Kildare's All Time Greats: #10 Jonathan Irwin and Mary Ann O'Brien

Founders of the Jack and Jill Foundation

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Kildare's All Time Greats: #10 Jonathan Irwin and Mary Ann O'Brien

Vote Jonathan Irwin and Mary Ann O'Brien for Kildare's All Time Great

Neither were born nor bred in Kildare, but couple Jonathan Irwin and Mary Ann O’Brien, long-term residents in the Lilywhite county, have contributed immeasurably to Kildare life.

The couple founded the Johnstown-based Jack & Jill Foundation in 1997 in memory of their late infant son Jack, who suffered severe brain damage. They were inspired to help other families to cope with nursing gravely-ill young children at home. Today the charity supports 340 children with disabilities and their families across the country.

Waterford woman Mary Ann founded the Newbridge-based Lily O’Brien’s chocolates and served in the Seanad from 2011. Jonathan, born in Worcestershire, is a former bloodstock agent and worked with Goffs.