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NWCI announces Ellen O’Malley Dunlop as the newly elected Chairperson

Published: Friday, June 09, 2017

NWCI is delighted to announce the election of Ellen O’Malley Dunlop as our new Chairperson. Ellen is a committed feminist and succeeds Frances Byrne. From 2006 – 2016 Ellen led the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and raised awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland and lobbied tirelessly for victims rights and legislative change.

Ellen was a Primary School teacher and after training in London in the late 1970s as a Psychotherapist  she returned to Ireland where she ran a successful practice for 24 years. During that time she and a number of colleagues set up a Masters Programme in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Trinity College. They were among the first trainers of psychotherapists in Ireland and Ellen became the first woman Chairperson of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy the regulatory body for psychotherapists in Ireland.

After her election, Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, said,

“It is a huge honour and privilege for me to become Chairperson of the national women’s representative organisation in Ireland. I am passionate about equality and women’s rights.I look forward to working with the Board and with NWCI’s Director Orla O’Connor and the staff of NWCI to progress the implementation of the 2016-2020 strategic plan Driving Women’s Equality which has all the ingredience to deliver the vision of the National Women’s Strategy for ‘an Ireland where all women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full potential while enjoying a safe and fulfilling life.’

As the voice of the women’s sector in Ireland, NWCI plays a central role on behalf of our members, so that women’s voices and experiences are at the centre of the debates on repealing the 8th Amendment, the gender pay gap, direct provision, violence against women, recognition for women’s care roles, women and leadership, to name but some of the many issues that face women and need to be redressed, in 21st century Ireland.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, silkep@nwci.ie or Tel. 085 858 9104.

Note to Editors:

Biography – Ellen O’Malley Dunlop

Ellen is married to Sandy and has 4 sons and 4 granddaughters. From an early age, because of the stories she was told about her family anscestor Grace O’Malley, Granuaile the Pirate Queen, she was under the false impression that women and men were equal. She was quickly disavowed of that fantasy when she learned as a young primary school teacher, that her male colleagues were paid more than she. This was the beginning of a life long commitment to highlighting the inequalities in society and to finding ways of redressing them with a special interest in women’s rights.

As a young teacher she worked with children with disabilities and also spent two years teaching in Tallaght where she witnessed the negative consequences on people’s lives when no consultation or thought is given to rehousing people from tightknit inner city communities to green field sites. She returned to Tallaght having trained as a Psychotherapist, where she ran a counselling centre for individuals and families. She encountered victims of domestic and sexual violence during her 24 years as a pspychotherapist. None of her clients ever reported the crimes committed against them.

An enthusiastic advocate for statutory registration for counsellig and psychotherapy she became the first woman chair of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and lobbied Government on issues of suicide, marital breakdown and childrens rights.

She became CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in 2006 and over her 10 year tenure she led 8 National Awareness Raising Campaigns on Sexual Violence, lobbied for and succeeded in delivering (in collaboration with other NGOs and Government Agencies) two new Sexual Assault Units in Mullingar and Galway. As a member of the Turn off the Red Light Campaign she lobbied for the Sexual Offences Legislation 2017.

She was appointed Adjunct Professor to the School of Law UL in December 2015. With the Centre of Crime Justice and Victims’ Studies UL she lobbied for the inclusion of a definiton of consent in the 2017 Sexual Offences Legislation.

Ellen served as an ordinary member of the National Women’s Council for 4 years. She is currently a member of the Board of Gaisce, The Presidnet’s Award, and is Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Legal Aid Board. For 22 years she has been Director of the Annual Bard Summer Schoo Clare Island, Co.Mayo.