Our board members
Gerard O’Carroll - President Down Syndrome Ireland
Gerard has many years of service on boards in the disability, education, health and charity sectors. This experience in governance, mediation and service coordination also involved a position on the board of a national charity undergoing major restructuring and reorganisation. He has been an active member of the Kerry branch of DSI for almost twenty years. Roles include secretary, education and therapy coordinator and currently coordinator of the DSI Ability programme. Since joining the board of DSI two years ago, he has contributed to a new strategic plan and a new constitution that is essential for the future of DSI as a national charity. Gerard’s son, who is now 22, has benefited throughout his life from DSI initiatives at branch and national level. It is Gerard’s
Sylvaine Ni Cheallachain - National Secretary
Sylvaine served for 7 years on the committee of Down Syndrome Dublin, from 2012 to the end of 2019. For six of those years she served as branch secretary, taking minutes in meetings, answering members’ queries, liaising with the National Office, writing regular newsletters to members informing them of events and managing the branch’s social media. In 2013, she created a Facebook group for parents and guardians of children and adults with Down syndrome, to give them a place to share experiences and information in a supportive, private space. This group has grown to have over 2,200 parent members. As a parent of a teenager with Down syndrome, she believes that she brings a level of understanding of the challenges faced by children with Down
Nichola Aylward - Treasurer
Nichola is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland. She has an Honours degree in Business Information Systems and is currently completing an LLB Law Degree. Nichola served as Treasurer on the committee of the DSI Waterford and South Kilkenny Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland for over 7 years. She worked with the branch committee, branch members and National Office during that time to effectively and efficiently manage the financial and governance needs of the Branch in the best interests of branch members and their families. Nichola worked with the branch committee to create a Juniors Club for younger members, to run a Parents Conference, to offer extensive new education and life-enhancing activities to Branch members and to offer new SLT, Physio
Paul Radford - Director
Paul Radford has served in various committee roles and as Chair of the Louth/Meath branch of DSI. Paul is a National Service Manager with a large automotive group.
Will Cronin - Director
Will has over 20 years’ experience with AIB Group in a number of senior roles including Chief of Staff to the CEO, Director of Customer Experience in Group Marketing and Director of Future of Work & Culture Programme in Human Resources. He is a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Ireland. Will is based in Dublin and has a family member with Down syndrome.
Margaret Quane - Director
Margaret is a Human Resources professional and has built up a particular specialism in learning and development roles and, more recently, in career & executive coaching. Since 2021, Margaret has run her own coaching business. Margaret is based in Cork and has a family member with Down syndrome.
Fionn Crombie Angus - Director
Fionn is a founder and employee of Fionnathan Productions which works in the field of Human Rights, Social Inclusion, Disability Independence / Interdependence, and Advocacy. His family has long-standing DSI involvement. Fionn advocated on a number of initiatives, including the UK’s Down Syndrome Act 2022. He has been a prominent spokesperson for related causes and a Decision Support Service ‘Champion’. He has chaired and participated on a number of councils, working groups and advisory panels. Fionn is based in Galway.
Martina Kelly - Director
Martina is a retired Civil Servant with a broad range of experience in the educational sector, including as a secondary school Principal. She is also a workplace mediator. Martina is Chairperson of Longford Westmeath branch and a parent of an adult with Down syndrome.
Wayne O’Connor - Director
Wayne is a qualified accountant and senior member of a leading, global management consulting organisation. Wayne led a team of volunteers from his organisation in recent times who worked hand in hand with DSI leadership to support in a number of key initiatives including ministerial engagement, training, planning and the Purple Run. Wayne is based in Dublin and has a family member with Down syndrome.