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 2019
Fiona Tyrrell (Chairperson)
Fiona Tyrrell is a communications professional with over 15 years’ experience in strategic communications, media relations and journalism in a variety of sectors including civil society, third level education and local and national print media. Fiona worked as Communications Officer with the IFPA between 2009 and 2013.
Síona Cahill studied at Maynooth University. She is a former President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). She also previously served as USI Equality Officer and as Deputy President/Vice-President for Equality and Citizenship of USI.
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.
Jennifer Gargan has had a wide range of experience working within the statutory and NGO sectors. Her experience as CEO of EPIC included financial management, governance, strategic development and planning. She campaigned for many years for the rights of young people with care experience. She was actively involved in the Action for Aftercare campaign resulting in legislative change to provide access to aftercare for young people leaving care, and also in the Children’s Rights and Marriage Equality referenda.
Wendy Lyon is a practising solicitor at Abbey Law, 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.
Natasha O’Brien previously worked as a barrister and is now an Assistant Principal in the Department of Health.
Patricia Prendiville has over 30 years’ experience working in the areas of equality, rights and social inclusion. Her extensive experience includes working with civil society organisations at national and international level, engaging with states bodies and international fora. She currently works as an independent organizational development consultant and equality expert in Ireland and Europe and has written books on facilitation, homophobia and working with young women.
Megan is the current Vice President for Equality and Citizenship with the Union of Students in Ireland. She is a former President and Welfare Officer of NUI Galway Students’ Union. She was an active campaigner within the student movement during the marriage equality and the 8th Amendment referendums.
IFPA Senior Management 2019
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.
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.