Board of Directors

The Current Women's Aid Board of Directors are: 

Olwen Dawe

Olwen DaweOlwen is a leading Policy Analyst and Consultant, with an established track record in developing and implementing equality, diversity and inclusion projects, and since 2017, a number of policies and strategies in the arts and culture sector.  Notably, this has included the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Equality, Human Rights and Diversity Policy and the National Library of Ireland’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy.   A graduate of the Whitaker School of Government and Management (IPA), and NCI (formerly the National College of Industrial Relations), Olwen holds a BA (Hons) in Industrial Relations, a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Science, Public Policy Analysis, an MEconScience in Public Policy Analysis and a Professional Certificate in Governance.  In late 2017, and in response to the revelations of harassment in Irish theatre, the #MeToo and #IrishWeinstein hashtags, Olwen co-authored the Amplify Women toolkit with Dr. Brenda Donohue and colleagues from across the legal, workplace relations and representative / advocacy communities.  Olwen was the Project Advisor for the Speak Up: A Call for Change report, published in October 2021.  

A passionate advocate for both gender equality and the role of arts in society, Olwen is a former Board member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and the inaugural Chair of Network Ireland’s Advisory Council (she was the organisation’s National President in 2015).  Olwen has served on the Boards of the Lyric Theatre (Belfast), Poetry Ireland and CoisCéim Dance Theatre, and was Chair of the Policy Research Committee of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA). 

Lucy Maguire 

Lucy Gaffney MaguireLucy is a qualified Mediator having completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution.  She recently graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an MPhil in International Peace Studies with a Thesis on gender-based violence.  Lucy has developed a keen interest in the areas of social justice, diversity and equality.  In 2005 she was appointed by the Government to Chair Ireland’s National Action Plan against Racism and launched one of Europe’s first Action Plans.  

Lucy has over 30 years’ experience in the Telecoms and Media sectors. She was the Chief Operations Officer in EsatTelecom and an advisor to Esat Digifone in its bid and launch as Ireland’s second mobile operator.  She is a founding director of the Digicel Group and serves on its Board of Directors.  Most recently Lucy was Chair of the Communicorp Group prior to its sale in 2021.  The company owned and operated radio stations across Ireland, UK, and Europe. Previous Board directorships include; Independent News and Media, Topaz Energy Group, Ulster Bank Ltd, Special Olympic World Games (2003) and Advisory Board Tesco Ireland. 

SuzannSHandley Photoe Handle

Suzanne in skilled in Finance, Management Accounting, Governance and Organizational Development. 

She is an experienced Finance Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the not-for-profit and private sectors over the past twenty-five years.

 

 

Hession-Golda3-768x1024Golda Hession

Golda is a solicitor at Arthur Cox LLP. Golda advises international and domestic companies, as well as public sector bodies, on all aspects of corporate law and governance, as well as a wide range of regulatory and commercial matters.

Golda has a particular focus on corporate governance and securities law issues for listed companies and advises some of Ireland largest companies, with a focus on the financial services, industrials, food & beverage and transport sectors.

Golda holds a BCL (Law and French) from University College Cork, and an LLM (European Legal Studies) from the College of Europe, Bruges. She was admitted as a solicitor in Ireland in 2016.

Dr.-Rosaleen-McDonagh-scaled-e1598437854659Dr. Rosaleen McDonagh

Dr Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability. Originally from Sligo, she is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children.  She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years, managing the Violence Against Women programme, and remains a board member.  A playwright and author, she is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and has written ostensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes Mainstream, The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings.

Rosaleen has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, an MPhil in Ethnic & Racial Studies & an MPhil in Creative Writing, all from TCD. She holds a PhD from Northumbria University. Rosaleen was writer in residence with Tuti Theatre Company in Adelaide, Austrailia in 2019. Corrib Theatre Company in Portland Oregon, USA, are producing ‘Rings’ a play about a deaf female Traveller in November, 2020. In 2021 Rosaleen published her highly acclaimed book ‘Unsettled’.

 

Dr Salome Mbugua

SalomeResearcher, gender equality activist and human right advocate, Dr Salome Mbugua is a commissioner for Irish Human Rights and has over 20 years’ experience of working with under-represented groups in particular women, children, and the youth, in Europe, Africa and internationally. Founder of Wezesha and AkiDwA-The migrant women’s network where she works as the head of operation and strategy.

Her strong belief in equality and justice has shaped her career, leading to engagement with policy makers in Ireland, Europe and international level. She serves at various advisory committee, expert groups and boards in Ireland and at European level. She is the co-president of European Network of migrant women and seats in the expert group on violence against women with European Women Lobby, seat on EU expert group on economic migration. In Sept 2018 she was appointed by Tánaiste to chair the working group developing Ireland 3rd National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security. She serves as  the chair of Equality Diversity & Inclusion project board for Public Appointment Services. She is 2015 OHCHR-UN Fellow of people of African Descent and 2010 Eisenhower Fellow on women Leadership

 

Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill

Niamh HeadshotNiamh is a psychologist in clinical training with Trinity College Dublin and the HSE. She has a background in teaching and working in third sector organisations in the areas of adult mental health, and LGBT domestic violence and sexual violence. She has a keen interest in research and her research interests include LGBT disclosures of sexual violence, and the function of affect regulation in substance use. Niamh feels strongly about empowering  people from individual and systemic perspectives and she seeks to use her personal and professional experience to advocate for change in the areas of mental health and access to rights such as housing, education, healthcare etc. Niamh has given her voice publicly to issues of sexual consent, repealing the 8th amendment, and trauma and recovery from sexual and domestic violence. 

Martina Quinn Martina Quinn

Martina is the Founder and Managing Director of Alice PR & Events, an independent, values-led agency that provides accessible and quality communications services to clients in the non-profit, public and private sectors. She has 20 years’ experience in PR and, over the course of her career, has worked on issues ranging from gender equality and reproductive rights to climate action, migrant rights, housing and homelessness, and access to education, training and employment opportunities. Her work is underpinned by her belief in PR with a purpose, i.e. the power of communications to effect positive social change.

 

In addition to her involvement with Women’s Aid, Martina is a member of the Board of the Public Relations Consultants Association, the representative body for PR agencies in Ireland. She also sits on the Board of the Liberties Training Centre. In the past, she served as Chair of the Boards of the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card and of D8CEC, which provides second-chance education for adults in Dublin 8 and surrounding areas.  

Ailbhe Smyth (Chair)Ailbhe Smyth Photo Mark Stedman

Ailbhe Smyth is a long-time campaigner on feminist, LGBT and other social issues. Most recently, she played a leading role in the marriage equality referendum campaign in 2015, and was Co-Director of the Together for Yes campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment.

She was the founding head of Women’s Studies at UCD where she lectured for many years.   

 

 

Company Secretary (non-Trustee): Mary O'Connor.