Board Members


The Children’s Rights Alliance is governed by a voluntary board of directors mostly elected from the membership. Our current Board members are:

Tom Costello (Co-opted) - Chairperson

Tom Costello holds a number of voluntary positions in the not-for -profit and state sectors. He serves as Chair of The Children’s Rights Alliance, is a Board member of the Charities Regulatory Authority Board, and serves as a Ministerial nominee to the National Advisory Council for Children and Young People. In a career with The Atlantic Philanthropies over a period of 14 years up to December 2014,Tom led investments in programmes for Children, Older People, Education and Community Development.  Prior roles included stints in teaching and consulting in Management and Leadership at the Irish Management Institute (1997-2000), and as a senior manager with FAS in the 1990's. Tom's early career was in the voluntary sector where he held national leadership positions in youth and student organisations

Maureen Dillon (Nominating Organisation: Irish Girl Guides)

Maureen works on a weekly basis as a volunteer in her local Irish Girl Guides unit in Kells Co. Meath. She has held numerous positions within the Irish Girl Guides including President, assistant Chief, Board Chairman of the Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan region and Chairman of Programme and Training.


Marie Cumiskey (Nominating Organisation: Institute of Guidance Counsellors)

Qualified through DCU as a Guidance Counsellor, presently working in this capacity with Presentation College, Carlow, while also serving as the National Executive representative for the Kilkenny/Carlow Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Previous to this I was the Education Officer for Young Social Innovators, with responsibility for the design and delivery of their whole community approach to Social Innovation. My role involved training young people and educators throughout Ireland on how to develop their social innovation projects in a wide variety of settings. I am also a qualified Art & Design Teacher and work voluntarily as a Psychotherapist in a Family Resource Centre in County Carlow.

Mark O'Connor (Nominating Organisation: Inclusion Ireland)

Mark works as Community Engagement Manager for Inclusion Ireland the National Association for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Here he has responsibility for advocacy and public engagement in Inclusion Ireland. Mark has worked across a number of policy campaigns to influence policy and legislative development on children’s rights such as access to speech therapy, educational supports, access to education, poverty and access to mental health services. 

Tom Maher (Nominating Organisation: St Patrick’s Mental Health Service)

Tom Maher is currently employed as the Director of Services at St. Patrick's Mental Health Service. The service comprises a mental health service that includes 3 Approved Centres, a network of community mental health clinics and a Wellness and Recovery Centre. The role includes responsibility for the clinical governance, quality and efficient delivery of all services. These services are delivered by approximately 300 clinicians including social work, nursing, medicine, clinical psychology, occupational therapy and the associated administrative staff necessary for such delivery. The services in SPMHS are provided by multi-disciplinary teams and a range of care programmes (including Anxiety Programme, Eating Disorder Programme, Depression Recovery Programme, Bipolar Affective Disorder Programme, Young Adult Programme, Addictions Programme, Dual Diagnosis Programme, Mental Health Care of Later Life, Psychosis Recovery Programme, Living through Distress and Radical Openness Programmes, Wellness and Recovery Action Planning(WRAP) Programme). Prior to this post he worked for 24 years as a nurse in a variety of clinical, administrative and educative roles.

Katie Mannion (Nominating Organisation: Immigrant Council of Ireland)

Katie Mannion is a practising solicitor with the Immigrant Council of Ireland who has experience of advocating and campaigning for the rights of children. She has a particular interest in representing children experiencing a vulnerable time in their lives and is currently conducting research on the experience of child migration in Ireland. Previously, Katie was Legal Research and Policy Manager at ‘Campaign for Children’, a civil society campaign to promote a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum on children’s rights. She held the position of Human Rights Officer on the Mental Health team at Amnesty International Ireland, which then coordinated the Children’s Mental Health Coalition. She holds a Masters in International Human Rights Law where her thesis focused on the protection measures required to prevent separated children from becoming missing children. Katie has also contributed to a legal text-book on “Migrant children, child refugees and asylum-seekers, separated children and trafficked children”.

Tess Noonan (Nominating OrganisationIrish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)

Tess Noonan is the Quality Assurance Manager of the ISPCC having previously held the position of Regional Manager. Tess has an MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and a BA in Community Healthcare.  Tess also holds nursing qualifications in the areas of Paediatrics and Health Visiting and has extensive experience of the voluntary and community sector, policy development and systems improvement both here and in the UK.  Tess was the Irish representative on Euronet, a European network of Children’s Rights organisations from 2002-2008.

Pablo Rojas Coppari (Co-Opted)

Pablo Rojas Coppari is the Policy & Research Officer of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI). He has over 10 years working in the field of human rights, particularly in immigration and asylum policy. Prior to joining the MRCI, he undertook research and casework for former unaccompanied minors seeking asylum with the Dutch Refugee Council, and worked on research projects on Language and Cultural Issues of Ethnic Minorities across Europe for the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany. He has been awarded an Irish Research Council scholarship to conduct doctoral research in the areas of labour market policy and economic integration of migrants and is affiliated with the Department of Sociology in Maynooth University. He sits in the Board of Directors of Cairde - a national health advocacy organisation for ethnic minorities in Ireland, is an elected member of the Advisory Panel to the Director of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, an elected member of the Bureau of European Migration Forum at the European Economic and Social Committee and chairs the Working Group on Labour Rights for the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants.

June Tinsley (Nominating Organisation: Barnardos)

June joined Barnardos in 2005 and now has over 15 years working in policy, lobbying and campaigns all aimed at influencing change in national policies, legislation and practice. She has responsibility for Advocacy and Supporter Engagement leading the implementation of policy development and advocacy campaigns designed to improve the outcomes for children. She has worked across a range of campaigns spanning themes of poverty, school costs, health and child protection using different tools and strategies to achieve core objectives. She is a current Board member of Treoir. She holds a Masters in Social Policy.


Staff members