• Sixth of seven children of two civil servant parents
  • Emigrated to New York as part of the 1980s wave of emigration
  • Returned to live and work in Dublin in 1993
  • Married to Brian Farren with three children
  • Living in Pembroke-South Dock for more than 25 years


  • Educated at Presentation Convent and at Laurel Hill in Limerick
  • Studied law at University College Cork, graduating with a BCL (Hons.) degree
  • Qualified as a solicitor, after studying at the Law Society and an apprenticeship in West Cork
  • Qualified as a New York attorney, having sat and passed the New York Bar Exams
  • Admitted to practise law in England & Wales
  • Admitted to practise law in the United States Supreme Court
  • Accredited Mediator (CEDR)
  • Diploma in Policy Analysis (IPA); currently pursuing MEconSc in Policy Analysis (IPA)

Professional Experience – past & present

  • Worked in New York & London offices of a major international law firm (Debevoise & Plimpton www.debevoise.com) …developing joint venture programmes and financing for major companies, new industries and emerging countries (from the former Eastern bloc and the third world)
  • Founding Member and First President of the Irish American Bar Association of New York (www.iabany.org), through which we successfully fought off a court challege to recognition of Irish law degrees by the New York Bar Association
  • Member of American Chamber of Commerce in Europe (AmCham EU)
  • Manager, international investment banking, negotiating finance for major infrastructure projects
  • Appointed Programme Manager & Adviser to Minister for Justice Nora Owen during the Rainbow Coalition, Involving policy input into, and daily interaction with, all Government Departments across the breadth of issues affecting the country
  • Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Irish Wheelchair Association
  • Set up own solicitor’s practice with an emphasis on advocating for and representing people with disabilities and others suffering discrimination for whom I was advocating more informally for years
  • Nominated by members of EBS and elected to the Board following the banking crisis of September 2008
  • Member of Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
  • Currently working in arts management (contemporary music)

Voluntary Work – past & present


  • Member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland (NUI Senate), and Chair of its Audit & Risk Committee [elected continuously since 2002]
  • Member of the Governing Body of University College Cork (UCC), and Chair of its Audit Committee [elected 2012 – 2015]
  • Member of Mary Immaculate College Foundation (MICF)
  • Member of Parents’ Council of Gonzaga College SJ
  • Chairperson of Patron Body of Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School
  • Member of Board of Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School
  • Member of Cumann na dTuismitheoiri (PTA) of Scoil Bhride, Ranelagh
  • Member of Parent Teachers Association of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School
  • Chairperson of Parent Teachers Association of Sandford National School, Ranelagh


  • Solicitor’s practice with pro bono work for people with disabilities
  • Pro Bono Legal Adviser to Forum of People with Disabilities
  • Campaigned for introduction of disability legislation in Ireland (Disability Act 2005)
  • Campaigned for accessible Dublin buses, which were introduced
  • Appointed a Member of European Year of People with Disabilities (EYPD 2003), Sub-Committee on Rights & Responsibilities
  • Addressed United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva (2002)
  • Campaigned for equality in registration of births (Registration of Births Act 1997)


  • Chair of Great Music in Irish Houses (GMIH)
  • Board Member of The Galway Music Residency
  • Founding Member and Chairperson of Music Education Action Group
  • Volunteer with and Friend of Dublin International Piano Competition
  • Volunteer with and Friend of Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition
  • Volunteer with Pipeworks International Organ Competition
  • Supporter of Feis Ceoil
  • Supporter of the Royal Irish Academy of Music
  • Supporter of Dublin Youth Orchestras
  • Supporter of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland

Other Charities Actively Supported

  • Founding Member of St. Patrick’s Day Charity Ball (New York)
  • Children at Risk in Ireland (CARI)
  • The Hope Foundation