Elder woman and her caretaker

Network of Women of Irish Heritage

Network of Women of Irish Heritage is a not-for-profit organisation overseen by a voluntary advisory board and the day-to-day operations are handled by Fréa’s Sustainability Lead.

If you would like to find out more about the Network of Women of Irish Heritage, we would be delighted to hear from you.  Please email dorothy.lynch@frea.org.uk for further information/or if you wish to join the network. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Advisory Board Members

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Rachael Loftus

Rachael works as the Head of Regional Health Partnerships at the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.


During the Covid-19 Pandemic she led the Leeds Shielding Support Programme as well as coordinating support for clinically extremely vulnerable people across the West Yorkshire area. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021, she was awarded an MBE for this work.


Rachael’ father is from Mayo and her mother from Co. Roscommon. She grew up in Beeston, Leeds at the heart of the Irish diaspora community and is the Chair of Leeds Irish Health and Homes. 


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Ruth McCarthy

Ruth is an experienced real estate lawyer and co-founder of real estate consultancy, SPI Capital.

Originally from the North of Ireland (County Armagh), she read law at Queen’s University, Belfast before moving to England (Manchester) to complete her studies and later start a training contract with a prominent Manchester law firm.

Ruth has, throughout her career been a keen supporter of Irish business networks; always keen to keep “alive” her strong links to Ireland and her Irish heritage.

Ruth currently lives in South Manchester with her husband, son and step-children.

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Sarah-Louise McCartney

Sarah-Louise is a marketing professional and has worked in the construction and building products industry for over 22 years. She now owns SLMC-Consulting a marketing agency based in Liverpool and the Isle of Man that provides services from strategic consultancy, coaching and guidance to providing companies with a fully outsourced marketing team providing a full range of support across all elements of marketing.
Sarah-Louise was born in Liverpool to parents with strong connections to Ireland, including stories from her mother Kathryn who spent most of her childhood staying with grandparents and aunts in Drogheda. Her father Ian also had strong business connections across Ireland and so the family spent a lot of time in Skerries, Cork, Dublin, and Tralee when Sarah-Louise was young. Now, Sarah-Louise continues to hold Ireland close to her heart and runs the Liverpool Chapter of BITA – The British and Irish Trading Alliance.

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Marilyn Mornington FRSA, FWAAS

For 30 years I have been a Family Judge and have devoted my life to improving the protection of vulnerable women and children in the UK and worldwide.


To this end, I have been involved in various advisory and consultative capacities with the BBC, Ministry of Justice, Foreign Office, Pakistan and UEA Governments, Association of Chief Police Officers, British Council and the Home Office. I am also a Lead Governor of Alder Hey Hospital.


I am a proud new Irish citizen and am passionate about all things Irish. I recently completed a ten week online Irish history course. My Grandfather hailed from Cork and my son married a Cork womanand named my grandson Fionbarra, who I enjoy spending lots of time with along with my other two grandchildren.


Carla Stockton-Jones

Carla is the UK Managing Director at Stagecoach. Carla joined Stagecoach in February 2020 as Regional Director for South, became interim UK Managing Director in May and took on the role on a permanent basis in October 2020. Main priorities are to lead Stagecoach through its recovery and build a sustainable business for the future.


Enthusiastic about building an inclusive culture, developing people and using innovative thinking to grow the business. Passionate about the charity work she is involved in, focusing on driving change and helping to improve the lives of others. Stimulated by the varied and rewarding work she does, giving a real sense of fulfilment.


Carla’s Mum is from Galway and came over to England in the 1950's and trained as a nurse. Carla enjoys a busy home life with 11-year-old son Cody, husband Ryan and Cairn Terrier puppy Jay.

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Aileen Wiswell MBE

I have had a long career in the Civil Service spanning over 41 years working in many roles and in many different departments. I currently work for the Cabinet Office Estates team with the responsibility of move/exit plans across Central London buildings. I received my MBE in October 2010 for my services with a range of Charities. I became  involved in Irish Community Care about 5 years ago in a trustee role as a way of "giving back" . My dad was "sent" to England when he was 17 just with the clothes on his back and I shudder to think how he coped in those early days. Luckily for him he found an Irish landlady that gave him bed and board and through that met my mum. I often think of the uneducated, unsupported 17 year old and wonder how he managed to find work, send money home and keep himself safe. My aim is to ensure that both current and future generations feel supported. Women of Irish Heritage Network is the next step in my journey and I'm delighted to both meet such an amazing group of women and support all of our future endeavours.is a Community Interest Company that brings together three independent, long-established Irish charities in the North of England. Through shared values, experience and mutual respect, this partnership is not only strong, but unique.