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AIGNA Committee Members

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Dr. Catherine Buckley 


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


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. In this role she has responsibility for the development of curriculum and provision of courses related to the clinical practice of nursing and care staff in residential care settings. Catherine has beenbeen 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 care, and dementia care.  Cathereine’s  current research is focused on caring for older people in residential care settings with an emphasis on dementia and narrative approaches to care. Currently she is  a co-applicant on two research projects in UCC that aim to improve dementia palliative care for both residents and families in long term care settings. These projects are all aiming to improve the quality of life for older people and their families and enable nurses to improve practice. Catherine has published a number of papers in peer reviewed journals and three book chapters. She has presented papers at national and international conferences and has a wide network not only within Ireland but also internationally. She is also  the joint editor of the Journal of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association (JAIGNA) and is on the editorial board of the International Practice Development Journal. (IPDJ) and a member if the ICoP ( International Community of Practice). 

Linda McKenna



Linda McKenna is employed as Director of Nursing in TLC Centre, Citywest which is a 139 bed nursing home and is part of the TLC group of nursing homes.

Linda previously worked for 12 years in Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Service, in a variety of roles including Interim Director of Nursing and developed her skills and knowledge in Care of Older People Services, Palliative Care and Rheumatology Rehabilitation.

Linda is recognised as having a strong commitment to quality care for older people, making service performance improvements and a determination to achieve positive outcomes for residents and staff. 

Linda has an Msc in Dementia Studies, Higher Diploma in Clinical Practice (Gerontology) and a Bsc (Hons) in Nursing and Diploma in Leadership from RCPI.

Linda has always been passionate about working with Older People particularly in the area of dementia care.

Amanda Phelan 

Vice President

RGN, RM, PHN, BNS (Hons), MSc (Nursing-education), RNT, PhD.

Dr. Amanda Phelan is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems and Subject Head of Older Persons’ Nursing and Associate Dean for Global Engagement. She is also the programme co-ordinator for the post graduate gerontological programmes. Amanda’s PhD was completed in 2010 and employed a discourse analysis framework to examine community nurses’ practice in elder abuse. Amanda is also the Co Director of the UCD National Centre for the Protection of Older People and has completed a number of studies on safeguarding and older people. Currently, Amanda is the chief investigator for two research projects: Financial abuse of vulnerable adults in Northern Ireland and examining missed care in community nursing. Amanda holds the position of national representative for the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, sits on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland’s fitness to practice committee and is a consultant on elder abuse for SAGE (an advocacy group for older people). Amanda is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Older People Nursing journal reviewer for international publications including Nursing Inquiry, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Public Health Nursing, International Journal of Older People Nursing and Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics. Amanda has published in a number of peer reviewed journals and her book: International Perspectives on Elder Abuse (Routledge) was published in 2013. 



Patricia Fehin




Patricia Fehin is a Lecturer-Practitioner (Gerontological Nursing)School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork and holds degrees of BNS from University College Dublin, BCL from University College Cork and MSc (Healthcare Ethics and Law) from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She also holds certificates in intensive care nursing and neuromedical/ neurosurgical nursing. As a Registered General Nurse, Patricia has extensive clinical nursing experience including general medicine, neurosurgery, intensive care, coronary care, older adult nursing and practice development; experience has been gained in both the UK and Ireland. She is Programme Leader of the BSc Nursing (General)undergraduate program and also contributes to the Post Graduate Diploma/Certificate in Gerontological Nursing and Post Graduate Certificate in Nurse Prescribing programs at UCC. She also has an ongoing clinical practice and student support remit within the older people services at St Finbarr's Hospital, Cork (stroke rehabilitation and residential care)and Cork University Hospital. 

As one of the founding members of AIGNA, Patricia held the position of secretary 2008-2010, and Treasurer 2012-2015


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Professor Assumpta Ryan 


Assumpta Ryan graduated from Ulster University in 1991 with a first class honours degree in Professional Development in Nursing. She completed her Masters (with distinction) in 1995 and a PhD in 2006.   In 2015, she was appointed Professor of Ageing and Health at Ulster University  and is currently based in the School of Nursing and the Institute of Nursing and Health Research. Prior to this, she worked for four years as a Lecturer/ Practitioner with the University of Ulster and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust where her clinical base was a Nursing Development Unit for the assessment and rehabilitation of older people.


Professor Ryan’s research is focused on ageing and the care of older people. Specific interests include the needs and experiences of family carers, the experience of entry to long-term care from the perspective of older people and their families, quality of life in care homes and technology in dementia .  Her expertise lies in the field of qualitative research with a particular focus on grounded theory methodology. She won the Royal College of Nursing ‘Nurse of the Year: Nursing Research Award’ in 2007 and in 2008, was runner up in the RCN Research Society Justus Akinsanya Award for Innovation in Doctoral Studies in Nursing in the UK. In 2013, she was elected as President of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association and continued in this role until 2019.  Professor Ryan is on the Editorial Board of ‘Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice’ and ‘The International Journal of Older People Nursing’. Professor Ryan has generated over £2 million in grant income to support her research and over 140 outputs in a range of academic journals. She has presented papers at national and international conferences and has a wide network not only within Ireland and the UK but across Europe, Canada and the USA.

Lorraine McNamee

MSc, PG Dip Dementia, BSc Mgt, Adv Dip Personal & Executive Coaching, Dip Mgt, RGN

Lorraine is a Project Officer in the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit North Dublin. She trained as a general nurse in University College Hospital Galway and has worked in both acute care and older persons care. She worked as Practice Development Co ordinator in Older Persons Care for 11 years and has a keen interest in education, person centred care and dementia care. She is a qualified CPR instructor and provides coaching as part of the PEAK coaching network.



Mary J Foley

RGN, RNP, RANP, MSc Nursing, HDip in Gerontological Nursing.  

Mary J. is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Rehabilitation of the Older Adult based in the Assessment & Treatment Centre in St Finbarr’s Hospital, (2013 recipient of Irish Medical Times, Outpatient of the Year Award). Her clinical role involves complex case management in Rehabilitation, Ambulatory and Continuing Care. She has a significant role in specialist clinics which include Parkinsons, Stroke Follow-Up, Continence Advisory and Memory Intervention & Support. She had a leadership role in setting up the Cork Stroke Support Group and the Cork Alzheimer Café both recipient of National Awards. 

Mary J. commenced her nursing studies in Madonna College of Nursing, Portiuncula Hospital.In addition to an MSc Nursing and a Higher Diploma in Gerontological Nursing (UCC), her professional development includes certificates in nurse prescribing, dementia, parkinsons, palliative care, continence and advanced health and social care. She lectures on the MSc Postgraduate Programme in Rehabilitation UCC and facilitates other education and practice development initiatives. 

Mary J. is on the management committees of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association the Irish Gerontological Society and is proactive on a number of National Working Groups.


Caroline Connelly

RPN RGN BA (HONS) Health Care Practice, Dip PSN

Caroline is currently employed as an Inspector in the regulation department of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). Caroline joined HIQA in 2008 and was involved in the development of the inspection methodology and pilot program prior to the commencement of inspections of older person’s services in 2009. Caroline is an inspector for older person’s services and disability services and generally works in the south east of the country. She is also involved in the training of new inspectors and regulatory officers for the Authority.  

Caroline trained as a registered Psychiatric Nurse in Cork and as a Registered General Nurse in Sheffield. She worked in care of the older person services in the UK’s NHS for Thirteen years the majority of that time at Management level. She returned to Ireland in 2004, she worked for six months in a HSE run Residential Home and then moved to a post of Director of Nursing in a Private Nursing Home where she worked for fifteen months. From August 2006 to August 2008 she held the National post of Practice Development Facilitator with Nursing Homes Ireland providing education, support and practice development to member nursing homes as well as representing the organisation on many national and regional groups including the national working group for the development of the HIQA standards, the department of health and children’s working group on elder abuse, and the national working group on the development of a single assessment tool (SAT).  

She holds post registration qualifications, including a BA (Hons) in Health Care Practice from Sheffield Hallam University, A Diploma in Professional Studies in Nursing and in health service management and English National Board Qualification’s in Care of the Older Person and in Teaching and Assessing in Clinical Practice.  

Caroline was a member of the Gerontological Nursing Development Group and has been on AIGNA's executive and management committee since its development.



Daragh Rodger

RGN RNP RANP BA (Hons) MSc Certificate in Nurse Prescribing Post Graduate Cert in Advanced Practice PhD Student


Daragh Rodger is a Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner Care of the Older Adult Community promoting healthy and active ageing to community dwelling older adults through comprehensive assessment and health promotion and is based in St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park. She is also involved with education in the clinical and academic setting and also to local community groups on differing aspects of healthy active ageing. Her research interests include bone health, fall prevention and management, carers of older adults and electronic patient records.

Daragh qualified as an RGN in 1989 from South Sefton Health Authority, Liverpool. Since then she has worked in care of the older adult gaining experience in acute care, rehabilitation, community and residential care. She has completed a Diploma in Gerontological nursing, The Royal College Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI)1995, Higher Diploma in Wound Management and Tissue Viability from RCSI, 2004, BSc in Nursing from University College Dublin, 2005, Msc Nursing from RCSI, 2009, Certificate in Nurse Prescribing from RCSI, 2010 and Graduate Certificate in Advanced Practice 2011at RCSI. 

Daragh is project lead on Bone Health in the Park ( and Forever Autumn Community of Practice ( She is a member of the National Falls Working Group and currently Joint Chair of the Education and Learning Support Team. She is a member of Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland Nursing and Midwifery Special Interest Group (HISI-NM) who recognise the importance of nursing informatics in health care planning and service provision agenda. She is a member of AIGNA Management Committee since 2010


Dr. Mary Rose Day

DN, MA, PGDip PHN, BSc, Dip. Management (RCSI), RPHN, RM, RGN, FFNM (RCSI)   


Mary Rose is Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing & Midwifery University College Cork and works as an Independent Nurse Consultant.  She has extensive clinical expertise working across community settings and as a College Lecturer for many years. Her specialist interests are self-neglect and hoarding, older adults, public health nursing/community nursing, leadership and management. Mary Rose has published in peer reviewed/ non-peer reviewed academic journals, book chapters and reports.  Mary Rose continually contributes to conferences and symposiums nationally and internationally and provides workshops on self-neglect and hoarding to a range of professional groups in Ireland and the UK.  She is a regular invited speaker at Safeguarding Adults and Self-Neglect conferences organised by Health Care Conferences, UK, NHS and Safeguarding Adult Board. Mary Rose is a member of Sage Advocacy Policy and Practice Committee, member of management committee member on the All Ireland Gerontolgical Nurses Association and a member of the Institute of Community Health Nursing (ICHN). Mary Rose was awarded a Fellowship of Nursing & Midwifery by the Royal College of Surgeons in December 2017.  

Mary Rose is first editor of textbook ‘Self-Neglect in Older Adults: A Global, Evidence-Based Resource for Nurses and Other Health Care Providers’ (Day, M.R. McCarthy, G. Fitzpatrick, JJ) New York City, Springer Publishing Company which won 3rd place in prestigious award from American Journal of Nursing (AJN) annual Book of the Year Awards, honouring the most valuable texts of 2018 in the Gerontolgical nursing category.   This was the first global, evidence-based resource that targets self-neglect and important evidence-based interventions. 


Marie O'Neill

RGN, RMN, Dip. PSI, BSc (Hons), PG ADV Dip Ed., RNT, MSc. FHEA.


Marie has worked in a managerial capacity in a number of hospital and community nursing positions in adult, mental health and learning disability services in England, Ireland and Northern Ireland before entering nurse education in 2003. She is a graduate of the University of Ulster and successfully completed her specialist Nurse Practitioner course in 2005 and MSc in advanced nursing in 2006.


As a prelude to undertaking her PhD Marie undertook a mental health fellowship from 2012-2013 exploring the prevalence of mental health disorders in older people living in care homes. She has particular research interests in the health needs of older people, individuals with severe and enduring mental illness and in enabling children to discuss perceptions of positive mental health through the arts. Marie commenced her PhD in September 2014

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Professor Alice Coffey 
PhD, M.Ed, BA Health Management, RGN, RM, RNT.

Alice Coffey is Professor at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery University of Limerick. She is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland as a general nurse, midwife and nurse tutor. Alice has over 20 years’ experience in clinical nursing practice and 18 years’ experience in higher education.

Professor Coffey’s research interests include national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects that extend over a range of areas such as: transitions in care for older adults; dementia; palliative care; advance care planning; evaluation of health services and programmes and the development of competencies for working with older people in nursing, health and social care professionals. 

She has completed a number of funded projects at national and international level as principle investigator, lead co-investigator and co-applicant with competitive funding secured from a variety of sources e.g. Health Services Executive, Health Research Board and the European Union. She collaborates on interdisciplinary research projects at national level e.g. with the Centre for Gerontology at University College Cork and internationally with Universities in the UK, Europe and USA.

Professor Coffey is a member of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care Palliative Care Research Network Strategic Scientific Committee; and member of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association (AIGNA) management committee; Chair of the governance committee of the Omega Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau (Ireland) and Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS).

She publishes in high impact international journals; is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Older People Nursing and a reviewer for several international journals. 


Deirdre Lang 

Director of Nursing/National Lead Older Persons Services/Clinical & Integrated Programmes, Office of Nursing & Midwifery Services Director 

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

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 role as Director of Nursing Older Persons Services brings together all aspects of her experience to date, together with her passion for the older patient and those who provide their care. Her approach to life is Henry Fords “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t ………you are right” 


Mrs Kavitha Ramalingam 

Mrs Kavitha Ramalingam is an Integrated Community Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Care of Older Persons DSKW. I was awarded in National Clinical Programme for Sepsis for “Sepsis Pathway in The Community” in 2019. ). The Sepsis Pathway is used to prompt early interventions and to prevent inappropriate hospital readmissions. I have focused on integrated model pathways for older people with complex health and social care needs, shifting the delivery of care away from acute hospitals towards community based, planned and coordinated care. I facilitate and support the integration and utilisation of services for older people across the community and acute service (between Dublin South City (DSC), Dublin South West (DSW), Dublin West (DW) and St James Hospital. Total 15 years’ experience in Care of Older Person Service includes (LTC, Respite, Acute medical admission & discharge units in private and public) Of that 3 years+ in the Community as Integrated Case Manager, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner & Registered Nurse Prescriber in Care of Older Person Services between St. James Hospital and Dublin South Kildare Wicklow Area.

I received Bachelor in Nursing in Dr MGR University in India (1999-2003). Medical and Clinical Administration & Professional Client Practice in CMIT (2011-2012) I received Masters in Person Centred Care (Care of Older Persons) in University College Dublin (2014-2016) and Dementia Champion in Dublin City University (2016).

I was an Integrated Case Manager for 2 years before taking up Post Grad Advanced Nurse Practitioner Care of Older Person in Trinity College Dublin (2017-2018).  

Maureen O Donovan  

Evelyne Phelan             

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