National Board 2020

The National Board of Amnesty International Ireland is our membership elected governance body. Members of the board serve in an entirely voluntary capacity and do not receive any pay or remuneration.

Bríd Cannon – Chairperson
Bríd has been involved in the voluntary sector for over 11 years, in organisations, including the Free Legal Advice Centres, the National Youth Council of Ireland and also the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras which she chaired for 5 years.

A law graduate of TCD, Brid is qualified at the New York Bar and also has over ten years’ experience working in financial services.

She has a keen interest in the issues of corporate responsibility, and diversity and inclusiveness and the impact of financial services on the wider community. Bríd was first elected to the National Board in 2018 and was appointed as Chairperson in 2019.

Niall Cowley – Vice Chairperson
Niall is the Founder and Managing Director of We the People, a communications collective specialising in behaviour & attitude change and public information campaigns for the non profit and public sectors. Over his long career,

Niall has worked as Director of Communications for a UK children’s charity and has been a consultant for the UK Government and the European Commission on a number of high profile campaigns.

Niall has been an international spokesperson on Children’s Rights and has Co-Chaired the 8th European Forum on the Rights of the Child. Niall returned to live in Dublin in 2015 after 18 years living in London and Berlin.

Niall was first elected to the National Board in 2017 and appointed as Vice Chairperson in 2019.

Cliona O’Farrelly – Honorary Secretary
Cliona first joined Amnesty International in 1975 as an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin, where Inge Clissman (daughter of Helmut Clissmann, one of the founding members of Amnesty International Irish Section) was group co-ordinator. Cliona has been an active member of the Wexford group for 18 years.

She was co-opted onto the Executive Committee (EC) of Amnesty International and was subsequently elected to the EC in the early 2000s and served three two-year terms.

Cliona is a science graduate of TCD and has a PhD in Immunology. She has many years’ experience in scientific research, university teaching and public understanding of science; she is currently Professor of Comparative Immunology and is on the board of TCD.

She was a member of the Irish Council of Bioethics from 2005-2008 and was on the board of the Irish Cancer Society from 2006-2012. Every year, she walks the VHI Women’s mini marathon in aid of Amnesty International. Cliona was elected to the National Board in 2016 and was appointed as Honorary Secretary in 2018.

Tiarnan O’Rourke – Honorary Treasurer
Tiarnan is an Economics graduate of University College Dublin and a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He has over 14 years of experience in the financial services sector, both in audit and finance roles and has significant experience in providing leadership in financial reporting, operations and corporate governance.

He has a keen interest in the equality of opportunity for all and corporate social responsibility.

Katie O’Houlihan – Youth Secretary
Katie is a World Religions graduate of TCD and a MSc. in Violence, Conflict and Development Studies candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

She joined Amnesty as a university activist, taking an active role in advocacy and fundraising as part of DU Amnesty, Trinity’s Amnesty society. In 2017, she directed Jailbreak, Ireland’s largest student-run charity event. Since its inception, the event has collectively raised over €285,000 for Amnesty International and St. Vincent de Paul. In 2018, she represented Irish Youth in the annual Global Assembly, Amnesty’s international governance meeting.

She has a keen interest in intersectionality, grassroots solutions and inclusive approaches to development frameworks.

Katie was elected to the National Board in 2019.

Sorcha Kebbe – Deputy Youth Secretary
Sorcha is a final year English Literature BA student at University College Dublin. She joined Amnesty as an activist in her university’s Amnesty Society, UCD Amnesty.

Sorcha went on to act as Auditor for the society in her second year. In 2017 she attended Amnesty’s European Youth Meeting in Paris as Ireland’s youth delegate. At the 2018 AI Ireland Youth Conference she spoke on a panel chaired by Colm O’Gorman. She was then nominated and co-opted to the National Board in 2019, where she continues to act as Deputy Youth Secretary.

At Annual Conference in 2019 she was also presented with the Peter Benenson Award for Student Activism.

She is currently working on a youth in governance project, which she presented, along with Sadhbh Sheeran and Katie O’Houlihan, to the Regional Forum in 2020, as well as working with staff to create a Youth Advisory Council.

Sorcha is passionate about campaigning on sustainable fashion, intersectional feminism and arts-based activism.

Jane Anne Negi
Jane Anne is currently an Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Montreal Europe plc (BME).

Before taking on the role of CEO, Jane Anne was Deputy CEO at BME with oversight responsibility for Risk Management and the Lines of Business. She previously worked as BMO Head of Strategic Initiatives EMEA in London where she was responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership on key governance and business initiatives.

Jane Anne has 25 years of Financial Services experience as a senior capital markets & banking lawyer at several multinational banking institutions in London. She has specialist technical knowledge in a variety of capital markets and banking products, and has provided leadership and coordination for major business, legal and regulatory projects. She has held positions of responsibility on boards, board committees and senior management committees where she has been responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of the business’s local strategy and providing strong leadership and management.

Jane Anne is committed to corporate social responsibility, chairing BME’s Culture and Conduct Committee. She believes that the cornerstones of desirable, ethical behaviours are integrity, empathy, diversity and responsibility and she is committed to doing her part to ensure that social justice prevails.

Razan Ibraheem
Razan Ibraheem is a Syrian-born journalist. She came to Ireland to do her MA (ELT) at the University of Limerick. Her deep sorrow for the tragic situation and the mass displacement in her homeland has led her to volunteer in Greece to help refugees. The people she met and the stories she heard from Syrian refugees changed her perspective on life.

She gave a speech with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in Ireland. In 2015, she was invited by the UN to a high-level meeting on global responsibility sharing for pathways for admission of Syrian refugees.

She has been involved in several cultural, humanitarian and journalism projects and events in Ireland. Razan was awarded the International Woman of the Year by Irish Tatler in 2016.

Razan was elected to the National Board in 2019.

Sadhbh Sheeran
Sadhbh joined the National Board in 2017 and was elected as youth secretary. She represented the Section at the Regional Forum 2018, co-facilitating a session on youth in governance. She is a graduate of Environmental Science at TCD and will pursue a masters at the University of Edinburgh in 2019.

Sadhbh was a member of DU Amnesty, Trinity’s Amnesty Society, where she held several committee positions, including Chairperson. She has volunteered and worked for Oxfam Ireland’s street campaign team. She is a member of the Washington Ireland Program class of 2019.

Sadhbh was first elected to the National Board in 2017.

Donal Prior
Donal works for Diageo PLC, where his career spans more than three decades. He has a background in Human Resources and Manufacturing, and holds a Masters in Strategic HR.

He is Global Capability Director for Diageo’s manufacturing operations, having worked in HR Director roles for a number of years.

Donal was first elected to the National Board in 2015.

The National Board is elected by membership at annual conference who in turn appoint an Executive Director responsible for operational management of the organisation.

Colm O’Gorman

Colm O’Gorman is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. He is the founder and former Director of One in Four, the national non-governmental organisation that supports women and men who have experienced sexual violence.

In this role Colm was instrumental in the establishment of the Ferns Inquiry, the first state investigation into clerical sexual abuse. The inquiry investigated the management of child sexual abuse concerns and allegations by the Catholic Church and by State authorities. Prior to his role with One in Four Colm worked as a psychotherapist in his own practice in London.

He has made a number of documentary films, including the BAFTA awarding winning “A Family Affair” (2000), “Suing the Pope” (2002) and “Sex Crimes and The Vatican”, which he presented for BBC Panorama in 2006. In 2005, Colm O’Gorman helped to establish Gorey Educate Together National School; a multi-denominational, co-educational, child centred and democratically run primary school. Colm was one of the lead campaigners in the Marriage Equality Referendum held in May 2015.

Colm has also served as a member of the Irish Senate, having been appointed as a Senator in May 2007. He is a regular media commentator and contributor, essayist; writing and speaking extensively on social justice and human rights. He is also the author of a best-selling memoir, Beyond Belief (Hodder & Stoughton 2010). Colm lives in County Wexford with his family.