Active Disability Ireland has confirmed the appointment of Brenda O’Donnell as its new Chief Executive Officer.

O’Donnell, an accomplished leader in the pan-disability sector for more than 20 years, brings a wealth of experience to Active Disability Ireland.

Previously Active Disability Ireland’s Strategic Operations Manager, and more recently Interim CEO since the departure of Niamh Daffy, she has played a major role in the growth and development of the organisation over the last decade.

“Brenda’s exceptional leadership skills, strategic insights, and deep industry knowledge make her the ideal choice to lead Active Disability Ireland,” said Chair Brian O’Callaghan.

“We have great confidence in her ability to steer the organisation towards even greater achievements in the future.”

“In Brenda’s previous role as Strategic Operations Manager and most recently the Interim CEO for the organisation she successfully supported the development of our new 5-year strategy and new rebrand to Active Disability Ireland.”

“Brenda has been integral to all our national and governmental engagements and has been instrumental on numerous steering groups and committees to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities remains to the fore on all agendas.”

“Her commitment to making a difference and to working in collaboration with other organisations and individuals aligns perfectly with Active Disability Ireland’s core values, making her an excellent cultural fit for the organisation.”

“I look forward to continuing to enable and support the Active Disability Ireland team in making a meaningful difference,” said O’Donnell.

“The organisation is committed to creating more and more opportunities for people with disabilities to be active and to ensure that those opportunities are inclusive, equal and sustainable.”

Speaking about the appointment, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland Dr Úna May added “Active Disability Ireland have made an excellent choice, Brenda has worked extensively in the organisation over many years and has already played an integral role in the development of a new 5-year strategy. She is passionate about the inclusion of people with disabilities, and I look forward to working with her to help support Active Disability Ireland in enhancing the opportunities available to people with disabilities to participate in and enjoy the vast benefits of physical activity.”

O’Donnell’s hit list of priorities will include increasing the profile of Active Disability Ireland, building on the strong foundations and its vital partnerships across the sport, disability, health and business sectors; to continuing the strong connections and relationships that have been established over the years with all of Active Disability Ireland’s funding and supporting partners including Sport Ireland, The HSE, Hyundai Ireland, Enterprise Mobility, The Federation of Irish Sport, the Disability Sport Organisation and the networks of National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Sports Partnerships.

Having worked with her on several projects since being one of the first organisations to sign up to the original Active Disability Ireland Charter, we echo what Dr Una May says and look forward to working with her and highlighting the important work that she will deliver over the coming years.


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