Our Executive

Grainne Griffin, Co-Director

Grainne Griffin is founding member and Board member of the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), a grassroots, volunteer led, nationwide, movement for access to abortion care in Ireland, established in 2013.She has more than 15 years of experience contributing to NGO and community organisations and held various roles including Director, Company Secretary, Chairperson and Treasurer. Grainne holds a Diploma in Law from the Institute of Public Administration and an International Bachelor of Social Science from University College Dublin.

Orla O’Connor, Co-Director

Orla O’Connor is Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), the leading national women’s membership organisation with over 180 member groups. She has worked in senior management in non-governmental organisations for over 25 years. Orla has led numerous campaigns on a wide range of key issues for women, including domestic and sexual violence, social welfare and pension reform, and for the introduction of quality and affordable childcare.

Ailbhe Smyth, Co-Director

Ailbhe Smyth is a long time campaigner and former head of Women’s Studies at UCD. Ailbhe was a member of the Strategic Executive of the referendum campaign for marriage equality in 2015. Committed to achieving bodily autonomy for women in Ireland, she has campaigned in all of the Irish abortion referendums. In 2014 Ailbhe co-founded and is now Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, a broad cross-sectoral platform of over 100 organisations and groups.

Niall Behan, Member

Niall Behan is the Chief Executive of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA). For over 20 years, he has campaigned for improved access to contraception, better sexuality education and legal abortion services. Niall has been a leading voice against the harms of the Eighth Amendment, engaging with multiple forums including the Citizens’ Assembly, the European Court of Human Rights and the UN. He has also made frequent contributions to Irish and international media.

Sinéad Kennedy, Member

Sinéad Kennedy is an activist and campaigner on wide range of social issues. She has written widely on abortion and cultural politics in Ireland and is co-editor of The Abortion Papers Ireland: Volume 2 (2015). She is a co-founder and the Secretary of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. Sinéad teaches in the Department of English at Maynooth University.

Sarah Monaghan, Member

Sarah Monaghan was appointed Co-Convenor of the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) in November 2017, following four years of volunteer work with the campaign, where she was responsible for regional support and developing a network of regional ARC groups across the country. Sarah has a BA from NUIG in Psychology and English Literature. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from DCU and an MA in American Literature from UCD.

Silke Paasche, Member

Silke is Head of Communications and Membership for the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). She has more than 12 years’ work experience in communications and policy roles for non-governmental membership organisations at national and EU level. Silke holds a German-French double Masters’ degree in Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin and Sciences Po Paris.

Maeve Taylor, Member

Maeve Taylor is Director of Advocacy and Communications of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA).  Before joining the IFPA, Maeve worked in adult education and training, with a focus on women’s human rights and sustainable global development. Maeve holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from University College Dublin and a Master’s degree in human rights law from Queen’s University, Belfast.

Core staff of the Campaign

Deirdre Duffy, Campaigns Manager

Deirdre Duffy is the Campaigns Manager for the campaign. She is former Deputy Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) where she created and led high profile public campaigns. An experienced leader in social change organisations, Deirdre is a barrister with political science and legal specialism in human rights and equality.

Amy Rose Harte, Communications Manager

Amy Rose Harte is the Communications Manager for the campaign. With over a decade of political communications experience, Amy Rose has a track record of delivering high-quality, strategic communications campaigns for a range of public and private sector clients, and runs her own communications consultancy, ARPR. She has worked on national and regional political campaigns all her life, and is a former Labour Party Press Officer. She also worked with The Communications Clinic.

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