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Catherine Buckley
Dr. Catherine Buckley
AIGNA President

PhD., MSc., BSc, PG Cert. Narrative Research, RGN. FFNMRCSI.

Dr. Buckley trained as a general nurse in the Cork University Hospital and has extensive clinical experience in both the US and Ireland in cardiac care, oncology, and care of the older adult in both rehabilitation and long-term care. She graduated with a BSc (hons)(2006) and an MSc(Nursing)(2008) from the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery UCC and a PhD(2016) from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh. Currently she works as a Practice Development Lecturer in St. Luke’s Home Education & Research Centre, Cork. Catherine has been on the Management Committee of AIGNA since its establishment in 2009 and has held various roles on the committee over this time.
Her research interests include practice development, person-centred narrative approaches to care, social isolation and socialization of older adults in long term and dementia care. Catherine’s current research is focused on caring for older people in residential care settings with an emphasis on dementia and narrative approaches to care. Catherine has published a number of papers in peer reviewed journals and three book chapters. She is is on the editorial board of the International Practice Development Journal (IPDJ) and a member if the ICoP (International Community of Practice).

Amanda Phelan
Professor Amanda Phelan
AIGNA Vice – President


Amanda Phelan is a Professor in Ageing and Community Nursing in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin since March 2020. Prior to this appointment, she was an Associate Professor in Nursing at the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin (UCD). At UCD, Amanda was the Director of Gerontological Programmes and Deputy Director of the National Centre for the Protection of Older People. In TCD, Amanda leads Ireland’s only MSc level multi-disciplinary programme on adult safeguarding and has teaching areas in programmes related to community health, dementia, gerontological nursing and advanced practice. Amanda has a research interest in safeguarding vulnerable populations (particularly related to older people), older person care, missed care, public health and community nursing. Amanda is Vice President of the All-Ireland Gerontological Nurses’ Association and a member of the Board of Directors in Third Age and Safeguarding Ireland. Amanda has published two edited books on the topic of elder abuse and her third co-edited book, is on the area of gerontology. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect and the International Journal of Older People Nursing.

Dympna Tuohy
Dr Dympna Tuohy
AIGNA Secretary

PhD, MSc Nursing, BNS, Grad. Dip. Medical-Surgical Nursing, ICU Cert, RGN, RNT

Dympna Tuohy is an associate professor in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick. She has taught and been involved in nurse education, teaching & assessment at undergraduate and post graduate level since 1996. This includes programme development, curriculum development and review, taught and research final year projects & dissertation supervision. Prior to this, Dympna spent several years nursing people in clinical practice. With colleagues, she developed an educational programme and video on the use of hand massage to alleviate anxiety for people living with dementia. Her current care of the older person research areas are Intergenerational Cafés (to increase intergenerational learning between student nurses and older people), Digital Delirium education for health care professionals, Nursing Metrics evaluation (older person), Day care psychosocial interventions for people living with dementia.

Deirdre Lang
Ms Deirdre Lang
AIGNA Treasurer

MSc Leadership, BNS (Hons), Dip Mgt, HDip Gerontological Nursing, RGN, Scottish Quality & Safety Fellow (Cohort 10), FFNMRCSI, HETAC level 6 Special award in coaching. Honorary Teach Associate FFNMRCSI

Deirdre initially trained in St Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, as a Registered General Nurse. During the early part of her career she spent a number of years working in acute services both in Australia and in Ireland. She has had a variety of experiences in healthcare, having worked in mental health nursing and in practice development. Her experience in Older Persons Services includes the role of Clinical Nurse Manger 2, Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Nursing both in the HSE and private sector. Her current role as Director of Nursing / National Lead Older Persons Services / Clinical and Integrated Programmes, Office of Nursing & Midwifery Services Director, brings together all aspects of her experience to date, together with her passion for the older patient and those who provide their care.

Mary J Foley
Dr Mary J. Foley
AIGNA Committee

Doctorate Nursing, MSc Healthcare, H. Dip in Gerontology, RGN, RNP, RANP, Level 6. in Parkinsons, Dementia, Palliative Care, Advanced Health & Social Care

Dr Mary J. Foley is a founding member of AIGNA and has been active in various roles including vice-president since 2009. She commenced her nursing studies in Madonna College of Nursing, Portiuncula Hospital, Galway. She furthered her academic education in UCC graduating with a Doctorate in Nursing in 2021. Enablement of older people with chronic disease was the focus of her doctoral research. This interest was fuelled by knowledge and gerontological clinical experience spanning rehabilitation, residential and ambulatory care. In 2011 Mary J was the first registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Rehabilitation of Older People and had a lead nursing role in setting up specialist clinics for Parkinsons, Movement Disorders, Memory Support, Frailty and Continence in St Finbarrs Hospital Assessment and Treatment Centre which won Outpatient of the Year award in 2013. She also had an influential role in the opening of the award-winning Cork Stroke Support Centre in 2021 and holds a clinical advisory role. Mary J. is currently seconded from the HSE to the Department of Health Social Care Division. She attends national and international events to represent service needs of older people and is involved in research and education with a particular focus on enablement, healthy ageing and the role of the nurse.

Alice Coffey
Prof Alice Coffey
AIGNA Committee

PhD, M.Ed., B.A. Health Management, RGN, RM, RNT

Alice is Chair in Nursing and Midwifery research, Director of the Health Implementation Science and Technology Research Cluster, and Programme Lead for the Professional Doctorate in Healthcare Practice at University of Limerick (UL). Her research focuses on Implementation science, Evaluation, Transitional care, Gerontology, Dementia, and Palliative Care. Alice is a member of the editorial boards of Implementation Science- Frontiers in Health Services Journal and International Journal of Older People Nursing. She is the recipient of competitive funding awards as Principal Investigator from the HEA North South Research awards, Health Research Board, Irish Research Council, European Commission and Health Service Executive. Her publications include commissioned reports and publications in high impact international journals. Professor Coffey is active on several regional and national and international organisations including vice president representing UL on Omega Epsilon Chapter (at large) of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Deirdre Shanagher
Ms Deirdre Shanagher
AIGNA Committee

RGN, BSc (Cur), MSc Gerontological Nursing, European Certificate Palliative Dementia Care, Certificate Non-profit Leadership and Management, Honorary Teaching Associate RCSI, FFNMRCSI

Deirdre works as Strategic Clinical Nurse Expert with Regulatory Compliance with Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI). She links in with NHI members in relation to clinical and regulatory issues that arise for members within nursing homes across the country. This role involves her working with the NHI National Nursing Committee to develop resources of relevance to staff. Her role also involves collecting and collating member views on various clinical and regulatory issues and representing them at various forums. Deirdre previously worked as a healthcare assistant, nurse and nurse manager within three Dublin based nursing homes. Prior to taking up her current role she worked with Irish Hospice Foundation, where she led the Palliative Care for All and Primary Palliative Care Programmes that focused on palliative care for people with illnesses other than cancer, advance care planning and advance healthcare directives.

Magaret Wafer
Ms Margaret Wafer
AIGNA Committee

BSc (Hons), Post Grad. Gerontological Nursing, RGN, Post Cert. IPC, Post Grad. Health Care Quality & Risk Management, level 6 award in Leadership.

Margaret initially trained in St Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, as a Registered General Nurse. Following this Margaret worked extensively in care of the older person in the private sector. Margaret has 17 years’ experience as a Director of Nursing followed by Regional Director of multiple sites. Margaret was on the National nurses committee for over 20 years representing Dublin/Wicklow and is a steering committee member of LHP Skillnet. Currently Margaret holds the position of Quality & Clinical Director with Céile Care.

Miracline Samuel
Ms Miracline Samuel
AIGNA Committee

Msc. Geronological Nursing, RGN, Level 8 in Person-Centred Dementia, PG Dip IPC, & Level 6 Leadership Programme

Miracline trained in India as a BSc Nurse and Joined St James Hospital in the year 2005. She worked in rehabilitation ward for 9 years in the MedEl Directorate and works as CNM3 in MedEl directorate until 2019. During that time she assisted the management team in the smooth running of acute, rehabilitation, residential and outpatient services within the Directorate. She assisted the team in CLD in SJH in the delivery of National Dementia Programme and participated in various Committees across the hospital. She has additionally lectured in the Foundation Course for Gerontological Nursing and Medical Surgical Nursing in St James’s Hospital on Frailty, Geriatric Syndromes and Safeguarding. Miracline has worked as a Director of Nursing before moving into the Regional Director role overseeing the operational functions of residential homes in North and South Dublin within the Group Orpea Residences. She is also a guest lecturer in the Msc Gerontological Nursing in Trinity College, Dublin. She is a passionate Gerontologist and committed to promoting evidence based high quality care to older persons in residential care.

Edel Carey
Ms Edel Carey
AIGNA Committee

RGN, RNP, RANP, PhD Scholarship (2021), Trinity College Dublin, MSc Advanced Practice Prescribing Pathway (UCD, Hons), PG Dip Cognitive and Behaviour Psychotherapy (UCC, Hons), HDip Disability (UCD), Cert. Honorary Clinical Associate RCSI (2023)

Edel trained at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin as a General Nurse and her career took her across vast areas of Irish healthcare including: acute care, disability, complex behaviour, addiction, young chronic sick and brain injury.

In 2004, Edel paved her way into older persons HSE services where she worked as a clinical nurse specialist before commencing her Advanced Practice Journey (2017). Edel progressed her role developing the ANP Féileacán Bán Nursing Service officially opened by Minister Butler, December 2022. This nursing service model provides care and support from point of diagnosis and throughout the dementia journey, bringing care back to community settings.

Edel’s passion encompasses person centred, rights based care inclusive of family, to all older adults living with dementia. Her interests lie in research, particularly the 3 D’s, Non Cognitive Symptoms, interdisciplinary workings and care pathway innovation. Her publications include The management of delirium in the older adult in advanced nursing practice, British Journal of Nursing, 31:2, pp 76-84; Age and Ageing, Age and Ageing, Volume 51, Issue Supplement_3, November 2022, afac218.171, Recent achievements: RCSI clinical bursary award, February 2023, AIGNA Committee member 2023, New Frontiers Presidents Prize, IGS November, 2022. Spark Ignite and HSE Excellence Award’s finalist, 2022.

Maureen O'Donovan
Ms Maureen O’Donovan
AIGNA Committee

Accreditation Dementia Course London, Cert. Dementia & Dementia Mapping , U.K.
B.A. Hons. Degree, U.C.C., Dip. in Leadership, R.C.S.I., Cert. Public Relations,
Dip. Psychology & Sociology, U.C.C. Dip. Management,R.C.S.I. Cert. Management, RM, RGN.

Maureen is currently a Director of Nursing and as Locum with the CareChoice Group of Homes, she supports new Directors of Nursing and other projects in the Homes. Maureen trained at the Mercy University Hospital and completed her Midwifery at the Erinville Hospital Cork. After working in the Acute Hospital Sector for a number of years, she moved to Care of the Older Person at Clonakilty Community Hospital , where she worked as a staff nurse and assistant Director of Nursing.

She has extensive clinical expertise as Director of Nursing since 1998 working across H.S.E. Hospitals, Voluntary Hospital, and the Private Sector. Worked in the role as Director of Nursing for ten years at Kinsale Community Hospital, Co Cork. She then took on the role as Director of Nursing at Cobh Community Hospital, Co Cork. While working with the HSE she was involved with several different project and sub-groups both in Cork and Kerry .

For the past thirteen years Maureen has worked with the CareChoice Group and teaches a number of the mandatory courses in the homes. Her specialist interests are Dementia Care, completing a number of Courses in dementia in the U.K. and Ireland. Her other areas of interest are older adults, leadership, management and safeguarding of the older person.. She has a BA Degree from U.C.C., several Diplomas and certs from Colleges both in Ireland and the U.K.

Aoife Conway
Ms Aoife Conway
AIGNA Committee

MSc, PG Dip, BSc (Hons), RMN, AFHEA

Aoife holds the position of Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science at Ulster University. As a registered mental health nurse, she has extensive expertise in working with older individuals and their caregivers, with a primary focus on caring for those living with dementia. Throughout her career, she has undertaken leadership roles, including managing a Dementia assessment ward, a specialised unit for individuals over 65 with mental health conditions, and a therapeutic hub.

Currently, Aoife actively contributes to the undergraduate nursing program at Ulster University. Her research is centred around older people’s health, dementia, caregiver support, and education within the realm of gerontological nursing. With involvement in three ongoing research projects, Aoife addresses a diverse range of topics relevant to the well-being of older individuals and their families. Her dedication to these research endeavours is driven by a strong commitment to making substantial contributions to the field and enhancing the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers.

Niamh Walsh
Ms Niamh Walsh
AIGNA Committee


Niamh is an RNID with 25 years’ experience across clinical and leadership roles. She has lectured on the undergraduate RNID B.Sc. Programme and has developed/delivered nurse education at post graduate level. In recognition of her contribution to people with intellectual disability, Niamh was awarded the HSE Employee Excellence award and invited by the President to attend a ceremony celebrating the diversity of the role of film in health education for people with intellectual disability. With her PGDip Gerontology, Niamh was part of the development, and delivery, of the first National Frailty Education Programme in Ireland. She developed the first heel scan clinic for people with intellectual disability, launched the first all-island Health Passport (Sláintecare), and developed an App for the Health Passport which has had over 7.5k downloads across 33 countries.

Niamh pursued the “changing places” agenda and presented to the Northwest County Council which resulted in the acquisition of a “changing places” facility when planning future town developments.

Niamh is passionate about accessible information for people with intellectual disability and developed accessible COVID19 materials published by the DOH. Niamh works at the European Centre of Excellence for Research in CPD in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in RCSI, Dublin.

Susan McGrory
Ms Susan McGrory
AIGNA Committee

MSc, PGCFHE, BSc (Hons), Dip.Nurs., RMN, SFHEA

Susan is a Lecturer in Nursing at Ulster University and is currently Course Director of the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing. Current research projects include Workforce Wellbeing, Safe Staffing in Social Work and Delirium Care within Nursing Homes.

Susan trained as a mental health nurse in London and has worked in a variety of mental health settings including addictions, crisis response and acute care in England and Ireland. Her experience within care of older people’s settings includes Manager of Older Peoples mental health services, CPN, Ward Manager, and in Nursing Homes. Susan is passionate about care of older adults and their families and promoting evidence-based practice, person centred practice.