Our Team

Our Voluntary Board of Directors

Eamon McPartlin - Founder, Chair and Director

Eamon’s professional background is in engineering and he has a special interest in accessibility of the built environment. Eamon was diagnosed with motor FND in 2021 and also lives with another neurological condition called Dystonia. He has a passion for advocacy, peer support and research and he says his ‘lived experience’ is the key to advancing this passion.

Eamon gained experience in patient advocacy and peer support through his roles as an advocate with Dystonia Ireland and as a peer support volunteer with a global FND charity. He gained valuable insight of the not for profit sector supporting those with neurological conditions when he was appointed to the board of the Neurology Support Centre in Sligo.

Eamon is an active HSE patient partner at both regional and national level. He is a member of a number of steering groups including the HSE National Neuro-rehabilitation Workstream Groups. Eamon has also contributed to research ‘focus groups’ such as the Neurological Alliance of Ireland report examining the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on access to neurological services in Ireland.

Catherine Cummins - Co-Founder, Secretary and Director

Catherine’s early professional career was in retail management before moving on to study early childhood education. She currently manages a small preschool where she is setting up an after-school service. As Catherine’s preschool is a registered charity, she has also gained valuable experience in the day to day running of a not for profit organisation.

Catherine’s daughter was diagnosed with FND in 2021 at 15 years of age. Her daughter also has Autism and Tourette Syndrome. Catherine met Eamon through her daughter’s advocacy for FND at the BT Young Scientist. Since then both Catherine and her daughter have given presentations on FND to both local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) teams and at the national CAMHS psychologists conference.

Catherine volunteered for a short time with a global FND charity before joining Eamon in setting up this not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting those with FND in Ireland. Catherine wants to use her experience as a parent of a young daughter with FND to reach out to other parents and family members and is passionate in advocating for early intervention to support those living with FND.

Dr. Aoife Laffan - Co-Founder and Director

Dr. Laffan is a Consultant Neurologist at St. James’s Hospital with a primary role in Long Covid Neurology and has been the Clinical Lead for the development of Long Covid Neurological services in Ireland. Dr. Laffan qualified from UCD in 2007. In 2012, she completed her MD thesis on autonomic function in epilepsy. Dr. Laffan completed her specialist training in Ireland and went on to complete two Aspire Fellowships; the first in deep brain stimulation for movement disorders at the Mater Hospital and second, in epilepsy and chronic disease management at St. James’s Hospital.

Dr. Laffan’s specialist interest is in Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and she has spent time with Professor Jon Stone and his team in Edinburgh. She is a founding member of the Functional Neurological Disorder Society, an international group aiming to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with FND. She is the clinical lead for FND in Ireland, working to develop a service which would be the first of its kind in the Country.

Our Voluntary Board of Directors

Gareth Saunders - Digital Media Coordinator

Gareth has a diverse background in multimedia, community healthcare services, and golf psychology. He currently runs his own Digital Media and Photography business, where he collaborates with numerous well-established brands. His extensive multimedia experience includes significant contributions to various not for profit organisations and charities.

Gareth’s journey took a personal turn when he was diagnosed with FND in 2022, leading him to connect with Eamon. Drawing from his own experiences, Gareth envisions FND Ireland as a crucial support network for those living with FND, aiming to provide invaluable assistance and guidance.

Gareth is an integral part of the FND Ireland team and has played a pivotal role in the branding and development of the FND Ireland website and social media platforms.

Our FND Ireland Awareness Ambassadors

Aimee Campbell - Awareness Ambassador

Aimee started her professional career in healthcare where she worked as a healthcare assistant until she became ill herself. She then moved onto childcare before settling into finance as a payroll administrator. She is very active in volunteering and currently volunteers with Louth Civil Defence.

Aimee’s health journey started after turning 18 years old when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. This came as a huge blow to Aimee as up until then she was extremely active as an Irish dancer where she competed at the highest level in the World Championships. Aimee’s health deteriorated further when she was diagnosed with FND in 2017 at 21 years old.

Her FND has impacted her life greatly resulting in many hospital admissions. During an extended hospital stay in 2023 Aimee set a goal for 2024 to raise awareness of FND in Ireland by bravely sharing her own journey with FND. Aimee has been on local and national media highlighting the lack of homecare support available for those living with FND. Aimee is very excited to be part of the FND Ireland team and is passionate about removing the ”stigma’ around FND.