BOARD PROFILES

Marita O’Brien (Chairperson)

Marita is a social researcher and health policy analyst working mainly in the field of ageing and dementia. She has a PhD in Social Policy and Ageing from Trinity College. Her research work includes ‘Falling Through the Cracks: The Case for Change, Key Developments and Next Steps for Adult Safeguarding in Ireland’, ‘Dementia Needs Analysis Framework to Support Local Service Development’ and ‘Accessibility of Online Services to Older People in Co. Wicklow’.

She is a co-founder of Co-Creation Support CLG, a social enterprise supporting organisations to work collaboratively with clients to design services, supports and education programmes that meet their needs. She is currently project managing an Erasmus + project, Two Moons, focusing on the development of educational resources to make human rights relevant to the day to day lives of older people. She worked for a number of years in Age Action as their Health Policy Officer.

Over the last 10 years, she has been involved in raising awareness of dementia and highlighting the unmet needs of people with dementia and their families providing support, as part of the team that delivered the Wicklow Dementia Friendly programme and developed the Co. Wicklow Dementia Strategy. She also volunteered as an advocate for nursing home residents.

Muriosa Prendergast

Muriosa is an experienced educationalist working predominantly in the area of medicine and health sciences. She has an active research interest in gender and leadership studies, in particular, creating both pathways and opportunities for females moving into leadership positions. She is an advocate for community involvement and the building of societally beneficial links between the education, business and charity sectors.

Eamon O’Gorman (Treasurer)

  A Finance Professional with over 30 years’ broad experience, including over 27 years’ in a Global Multinational Corporation, gained in Financial Accounting, Reporting, Budgeting, Auditing, Treasury, Cash Management, Compliance and Risk Management.

Orla Finn

Orla Finn has a BA in Public Management and worked for a number of years in the International Dept of the Institute of Public Administration. After leaving the Institute, Orla spent 4 years living in Paris, France.
Since returning to Ireland Orla has been involved in her local Community on a voluntary basis. She has been responsible for establishing and assisting numerous local organisations and events. These include: The Greystones Southbeach Playground, Coderdojo, Light Up Greystones, Up Off The Couch, Greystones GAA Club, The Bray Soroptimists and The Bray Women’s Shed.
Orla joined WDS two years ago as its Head of Fundraising and in 2021 became a Board Member.

Caroline Connaughton

Caroline is a regulatory affairs professional with fifteen years’ experience in the healthcare, communications and energy sectors. Caroline has extensive experience in data protection, compliance, auditing and risk management. She has PhD in Chemistry and is currently studying at the Law Society of Ireland.

Niamh Foley (Secretary)

Niamh is an Occupational Therapist working in an acute care hospital in County Dublin. Niamh graduated from University College Cork with a BSc (Honours) in Occupational Therapy in 2019. From here she moved to London and gained experience working in adult acute care in a Central London hospital through their rotational programme. 

Niamh has a keen interest in the area of care of the elderly and person centred dementia care. She is a Sonas Programme Licensed Practitioner with Engaging Dementia. Niamh has experience of caring for persons with dementia and their family through her every day work and strongly believes in enabling the person with dementia to live a full life.