To make Ireland the best country in the world to live gluten free
Supporting, empowering, educating and inspiring those living a gluten free life every day
There are an estimated 50,000 people living with coeliac disease in Ireland, and a further 400,000 who are gluten intolerant. The Coeliac Society of Ireland is determined to make sure that every one of them has the support and help they need to make living with their condition as easy and as normal as is possible. We empower the entire coeliac and gluten intolerant community by providing them with information, advice and practical solutions as they navigate a gluten-free lifestyle.
The Coeliac Society also represents your interests by advocating to government health agencies for improved resources and services, so that you and your families can access the care that you need. Together we can make Ireland the best country in the world to live gluten free.
Who We Are
Founded in 1970, the Coeliac Society of Ireland is a national charity representing the 1% of the population (and their families) who live with coeliac disease, and the estimated additional 400,000 gluten intolerant sufferers living in Ireland today.
The Coeliac Society of Ireland is a registered charity CHY7484 and Registered Charity Number 20016548. It is the national charity supporting people affected by coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.
Karen is former Marketing Director at EY Ireland, one of the global Big Four professional services firms. As a strategic leader within EY, Karen’s role focused on delivering a robust marketing strategy and plan to support the firm’s revenue targets and build its brand reputation. During her 14-year tenure with EY, Karen. She established a number of new initiatives, evolved the firm’s digital marketing strategy and led the brand refresh of Ernst & Young to EY in Ireland.
Earlier in her career, Karen worked at University College Dublin in marketing and research. In addition, she was a Business Partner with Jen Doherty Bridal Designer which resulted in winning the award for Irish Bridal Designer of the Year in 2006. Recently, Karen has been a guest speaker on the Masters of Advertising course at TU Dublin. She is Company Secretary and Board Director of Ballet Ireland. Karen was a former Committee member of the PM Forum Ireland. She is a graduate of University College Dublin and holds a Masters degree in Media Studies from University of Ulster.
TU Dublin Bakery Programme Chair
Darren is the current chair of the Food Advisory & Research sub-committee of the Coeliac Society’s board. He currently leads the Bakery Programme in the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology in TU Dublin. For the last 25 years, Darren has worked with expert bakers and award winning chefs in both a production and a food service environment. He has also worked in small and medium scale manufacturers as well as being the R&D lead on a state of the art €180 million production site. He is fully qualified chef and baker, and has a masters in culinary innovation and food product development.
Mattie O' Grady
Services Manager at Bidvest Noonan
Mattie is an experienced operational and commercial manager with a demonstrated history of working in the real estate industry, food, and retail sectors across Ireland. He has a strong growth business development ethic and is passionate about member and customer services and their experiences with the Coeliac Society. Skilled in negotiation, market and business Planning and Operations Management, he chairs the Coeliac Society’s Membership sub-committee, where he advises both the board and the executive on best-practices and change management in relation to delivering best-in-class services for our members
Dr. Eimear Gallagher
Head of Food Quality & Sensory Science, Teagasc
Eimear is currently head of the Food Quality and Sensory Science department of the Teagasc Food Research Programme. Her expertise lies predominantly in cereal science and ingredient/bakery research. She has extensive experience in modulating ingredient interactions, empirical and fundamental rheology, confocal and scanning microscopy, digital and immersive structural imaging and sensory science. She has developed a particular capability in the gluten-free area, where she has conducted research in product reengineering, instrumental texture profiling and composition optimisation. She is also the coordinator of Sensory Food Network Ireland, a national network of excellence in sensory food science. As well as conducting publicly funded research, Eimear also has a number of confidential, industry-led short-term projects. Eimear is excited to bring her passion for gluten-free food development and her wealth of food production knowledge to the Society and its members.
Client Services Director, Computershare Ireland
Nigel has more than 30 years’ industry experience underpinning his current role as Client Services Director for ComputerShare Ireland. Nigel is actively involved within the industry and is a Council member if the Irish ProShare Association. Nigel is passionate about his corporate clients and wants to transfer this passion to assisting the Board and executive in the Coeliac Society to delivering the very best services for our members and staff. Driven by excellence in all element of customer service all under-pinned by an firm understanding of corporate governance, Nigel is a strong team player focused on organisational growth and development
Dr. Bill O' Leary
Snr Manager Digital Johnson & Johnson
Bill is a true leader of people with a proven ability to deliver. He currently drives the optimisation of operations with a real strategic nous, expertise in Operational Excellence, people /project management, finance and often complex stakeholder engagement across cultures. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from UCC and an MBA from the University of Warwick Business School. He is currently the Chairman of Cobh Ramblers Football Club, based in Cobh, Co. Cork. Bill is focused on growth, excellence and taking all opportunities that come, and he brings this vast array of talent and skills to the Coeliac Society with enthusiasm and passion.
Head of Independent Distribution, Irish Life
Eunice Dreelan is Head of Intermediary Business for the Irish Life Group. Prior to this she has been Director of Strategy & Change at Irish Life Financial Services and Director of Investment Development at Irish Life Investment Managers. Prior to joining Irish Life Eunice worked with Goodbody Stockbrokers, Invesco and AON Consulting. In 1990 Eunice joined Irish Life International as Business Development Manager in the South African office and then as Head of European Sales and Marketing. She holds an MSc in Management Practice and Change Management from UCC, an Executive Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Smurfit School of Business and an Executive Diploma in Behavioural Economics from the London School of Economics. Her corporate governance and change management skills honed and strengthened over her years in financial services led her to chair the Irish Association of Pension Funds from 2019-2021. She is keen to bring her skillset now to the charity sector and help with the future growth and development of the Coeliac Society of Ireland.
Senior Executive Team
Financial Statements & Annual Reports
* All Financial Statements Are Available From The Charities Regulator Website.
Services Provided To Members
The following provides an overview of services provided by the Coeliac Society of Ireland for our members and service providers. This list is always changing as we find more solutions to help you live gluten free.
- Online and phone support for members and all those who benefit from a gluten free diet for medical reasons and have an interest in coeliac disease.
- Provide a link between members and manufacturers of gluten free products.
- Work closely with the food industry to improve existing and provide new gluten free products on the Irish market and distribution to food stores.
- Advice for new companies introducing gluten free products into the Irish market in areas of sourcing of ingredients, labelling, cross contamination issues, product testing, etc.
- Catering & Foodservice Manual to assist those working in the catering and hospitality industries with catering for gluten-free diets.
- Events at national and branch level, including cookery demonstrations, presentations by medical experts and Food Fairs.
- Annual Food List booklet of gluten free products.
- Coeliac Handbook – general medical information on Coeliac disease and other related conditions
- News and information through coeliac.ie plus a monthly ‘Coeliac News Online’ email
- Publish tried and tested recipes and information on suitable non-contaminated natural flours for gluten free cooking.
- An online training programme for the catering industry, detailing steps required to provide safe gluten free meals.
- Publish travel information including Eating Out language cards and information about a gluten free diet and availability of products in other countries.
Why Was The Coeliac Society Set Up?
For most of the 20th Century, there was no support or recognition of coeliac disease or gluten intolerance in Ireland – no one knew that at around 1% of the population was suffering from this lifelong incurable autoimmune condition. A group of coeliac sufferers and other volunteers sought to address this shortcoming and, in 1970, they founded the Coeliac Society with one person with a phone in a Dublin. The Society has grown since then to become an organisation with thousands of members, which represents sufferers throughout Ireland and collaborates with peer coeliac organisations around the world.
The Coeliac Society has developed best-in-class educational programmes and services to ensure that people suffering from coeliac disease and gluten intolerance can access the services and support they need. Our full-time staff are available to provide advice and support online or over the phone.
We are a national organisation representing all coeliacs and gluten intolerant people in Ireland. We are also a European organisation which, as part of the Association of European Coeliac Societies, works towards Europea-wide legislation and research. We are everywhere!