Association of Ireland, the European Association for Psychotherapy and the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. Prior to joining the IFPA in 2017, Maura worked as a bereavement counsellor with Barnardos and as Clinical Director of Relationships Ireland.

Director of Advocacy and Communications Maeve Taylor

Maeve Taylor joined the IFPA in 2011. Her role involves advocacy in relation to Irish law and policy and overseas development policy.  She has a background in adult education, with a focus on gender, development and human rights. Maeve holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from University College Dublin and a Master’s degree in human rights law from Queen’s University, Belfast.

Financial Controller Ben Howe

Ben Howe is the IFPA’s full time financial controller. He is a fellow of the ACCA. He has over 18 years’ experience in accountancy, verifying from sole trader to medium size companies. Ben drafts an annual budget every year which is agreed by the Board. He also drafts management accounts which are monitored by the Board every six weeks.