National Board 2021

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 Social Marketing Agency specialising in behaviour & attitude change and public information campaigns for the public sector. Over his long career, Niall has worked as Director of Communications for a UK children’s charity and has been a consultant for the Irish and British governments and the European Commission on a number of high profile campaigns. 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 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.

Tiarnan was first elected to the National Board in 2020 and was appointed Honorary Treasurer upon his election.

Katie O’Houlihan
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 first 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. She 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.

Jane Anne was first elected to the National Board in 2020.

Razan Ibraheem
Razan Ibraheem is an Irish-Syrian journalist and activist. She came to Ireland to do her Masters degree 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. She gave a speech with the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Ireland. In 2016, she was invited by the UN to a high-level meeting in Geneva on global responsibility sharing for pathways for admission of Syrian refugees.

Razan is a journalist and editor with extensive expertise in investigative journalism and verifying content from social media. She focuses on misinformation and disinformation spread online. Her work has been featured in local and international media organizations and news websites. Razan is a regular contributor to various newspaper articles and current events programmes on Irish radio and TV.

She was awarded the International Woman of the Year by Irish Tatler in 2016.

Razan was first elected to the National Board in 2019.

Sadhbh Sheeran
Sadhbh joined the National Board in 2017 and was youth secretary for 2 years. She is a member of Amnesty International’s global youth in governance team. Sadhbh works as a carbon and climate change consultant at Arup. She is a graduate of Environmental Science at TCD and has a Masters in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh.

Fiona O’Connor
Fiona is a Director at Tom Smyth & Associates HR Consultancy where she provides legal advice and business risk support to both private and public sector industries. With over 15 years of experience specialising in employment law, HR and industrial relations, she has a deep understanding of workplace relations and the application of employment law.

She has advocated before the Equality Tribunal, EAT, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) as well as the Labour Court. While working with the Citizens Information Service she provided information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services and is committed to improving equality & social justice in all aspects of society.

Fiona is a graduate of the Law Society of Ireland (Employment Law) and UCC (Government & Public Policy and later Human Resource Management). She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) where she was a member of the Southern Regional Committee.

Seán Mulligan
Seán has significant experience in leadership and governance roles and has been Finance Director with Tayto Snacks since 2014 having previously held similar positions with PepsiCo Ireland and Valeo Foods. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a Chartered Director and holds a degree in International Business and Languages from TU Dublin. Seán has a keen interest in social justice and the defence of human rights.

Máille Brady Bates
Máille is an experienced solicitor specialising in Employment Law. In addition to her employment law practice, Máille carries out public interest legal work with a number of charitable organisations on a voluntary and pro-bono basis. Máille has a keen interest in human rights and public interest law and has worked with NGO’s such as FLAC, PILA, Human Rights Defenders, the Red Cross and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Máille is a member of the Amnesty HR Sub-Committee and sits as a Board Trustee on the Board of Voluntary Services International.

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.