The Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) is the professional body serving, promoting and representing occupational therapists in the Republic of Ireland. We are the voice for the Occupational Therapy profession.
AOTI provides national leadership to its members and works on behalf of its members with the best interest of the profession and service users in mind. We are the organisation that promotes the profession on behalf of all occupational therapists in Ireland. We rely on the voluntary commitment and efforts of our members to achieve our objectives.
AOTI considers current practice in Ireland and abroad, working at both a strategic and operational level to advance the profession in Ireland, to ensure appropriate governance and optimise communication with the public and our members.
You can read a brief history of the early years of AOTI here.
What we do
The Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland promotes the value of Occupational Therapy as a means of improving the occupational performance, health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. We have a wide range of programme and activities to achieve this. These include:
- Being the official voice of the Occupational Therapy profession in Ireland and representing our members nationally and internationally
- Communicating regularly with our members and the public via our website, newsletter and social media
- Providing a wide range of continuing professional development (CPD) resources and learning opportunities for our members
- Running 16 Advisory Groups for members covering a wide range of Occupational Therapy practice areas
- Accrediting professional Occupational Therapy programmes in the Republic of Ireland and approving these on behalf of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists
- Producing professional practice guidelines for occupational therapists to support the highest standards of practice among our members
- Publishing the Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy and supporting Irish Occupational Therapy research
- Participating in health service and Government consultations on behalf of the Occupational Therapy profession
- Shaping health policy and service delivery through advocacy and professional representation
- Providing information for the public including a listing of private practice occupational therapists
AOTI has a number of key structures in order to carry out its functions including a Board of Directors, a Management Team, Staff, Sub-Committees, Advisory Groups and Delegates/Reps.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are the governors of AOTI and have legal accountability and responsibility for the Association.
The members of the Board of Directors are:
- Patricia Regan - Chairperson
- Emre Dogan
- Phil Dunne
- Joanne Fallon
- Maria Gomes
- Anne Hughes Kazibwe
- Mary McGrath
- Genevieve O'Halloran
- Máire O'Leary
The Board of Directors has responsibility for the following areas of the Association: organisational purpose and strategy; Board membership and organisational governance; compliance and reporting; finance; employment; policy; complaints; and awards. The Board of Director's Governance Handbook can be read here.
The AOTI Board of Directors delegate responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Association to the Management Team. This Team is comprised of up to 15 AOTI members appointed by the Board and is led by Odhrán Allen, AOTI Chief Executive Officer. Occasionally additional members may be co-opted onto the Management Team as the need arises. Service on the Management Team is on a voluntary basis for AOTI members. The current members of AOTI Management Team are:
- Joan Elliott
- Rachel Dunne
- Andreya Ellis
- Mairead Dempsey
- Norma Foley
- Angela Jackson
- Denise Dockery
- Brian Condon
- Aoife Barry
- Victoria King
- Ros Noel
- Kinza Tabassum
- Melanie Anderson
- Nicola Costigan
The terms of reference of the Management Team can be read here.
|Odhrán Allen||Orla Foster||Grainne Wall||Veronica McKenna|
AOTI currently has four staff:
- Odhrán Allen - Chief Executive Officer [email protected]
- Veronica McKenna - Membership Secretary [email protected]
- Orla Foster - Director of Professional Development [email protected]
- Gráinne Wall - CPD Administrator [email protected]
Our staff assist the Board of Directors, Management Team, Committees, Advisory Groups, delegates/representatives and members in achieving the objectives of the Association and managing day-to-day operations. The positions of Chief Executive Officer and Membership Secretary are funded primarily through membership subscriptions and the Director of Professional Development and CPD Officer roles are primarily funded through an annual grant from the HSE.
Honorary and Life Members
The categories of Honorary Membership and Life Membership are awards bestowed on a select group of people by AOTI. Those receiving the awards have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to AOTI or the profession of Occupational Therapy in the opinion of Board of Directors.
AOTI currently has five Life Members:
- Mary Barrett
- Philomena Dunne
- Helen McGuigan
- Maria McGuinn
- Roisin Nolan
- Andrew Semple
Board of Directors Bios
Patricia Regan - Chairperson
Patricia Regan was elected as the Chairperson of AOTI and Chairperson of the AOTI Board of Directors in November 2021. She served as AOTI Company Secretary and Board member since 2018.
Patricia qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1991, obtaining a BSc(Hons) in Occupational Therapy from Trinity College, Dublin and went on to complete a MSc. in Rehabilitation Studies from the Centre of Disability Studies, University College Dublin in 2005. During her career, she has worked at senior level in the areas of Acute Care, Paediatrics, Primary Care, Community Rehabilitation and for the past ten years has worked in HSE community based intellectual disability service in HSE CHO 8.
Following over twenty years of active involvement in AOTI in various Advisory Groups, and being a member of the CPD Committee, she was elected as the AOTI World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Alternate Delegate in 2012 -2014 and was elected as the AOTI WFOT Delegate in 2014 – 2018. She served as Chair of the AOTI International Committee from 2014 - 2018. Patricia represented AOTI at the WFOT Executive Council Meeting in Japan in 2014, and was Project Lead on the development of the WFOT Position Paper on ‘The Role of Professional Organisations in Monitoring Practice’, that was published in 2018.
Patricia looks forward to continuing to work with all in AOTI during her term of office to continue to promote and advocate for the profession.
Emre is a Director in Google's global business organization and has been based in the company's EMEA Hub in Dublin since 2010. With his teams, he is partnering with businesses to help them advance their digital maturity and grow through technology.
Emre is an executive sponsor for "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion" in Central Europe and "Search Ads" in the EMEA region. Prior to joining Google, Emre worked in the aviation and automotive industries in the United States and Germany, and completed his International Business and Management studies in the Netherlands and South Korea.
Phil is a member of the current AOTI Board of Directors, since its inception in March 2018. Prior to this she has been a member of various AOTI Council(s) and Executive Committee(s).
Since 2011 Phil has established herself as a Private Practitioner primarily working in an acute care private hospital. Prior to working as a Private Practitioner, she worked as a Senior Manager for the majority of her career within the health services – including mental health, acute care hospital, community care services with a focus on strategy and developmental planning.
Phil has a Diploma in Occupational Therapy, an M.Sc. in Healthcare Management and a H. Dip in Healthcare Risk Management. Voluntary work includes St. Francis Hospice.
Joanne Fallon is an occupational therapy consultant, providing professional supervision, training and clinical services. She also lectures with Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Joanne qualified from Trinity College Dublin with a B.Sc. in occupational therapy. She has worked for over 20 years in children and adult disability services, as well as CAMHS. She enjoyed various roles and gained extensive experience as a clinician, manager and lecturer across health and education in the Republic of Ireland and UK. Her areas of interest include sensory regulation, trauma and attachment, from an occupational perspective. She holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and is passionate about evidence-based practice, and the right of everyone to access the highest quality care possible.
A more comprehensive bio can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/joanne-fallon-phd.
Joanne is a member of the current AOTI Board of Directors, since early 2023. She is also Company Secretary and feels honoured to be elected to these roles.
Maria joined as a member of the AOTI Board of Directors in February 2023, and she sits on the AOTI Governance and Risk Management Sub Committee.
Maria is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years’ experience working in disability services with children and young people. She has worked as a Clinical Psychologist at St. Gabriel’s Foundation, Limerick, since 2010, and, prior to this, she worked in disability services in Portugal. As a clinician, she has extensive experience of collaborating with other services and stakeholders both at local and national level. Throughout her career, she has also worked as clinical supervisor, clinical team manager, and as co-ordinator of different programmes. She has been a guest lecturer at Mary Immaculate College, and University of Limerick. Maria has presented at national and international conferences, and she has published a number of papers, particularly, in the area of autism. She has also participated in different national and international working groups related to child development, research, and policy development.
Over the years, Maria has acquired substantial knowledge, skills and experience in the areas of clinical practice, service development, research and ethics, but also in the areas of clinical governance and policy development.
Maria holds a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Developmental Psychology, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has completed her training in the United States and in Portugal. She is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (C.Clin.Psych, PsSI).
Anne Hughes Kazibwe
Mary McGrath is the Advanced Clinical Specialist (Principal) Occupational Therapist at the Memory Clinic in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Mary supports the diagnosis/differential diagnosis of dementia and deliverers the evidence-based, Occupational Therapy-led home-based Memory Rehabilitation Programme that she developed following a randomised controlled trial (Ulster University, 2006).
Mary qualified from St Joseph’s College of Occupational Therapy with a Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists (1981). She was awarded an MPhil by Ulster University in 2006 and achieved her post-graduate teaching qualification (PGCEHP) from Ulster University in 2021.
Mary teaches Master Classes throughout the UK and Ireland on memory rehabilitation for people with early-stage dementia. She has several publications.
Mary is a past Chairperson of AOTI (1986-88) and (2018-2021). She is a current Director of AOTI.
Genevieve O’Halloran became a Director of AOTI in 2023 bringing her experience as a member of the AOTI Management Team and the previous AOTI Council. Genevieve has served as a member of the CORU Occupational Therapists Registration Board and CORU Council.
Genevieve graduated from Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh in 1994 with a BSc Occupational Therapy and worked in Glasgow prior to returning to Ireland to take up a position with the Midland Health Board in St Vincent’s Care Centre, Athlone. Following this she moved to the Western Health Board to Community Care. She became the first Occupational Therapist Manager in Roscommon in 2002 covering Primary Care and Older Persons Services, a post she held until 2023.
Genevieve has represented AOTI and HSE Occupational Therapists at a national level working extensively with National Human Resources and Recruitment. She holds Diplomas in both Lean Healthcare Management and Human Resource Management.
Genevieve is currently a Business Development Manager in Home Support, National Services for Older People.
Máire joined as a member of AOTI Board of Directors in January 2020 and also sits on the AOTI HR subcommittee.
Máire graduated from St Joseph’s College of Occupational Therapy in 1980. Following an initial period of working in Cork and Dublin she then worked in Australia and the UK. On her return to Ireland in 1991 she took up a post as Senior OT at St Gabriel’s Limerick, a Voluntary Organisation providing health and education services to children living in the Mid-West. She went into management there in 2000 and went on to becoming CEO in 2005. Máire retired from St Gabriel’s in 2021.
Máire worked mainly in the areas of intellectual disability and paediatrics during her clinical career. She developed a special interest in a partnership approach between service providers and promoting an equitable service for children and families using family centred model of practice.
Máire also has extensive experience and an interest in developing Social Enterprises in the disability services and the wider community.
Máire served as Chair on the St Gabriel’s School Board from 2005 to 2012 and she served on the first Occupational Therapy Board in CORU , as an employer from a Voluntary Service Provider.