Our board members
Liam McLoughlin - President Down Syndrome Ireland
Liam McLoughlin M.Ed., H.D.S.GC., lives in Dublin and is the parent of Maeve, who has Down syndrome. Liam is a retired teacher and Guidance Counsellor and a lifelong advocate of inclusion and the rights of people with a disability to access education and a meaningful life.
Gerard O Carroll - National Secretary
Gerard has been a member of Kerry Branch DSI for almost 20 years and has served on the National Council and on branch Committees. He is married to Dominique and has two sons, Lucca 16 and Yann 20. Yann has DS, has benefited from services and opportunities offered by DSI at national and branch level, and is currently completing a PLC. Gerard works as a lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences in the Tralee campus of Munster Technological University. He has presented and written articles and book chapters on the themes of Inclusive and Special education and has provided training seminars and workshops to educators. He serves on many boards in education, health, social services, child care, disability services etc. He is a strong
John Upton - Munster Director
John Upton lives in Waterford where he works for the HSE as a Medical Physicist. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Master’s Degree in Physical Sciences in Medicine in 1993, and took up his current post in University Hospital Waterford in 1995. He is married to Maura and they have three children; Sarah & Ann who are in college in Dublin, and seán who attends Secondary school in Waterford, and who has Down syndrome. John has been active in the Waterford & South Kilkenny Branch of DSI since Seán’s birth in 2002, serving as Committee Member, Treasurer, and Chairperson, at various times over the years. He joined the Board of DSI in 2017.
Bernadette Connolly - Connacht Director
Bernadette works as National Co-ordinator of The Irish Pilgrimage Trust a charity which offers holidays to young people with special needs in Ireland and in Lourdes France. Bernadette lives in Clarinbridge in Galway and is married to Mike. They have 2 children; Máire and Eoin. Máire is 16 years old and has Down syndrome and Eoin is 15 years old. Bernadette was involved in the Galway Branch when Voices for Galway was set up to bring speech therapy services to members of the Galway Branch and served as Treasurer for several years.
Eithne Uí Ghallachóir - Connacht Director
Eithne lives in Gort a' Choirce and is married to Joe. We have 3 children and our youngest daughter, Máire, was born with Down syndrome. Máire is almost 21 yrs and she was born into a Gaeltacht household and was reared with Gaeilge being her first language:- she is now bi-lingual, both in spoken and writing terms; but being a native Irish speaker often proved challenging for service providers who had to engage with her. Máire attended our local rural Scoil Náisiúnta and Pobalscoil. Máire is now about to begin the next part of her life journey which, we find as parents, is less unsure and uncertain of the path which went before:- a new challenge has to be met. Eithne is a new Board
Paul Radford - Leinster Director
Paul is our Leinster Director.
Sylvaine Ni Cheallachain - Dublin Director
Nichola Aylward - Munster Director