Introducing FirstLight’s New CEO Jennifer McCarthy Flynn


We are delighted to announce that Jennifer McCarthy Flynn has been appointed as FirstLight's new Chief Executive Officer.

Jennifer has worked in non-profit organisations in Ireland, Namibia and Canada, and as a senior manager for more than 25 years. This has included the non-clinical management of counselling services in An Cosán, Tallaght, as the manager of the Shanty Education & Training Centre, and as the Executive Director of Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS) in Vancouver, Canada, where services included the delivery of settlement counselling to vulnerable immigrant and refugee women and families.

Jennifer has predominantly worked in community development organisations supporting individuals, families and communities working to end poverty and inequality. These challenges have included the impact of personal and familial tragedy and grief, and Jennifer has had the privilege of working with people through group work, education and training, and direct therapeutic support. Jennifer is an associate member of IAHIP and works voluntarily in the F2 community-based counselling service in Dublin, where she has also completed training in trauma informed practice for organisations.

As Head of Policy at the National Women’s Council (NWC), Jennifer represented NWC on several statutory committees including the National Steering Committee Second National Strategy for Women and Girls and the Dept of Finance Equality Budgeting Expert Advisory Group. Jennifer established and chaired the National Advisory Committee (NAC) on Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Higher Education (ESHTE) working with the Dept. of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science, and supported the development of the Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) established by the National Women’s Council (NWC) and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS).

Jennifer was the NWC spokesperson at the Dept. of Finance Annual National Economic Dialogue and spoke at the Oireachtas Committee hearings including the Budgetary Oversight Committee and the Committee on Gender Equality. Jennifer has had the privilege of presenting at the UN Commission on the Status of Women with the Irish Permanent Mission to the UN twice, in 2019 for NWC on the Introduction of Gender Budgeting and in 2023 for the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV) on Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence.

We are grateful to have Jennifer at the helm as we continue to develop and expand our service to better support suddenly bereaved parents and families who have experienced the death of their child.

  • Dated: Oct 04


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