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Barbara O'Connell - Board Member
Board Member

Barbara O'Connell


  • Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
  • Ireland

Barbara O’Connell is co-founder of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABI Ireland), where she has been chief executive for over 13 years. ABI Ireland is a national organization that provides community neuro-rehabilitation for people with an acquired brain injury. Barbara has built the organization from an idea to a national organization that now serves over 2000 clients across the island of Ireland and has an annual budget of over 12 million Euros. Prior to setting up ABI Ireland, Barbara worked as an Occupational Therapy Manager in Ireland’s National Rehabilitation Hospital, pioneering the design, implementation and management of social re-integration programs for people with an ABI, bridging the identified gap between post-acute services and return to the community. Across her career she has worked directly with clients and staff in Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry and Intellectual Disability. Barbara has an MBA in Healthcare & Business from Smurfit Business School UCD. Along with women in leadership training she completed an Executive Education course in Non-Profit Strategic Management in Harvard Business School in 2012 and Strategic Decision making in the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013. Additional achievements for Barbara include the two awards she received in 2012; Women Mean Business - Social Entrepreneur of the Year and National Winner of Ulsterbank’s Business Achievers Award for Social Enterprise.

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