We have approximately 50 staff at Saoirse across all our services including Refuge and Helpline Support, Outreach, Court Accompaniment and Childcare.
All staff are qualified in disciplines from Social Care to Psychotherapy, thus providing a high quality support service to every person who contacts us.
The refuge is staffed 24 hours a day / 365 days a year, so there is always somebody here or at the end of the phone line to listen.
Allison Graham, CEO
Allison Graham is Chief Executive Officer of Saoirse Women’s Refuge services. She led the development and growth of Saoirse since its inception in 2006 to its extensive expansion in 2019. She served as Refuge Manager from 2006 and was promoted to CEO in 2019. She previously worked with Aoibhneas Women’s and Children’s Refuge in North Dublin and established their first outreach service before being promoted to Refuge Manager.
Allison has served on a number of Voluntary sector boards including as Chair and Director of the Tallaght Childcare Centre and was a member of the Tallaght Homeless Advice Unit Board before it became part of Focus Ireland. She also served on Steering committees with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Tusla’s Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence department.
As well as her board experience Allison has extensive management, HR, policy writing and implementation, company mergers, strategic planning, budgets and charity reporting experience.
She was awarded a Postgraduate H.Dip in Counselling from UCC and is a qualified and accredited Counsellor with the Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (IACP) since 2011.
Allison holds a BA Hons degree in Sociology and Psychology from University College Cork, and a Postgraduate H.Dip in Business and Management from UCD Michael Smurfit College.
Trish Cole, Refuges Manager
Trish Cole joined Saoirse in 2006. She is the Manager of the two Women’s Refuges and is a member of the Senior Management team.
Prior to her current position Trish was Assistant Refuge Manager from 2007. She worked closely with Allison Graham and was part of the planning and the implementation of the development of Saoirse’s expansion from one to two Refuges and the extension of the Outreach Services.
In 2017 in collaboration with South Dublin County Council she found a second building for the new refuge. She negotiated the purchase of the new building with South Dublin County Council through their CAS Scheme. She was appointed Project Manager and oversaw the work from the sourcing, purchasing and the completion of the new Refuge which was officially opened by the then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone in December 2019.
Trish now manages the 3 Assistant Managers and their teams and works closely with the CEO and the Outreach Manager to deliver an excellent service to the women and children seeking refuge from domestic violent situations.
Trish holds a BA degree in Social Care from Dublin Institute of Technology.
Nadine O’Brien, Outreach and Prevention Manager
Nadine O’Brien joined Saoirse in October 2019 as Outreach and Prevention Manager and is a member of the Senior Management Team.
Having worked in the Domestic Sexual and Gender Based Violence (DSGBV) sector for many years Nadine now manages the Outreach Staff team at Saoirse and oversees the delivery of a community based Domestic Abuse Service covering the South to Mid-West Dublin and West Wicklow areas. The Outreach and Prevention team offer support to the victims of Domestic Violence in the community by delivering awareness raising and education programmes, court accompaniment and school talks.
Nadine has a strong belief in advocating for gender equality and empowering women. She is passionate about her work in the DSGBV sector and has a special interest in the whole area of parenting.
Nadine has a Diploma in Community Development and Youth Studies, a BA in Social Studies and an MA in Human Rights and Social Policy from Maynooth University.
Paula Garry, Assistant Manager of Childcare Services
Paula was promoted to Assistant Manager of Childcare Services in Saoirse in 2020 and is a member of the managers’ team.
She began her career as a childcare worker with Saoirse’s Women’s Refuge in 2006 She now manages the childcare services in both refuges. She played a big part in developing the Child Protection policy for Saoirse.
Paula has worked in childcare for over 20 years. Prior to coming to Saoirse she worked in the Homeless services. She is passionate about children’s rights and giving children a voice within Saoirse’s services. She has a keen interest in child development and with her team strives to ensure that vulnerable children are protected and encouraged to reach their full potential.
Paula also holds the role of Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in Saoirse overseeing the safeguarding of both children and adult clients and ensuring that there is a high level of child protection and awareness throughout the organisation.
Paula holds a degree in Early Childhood Care and Education and has a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She also has a certificate in therapeutic play skills.
Orla Greaney, Refuge Assistant Manager
Orla Greaney joined Saoirse Women’s Refuge in July 2012 as an Outreach Worker and later as a Key Worker. She has extensive experience in the Domestic Abuse sector, having worked in the area for over 8 years. Prior to joining Saoirse, Orla worked in the Probation and Addiction Services.
Orla has a special interest in fundraising and her achievements to date include organising events such as Strictly Comes Dancing in 2015 and the Homeless Sleep Out in 2018, along with coordinating the 16 Days of Action in November every year.
Orla established the South Dublin County Council Homeless Clinic that provides an essential service for Saoirse’s clients.
Orla started developing relationships within the community as an Outreach Worker and continued to do so over the years. Orla was the Acting Assistant Manager for Saoirse Women’s Refuge from 2017 until 2019, when she took up a full time position as Assistant Manager for Tallaght Refuge.
Orla has a Higher Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy from the IICP and a BA Degree in Social Care from Tallaght IT. Orla is also a trained facilitator delivering DSGBV training with Tulsa.
Lesley Hill, Refuge Assistant Manager
Lesley Hill joined Saoirse in January 2020 in the role of Assistant Manager at the Rathcoole Refuge. This role involved the start-up and development of this new residential service in County Dublin.
Lesley has over twenty years’ experience in the Community & Voluntary Sector, with ten of these years at management level. Lesley’s background is in Community Development and Social Care. Prior to joining Saoirse, Lesley managed a range of residential homeless services in Dublin City.
Lesley is deeply passionate about social justice, human rights & equality issues and has a significant track record in effectively supporting marginalised individuals & ‘hard to reach’ groups in a range of settings including residential & day services.
Lesley is a passionate advocate for Families and Childbirth and has recently trained as a Doula enabling her to offer critical support to marginalised families at this time in their lives.
Lesley is educated to Master’s Degree Level, MA (Hons) Peace & Development Studies, and has complemented her third level education with a range of vocational training and professional development courses, specializing in Combatting Sexual & Gender-Based Violence.
Ade Ogundipre, Financial Controller
Ade Ogundipe is Saoirse’s Financial Controller. He joined the Saoirse team organisation in 2017.
Ade is a fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants and has extensive experience having worked in various organisations.
Ade is responsible for the day to day accounting and financial management of the organisation ensuring all donations and grants are utilized to the full benefits of our stakeholders. Ade is also responsible for financial compliance with various regulatory authorities and attends the board meetings to give financial reports.