Composition of the Board

The day to day running of the charity is overseen by Sarah Roarty and Sara Hetherington, both parents to children with Angelman Syndrome. We are backed and supported by a voluntary advisory board, recognised in their respective fields of neurodevelopment, paediatrics, clinical trials, medical technology and finance and charity governance.

  • Dr. Kevin Dunne, Consultant Paediatrician, University College Hospital, Galway.
  • Mairsil Claffery VP Clinical, Regulatory and Quality with Neuravi Ltd.
  • Robert Moynihan. Finance and Governance.
  • Ashling Kearns, Marketing Strategy.
  • Sarah Roarty,  Parent.
  • Sara Hetherington,  Parent.
  • Clare McClean, Parent.

Advisors to the Board.

  • Prof. Roy McConkey– Professor of Developmental Disabilities, University of Ulster.
  • Lisa Kinsella – Legal.
  • Sharon Higgins – Medical technology.


Board Bios


Dr. Kevin Dunne MB, MRCP, DCH:

Dr Dunne is a Consultant Paediatrician in UCHG having qualified from University of CambridgeUK in 1975 and practised as junior doctor in Ireland and UK.  First Professor McClancy research fellow in Rotunda studying babies with “Near-Miss SIDS”. Dr Dunne has extensive experience in developmental medicine in Scotland and was Consultant Paediatrician in Raeden Centre Aberdeen and Ipswich before his present post in Galway 1991. He has over 20 years experience in diagnosing Angelman Syndrome.  Dr Dunne was involved in setting up the Western Cerebral Palsy Register and is a Clinical Lecturer in National University of Ireland, Galway. He also serves as Clinical Director of Enable Ireland, Galway whose mission is to work in partnership with service users to achieve maximum independence, choice and inclusion in their communities.


Mairsίl Claffey:

Mairsίl Claffey VP Clinical, Regulatory and Quality with Neuravi Ltd., has more than 20 years Medical Device industry experience in Quality, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs.

Prior to joining Neuravi Mairsίl held the position of VP International Quality and Regulatory for Teleflex. An Engineer by discipline Mairsίl moved into Quality and Regulatory leadership 18 years ago. Mairsίl joined MedNova Ltd. as QARA manager in May 1997.  Promoted to RA Director, Mairsίl defined and led the QARA function and implemented successful strategies for the approval of MedNova’s product range. Subsequent to the acquisition by Abbott Vascular Mairsίl held the position of Director of Regulatory Affairs Europe with Abbott Vascular working with the European business unit before being promoted to Director of Regulatory Affairs, Carotid Global.  After seven years with Abbott Vascular Mairsίl left to join Teleflex in January 2008, from there she joined Neuravi at the end of 2012.


Robert Moynihan.

Roberts core area of specialisation is financial regulation   and compliance   across all areas of financial services. With over 25 years experience   of financial services management principally in regulation and compliance Robert brings an in-depth knowledge of both domestic and   international   compliance. Since 2005 he has been specialising in the Credit union Sector. He was appointed by the Minister of Finance to the Financial Services Industry   Consultative Panel from 2004 to 2008 and to the Commission of Credit Unions in June 2011. Robert is a chartered accountant and holds an MSc in Financial Management and Compliance Management.


Ashling Kearns:

A senior marketing leader in the IT industry, Ashling has successfully built and led marketing projects across Europe and Asia Pacific driving marketing excellence for world class international companies. Ashling currently heads up Small and Medium Business (SMB) marketing strategy across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a leading technology company.  She is a proven performer who moves easily from vision and strategy to implementation and follow-through.  With a BA in Marketing, Ashling is currently completing her Master of Science studies at Michael Smurfit Business School.


Ms Sarah Roarty: (Parent)

With a degree in Chemistry, Sarah began her career as a Formulation Chemist for ICI in the UK before transferring to DuPont in Germany bringing new products to the European Market. Sarah subsequently led the Quality function at senior management level for a multinational Healthcare company in Ireland with responsibility for the EMEA market and global responsibility for ISO 9k accreditation for worldwide operations. Sarah has studied Business Enterprise Systems to Masters Degree level and up until Sept 2011 was employed as CEO of Tuam Chamber of Commerce. She now conducts research for development organisations on a freelance basis.  Sarah is active in community and voluntary organisations in her locality and also holds a qualification in Community Development from National University of Ireland. She serves on the Board of St Jarlath’s Credit Union with over 30,000 members and €140million assets. Sarah is mother to Clara, age 11 who was born with Angelman Syndrome (del+) and to Darragh, age 21 and Abaigh age6.


Ms Sara Hetherington: (Parent)

Sara studied PR/Advertising in the College of Commerce & worked for a Marketing Consultant in the Newspaper area. Having spent 10 years in London working for ITV regulating television advertising for UK/Irish stations, Sara then took a two year break to live in Australia. Sara then progressed to Client Service Manager for ACNielsen Media who have the contract for the Irish Television Ratings business. Sara has also consulted within the Broadcast media in the areas of training and broadcasting regulation.  Sara is currently a full time carer for her daughter Orla who was born with Angelman Syndrome (UPD). Sara is Mum to Aidan, 14 Declan 11 and Orla age 6.



Advisors to the Board.


Prof. Roy McConkey

Roy is a native of Belfast and Professor of Learning Disability with the University of Ulster. A psychologist by training, Roy previously held posts at the University of Manchester, in Dublin with St Michael’s House and in Scotland with the Brothers of Charity services. He has acted as consultant to various United Nations agencies and International NGOs and currently is an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Roy is Visiting Scholar, National Institute of Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin and Co Director of the European Regional Collaborating Centre for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia. Roy’s focus is on social inclusion of people with disabilities, the provision of support services to family carers, transitions to adulthood for young people with developmental disabilities and the development of new models of service both nationally and internationally.


Lisa Kinsella

Lisa is a solicitor with a particular interest in the legal aspects of technological innovation and a practice which has focused on providing legal advice to clients in the life sciences, research and healthcare sectors. Her expertise encompasses medicinal product and medical device regulation, intellectual property, corporate compliance, commercial contracts and transactional matters. She trained and worked with a top-tier commercial law firm, Arthur Cox for six years and also has experience working in-house in the international legal department of a global pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey. She holds a BCL and LLM from University College Cork, is admitted to practise law in Ireland, England & Wales and will shortly be admitted to the New York Bar.