Kildare kids charity Jack & Jill appoints new CEO

Carmel Doyle takes over the reins at Johnstown-based children's charity

Leader reporter


Leader reporter


Kildare kids charity Jack & Jill appoints new CEO

Carmel Doyle

Johnstown-based charity The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation has appointed Carmel Doyle as CEO, effective immediately. 

Carmel has worked with Jack & Jill for the past 10 years, initially as communications director, and more recently as Iinterim CEO since June last, replacing Hugo Jellett who stepped down. 

According to the organisation, her appointment follows a comprehensive recruitment process over the last four months that attracted over 70 applicants. 

Jack & Jill provides home nursing care, including end-of-life care, to children under the age of five. It was set up  in 1997 by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Mary Ann O’Brien in memory of their son Jack who they nursed at home for his short life. Today, it supports 340 children across the country.

Carmel started working with Jack & Jill in 2008. She has 30 years’ experience at senior management and board level in communications and business, and has worked with several PR consultancies in Ireland and internationally, including Text 100, Edelman, Keating & Associates and Heneghan PR, as well as running her own business. She specialised in corporate PR and campaigns across a wide range of clients including multinationals and not for profit organisations, winning several awards for her work.  A former researcher with NCB Stockbrokers, she is a marketing graduate and a fellow, lecturer and former President of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.

Donal Kavanagh, Chairman of the Board of Jack & Jill said: “We are delighted to have someone of Carmel’s calibre and experience to lead the charity in our next phase of development and growth towards 2020 and beyond.  We are confident that Carmel has the right skillset tosuccessfully lead the team into another challenging year of delivering the best home nursing care possible for the precious children and families under our wing and to fundraise another €3.8 million to keep the service going.”

Commenting on her new appointment, Carmel said: “I want to thank the Board of Jack & Jill for the opportunity to lead this charity and to build on the solid foundation laid by Jonathan Irwin and Mary Ann O’Brien, our co-founders.  I understand just how much the families we support depend on their Jack & Jill hours and this gives such a strong sense of community, identity and purpose to me and to the charity.  Our key priorities in 2019 are to strive for further expansion of the service, to reinforce the Jack & Jill funding model and to convince the HSE to pay more of the running costs while always demonstrating good governance by showing exactly where the money goes and the difference every donation makes.”