Previously Head of Retail and Compliance at the charity; Deirdre began her career with Jack and Jill as a volunteer 16 years ago, moving on to become a Fundraising Executive, and then to lead the Fundraising team for several years. More recently, Deirdre has orchestrated the successful expansion of the Retail arm of the organisation, which today includes 16 charity boutiques and two online stores. With three additional charity boutiques in the pipelines this year; this positive trajectory is set to continue as a major fundraising income stream for Jack and Jill.
In her Compliance role, Deirdre has been instrumental in ensuring the highest standards of governance and transparency across the organisation, including securing Triple Lock Status from the Charities Institute for the last number of years, which is awarded to charities that uphold the highest standards in transparent reporting, ethical fundraising and strong governance structures.
Speaking about the appointment, Deirdre commented: “I am absolutely delighted and so proud to have been appointed as the new CEO of Jack and Jill. I am so passionate about Jack and Jill and, having started as a volunteer sixteen years ago and worked in multiple and varied roles across the organisation; I have a deep understanding of what support the families under our care need and how we must raise the funds to meet the considerable demands on our service. Over the years I worked closely with our incredible Founder, Jonathan Irwin, who sadly passed away in December and am committed to continuing his and Mary Ann’s legacy, in memory of their beautiful son, Jack. We have a truly fantastic and dynamic team, and I am excited for this next chapter in my Jack and Jill story.”
Maeve Beggs, Chair of the Board of Directors of Jack and Jill said: “I am genuinely thrilled with Deirdre’s appointment. Deirdre has been instrumental in Jack and Jill’s growth trajectory, its governance structures and its success over the years, and I have no doubt that her considerable skillset, can-do attitude and determination make her the ideal leader of this remarkable organisation. I look forward to working with Deirdre in her new role, and with the support of the superb Jack and Jill team, to deliver our vision of an Ireland where every family has the care and support they need for their child, when and where they need it.
Mary Ann O’Brien, who co-founded Jack and Jill with her husband Jonathan Irwin commented, “I am over the moon to hear the news that Deirdre is taking on the mantle and leading Jack and Jill into the future. Deirdre has been a trusted ally and a dynamic member of the team who has seen us through lots of challenges, and successes, over the years. I know Jonathan would have shared in my delight at this announcement and would like to wish Deirdre all the very best in her new role.”