What we do

Back row from left: Eavan Fitzgerald, Áine Kearns, Noreen O'Leary, Jenny Neary, Adrian Bradley, Edel Dunphy, Niamh Davis, Heather Coetzee
Front row from left: Vickie Kirkpatrick, Louise Collins, Anne Healy, Pauline Ackerman


The IASLT Council


Pauline Ackermann - Chair

Pauline Ackermann is the Speech and Language Therapist Manager in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin. She currently holds the role of Chairperson of IASLT for the 2015/2016 Council term of office. Pauline has long been active in IASLT, serving at various times as Chairperson (2007/2008), Vice-Chairperson (2006/2007 and 2014/2015) and as a member of Council (2004 to 2009, and from 2013 to the present day). She graduated from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1998, with the degree B. Communication Pathology, a dual professional qualification in Speech and Language Therapy and Audiology. Pauline obtained a M.Sc. in Health Service Management from Trinity College Dublin in 2007. She has worked with adults and children in community and hospital settings, and her current clinical interests include cleft palate speech, paediatric voice disorders and Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), as well as the impact of informal social networks on multidisciplinary teams. Pauline likes to connect with Speech and Language Therapists and other healthcare professionals on Twitter, and can be found tweeting as @P_Ackermann.

contact: chairperson@iaslt.ie

Heather Coetzee - Vice Chair

Heather Coetzee is the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Manager in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH). She joined IASLT Council in 2014, and is commencing the Vice Chair role during this council term. She is a South African trained SLT having completed a BA Speech and Hearing Therapy (1998) and an MA in Speech Pathology (2003). She worked in the area of adult rehabilitation prior to immigrating to Ireland in 2002. Since then she has worked in acute, post acute and academic settings. Particular areas of interest are early supported discharge for stroke, practice education and process improvement. Heather is one of the link persons on IASLT Council for the National Clinical Programmes and is the IASLT representative on the National Practice Education Steering Group.

Anne Healy - Past Chair

Anne Healy, MSc., is Speech and Language Therapist Manager in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and was elected to IASLT Council at AGM in 2010. Since joining council, Anne has held the role of Hon. Secretary and Membership Officer before becoming Chairperson for the 2014 – 2015 council term. Anne now holds the position of past chair. She graduated with a BSc. Clinical Speech and Language Studies from Trinity College Dublin in 1996 and completed a MSc. Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College in 2008. Anne has worked in a variety of clinical areas. Her clinical interests include dysphagia and acquired communication disorders. She has also completed a Diploma in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare with the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and has an interest in Quality Improvement in healthcare.

Louise Collins - Treasurer

Louise Collins is the Speech & Language Therapist Manger and Director of Clinical Services at Connolly Hospital, Dublin. She is currently Treasurer of the IASLT. She qualified with a BSc (Hons) Speech Sciences from the National Hospitals College of Speech Sciences at University College London in 1992. Post qualification, she worked in the NHS predominantly in community adult mental health and older persons services. Since returning to Ireland in 2000, she has worked in acute services in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Connolly Hospital. She has a keen interest in health service management and the provision of quality health services. In 2014, she participated in the HSE pilot Leadership & Management Development Programme for Health and Social Care Professions and is currently undertaking a Diploma in Leadership & Quality in Healthcare with the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin.

Vickie Kirkpatrick - Conference Link

Vickie Kirkpatrick, Senior SLT with Cope Foundation in Cork, joined IASLT Council in July 2014. She sat for 2 terms as Honorary Secretary and is now the Council link for 2017 IASLT Conference. As a Canadian trained SLP, she graduated with a Clinical Masters from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. She worked in Canada and New Zealand prior to arriving in Ireland in 2003. In 2006 Vickie joined the IASLT Overseas Committee and sat as chair from 2008 until 2013. Her clinical interests include: preschool language, bilingualism, intellectual disability and ASD.

contact: conference@iaslt.ie

Áine Kearns

Áine Kearns is a Regional Placement Facilitator, on the Practice Education Team for the MSc. Speech and Language Therapy programme in the University of Limerick. Áine joined IASLT Council in February 2014 and took up role as chair of the membership committee shortly thereafter. She graduated with a BSc. Speech and Language Therapy from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and completed a MSc. Clinical Therapies in the University of Limerick. Áine has worked in a variety of clinical areas and her clinical interests include acquired neurological communication disorders and dysphagia. Her research interests include: use of computer/tablet technology in aphasia rehabilitation, eye gaze technology and mixed methodology in aphasia research.

contact: membership@iaslt.ie

Adrian Bradley

Adrian Bradley, SLT in Cork University Hospital joined IASLT Council in 2012. His roles on Council include Corporate Liaison Officer and link person to IASLT’s representatives in CPLOL. Adrian is also on the PR committee and is the current Editor of IASLT UPDATE Magazine. Adrian works with an acute adult caseload and has been practising since May 2013. He carries a general medical caseload, which includes neurology, neurosurgical, care of the elderly and respiratory populations. His clinical interests are in dysphagia, acute medicine and neurology, while research interests include health economics, outcome measures and cost-effectiveness studies.

contact: pr@iaslt.ie

Eavan Fitzgerald - CORU Liasion Officer

Eavan Fitzgerald is a Senior SLT working with the HSE in adult community services in Cork city and in the University Hospital Limerick, as well as in private practice in the Cork area. She was elected to IASLT Council in May 2014 and currently holds the role of CORU Liaison Officer. She graduated with a BSc in Speech Pathology and Therapy from the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2003 and is currently pursuing a PhD in the University of Limerick. Eavan has worked in a variety of clinical settings but most extensively in the acute hospital setting. Her clinical interests include head and neck cancer and adult dysphagia.

Jenny Neary

Jenny Neary, Senior SLT with Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin, holds the practice tutor post (0.5) and FEDS/outpatient (0.5). Jenny joined IASLT council in 2012, taking on role as Honorary Secretary shortly thereafter (2012-2103). She rejoined council in September 2014. She graduated from UL in 2008 with MSc. in Speech and Language Therapy and subsequently completed a Post Grad in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education. She previously worked with clients with sensory impairments, specifically visual impairment and delivered teaching sessions for the Clinical SLT courses in TCD & UL. Her clinical interests include: paediatric dysphagia, visual impairment, outcome measures & practice education.

Niamh Davis - Secretary

Niamh Davis, Senior SLT with the Mater Hospital Dublin, joined The IASLT council in September 2014. Currently she is IASLT secretary, PR lead and one of two Council links to IASLT Representatives on Clinical Care Programmes. She completed a BSc in Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin in 2003. Since then she has worked in the HSE Primary Continuing and Community Care service mainly with adults. She moved to the Early Supported Discharge Team for Stroke at the Mater in March 2015. Niamh was secretary on the Dysphagia SIG committee between 2011 and 2013. Her clinical interests include: working with clients with acquired communication disorders and dysphagia as a result of stroke as well as supporting people in adjusting to life with a long term communication disability.

contact: secretary@iaslt.ie

Noreen O'Leary

Noreen O’Leary, SLT with HSE in Dublin North West, joined IASLT council in October 2014. Noreen graduated from University College Cork with a Bachelor of Science, Speech & Language Therapy in 2010. Following graduation, Noreen worked with Early Intervention Services, Brothers of Charity Southern Services until late 2013. In early 2014 Noreen began working in community paediatric services in Dublin North West and is shortly taking up a new post with Enable Ireland, that will incorporate a Practice Tutor role. Her clinical interests include: stammering, practice education and phonological disorders.

Ciara Murphy

Ciara Murphy is the Senior Speech and Language Therapist in Heart and Lung Transplant (HLT) in the Mater Misericordiae University HospitaI (MMUH). She graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) in 2008. Post qualification, she joined the SLT Department in MMUH and has worked in a variety of clinical areas. Particular areas of interest are dysphagia assessment and diagnostics in HLT, cardiothoracic surgery and ENT.

Ciara is invested in practice education and dedicated to quality improvement. She has worked as Practice Tutor for both Trinity College Dublin and NUIG. She completed the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt programme accredited by University College Dublin in 2014 and has been involved in many quality improvement initiatives at both local and national level. She was an IASLT Representative on the National Acute Medicine Programme Health and Social Care Professionals Implementation Group from 2014 to 2016.

Deirdre Tobin

Deirdre qualified with a B.Sc. in Clinical Speech and Language Studies form Trinity College Dublin in 1994. She worked for many years with the HSE in Community Care in Cork city and county, with a paediatric caseload. She also worked for a short time in Australia. In2015, she left the HSE to set up her own practice ‘First Words’. Her areas of clinical interest include severe speech sound disorders, stammering in children and bilingualism. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Health Practice in UCC. She joined Council in 2016 and she is the link person for the Membership Committee.

Jennifer McCarthy

Jennifer McCarthy, from Cork, is a graduate of BSc Speech and Language Therapy in University College Cork. She currently works in private practice with a mixed adult and paediatric caseload.

Since graduating in 2015, Jennifer has worked in a number of schools in Cork, providing therapy to children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities and autism. She has furthered her knowledge in the area of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), using communication methods like Lámh, and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with many of her clients. During her time in college, she gained clinical experience in a wide variety of settings including early intervention services, community paediatric clinics, adult rehabilitation services, a centre for people with acquired brain injury, and an acute care hospital. While in UCC, Jennifer was also an active member of the Clinical Therapies Society and the UCC Student's Union.

Margaret Barrett

Margaret is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist currently working in Primary Care Services in Co. Cavan. She has also gained clinical experience over the years in services for children with Specific Speech and Language Impairments and children with disabilities. She is currently a key player in a departmental clinical governance in primary care group which leads the way in service delivery initiatives and quality improvements. She has had previous roles as secretary of the SSLI SIG and as a member of the IASLT PR committee. She has spent 1 year in the HSE away from her SLT role working as a Transformation Project Officer for the roll out of 14 Primary Care Teams across Cavan and Monaghan services. Through this secondment she gained invaluable experience with the process of change management. She has spent 13 years working part time in private practice and has built up a reputable business in County Meath. She is founder of a training company Pinnacle Performance CPD which organises training events for health professionals. I am delighted to join IASLT council as I feel it is an invaluable opportunity to learn, network and contribute.

Valerie Cooke

Valerie Cooke is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist who graduated from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, with a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy, in 1999. Valerie initially worked with a mixed paediatric caseload before moving to New Zealand. In New Zealand she worked for the Ministry of Education as part of a multidisciplinary early intervention team. When she returned to Dublin she initially assisted in setting up a new service for older persons. She then returned to work with children with complex needs, as part of a multidisciplinary in early intervention, in Dublin South. Valerie has a special interest in the areas of autism spectrum disorders, bilingualism, LEGO Therapy and the use of the Lidcombe Program as a treatment for young children who are dysfluent. She has obtained a postgraduate diploma in Public Management and plans to complete her MSc. in Healthcare Management in 2017.

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