The Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) is a national charity with a mission to support people with skin conditions. We operate a Helpline, provide up-to-date specialist guidance, run events, awareness campaigns and engage in advocacy for people with skin conditions.
The ISF was established by the City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Charity (CDSCHC) following the sale of the voluntary hospital on Hume Street, which had provided care and treatment to people with skin disease for almost a century from 1911-2006.
We were formed in 2011 by merging the Psoriasis Association of Ireland, the Irish Eczema Society and the Melanoma & Skin Cancer Society (the prevention of skin cancer caused by natural and artificial UV radiation is the particular emphasis of the ISF’s work in the area of skin cancer). We now represent and support people with every form of skin disease in Ireland. At least one third of the population is affected by a skin condition and between 15-20% of GP consultations specifically relate to the skin.
We are supported from several sources, which include individual donors, the CDSCHC, Foundation Partners, Helpline Sponsors, fundraising and small donations.
We work with people in the dermatology community (people with skin conditions, GPs, nurses, physicians and healthcare providers) to produce accessible health promotion and awareness materials. Our aim is to empower people with skin conditions, support timely diagnosis and treatment, and promote public awareness. The also ISF represents people with skin conditions and advocates on their behalf.
Charity Regulatory Authority number 20078706
Chairperson: Marina O’Kane
Dr. Marina O’Kane is a consultant dermatologist at Beaumont Hospital and Connolly Hospital, Dublin. Her areas of interest are severe psoriasis and dermatological surgery. She held positions as president and secretary of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Dermatology Section and is a member of the HSE Dermatology Clinical Care Programme Advisory Group and HSE National Psoriasis Care Pathway Group.
Caroline Irwin, who herself suffers from psoriasis, founded the Psoriasis Association of Ireland after moving home and realising the urgent need for reliable information and practical support for people living with the condition in Ireland. Caroline has worked for two decades to advocate for people with psoriasis, to create greater awareness of the challenges people with psoriasis can face and bring people together for mutual support. Caroline is from Kilkenny and works as a carer with the Irish Wheelchair Association.
Matthew O’Brien is a civil engineer whose working life was largely spent in both the UK and Ireland on the design and supervision of capital schemes in the public health area, and on the management of associated services. He joined the City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Board in 1999 and was Chairman during the closure and sale of the hospital.
Patron: Fergus Slattery
Fergus Slattery is a former rugby union player who in representing Ireland earned 61 caps, 18 as Captain. He was a member of the Lions squad in 1971, again in 1974, and was Captain of the most successful Irish touring side ever in 1979. He was a member of the Irish Triple Crown-winning team in 1982. He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007. Fergus is now Managing Director of Fergus Slattery Property Investments.
Consultant dermatologist and Moh’s Micrographic Surgeon Dr Rupert Barry is based in St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.
Dr Anne-Marie Tobin is a consultant dermatologist at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Dr Tobin is dual qualified in Pharmacy and Medicine from TCD and holds a PhD in Translational Medicine from University College Dublin.
Her clinical interests are inflammatory skin disease: psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, eczema and skin cancer. Her research interests are in innate immunology in inflammatory skin disease and clinical trials. Dr Tobin joined the board in 2017.
Michael Foley MPSI is a community pharmacist. He qualified in 1977 and owns Foley’s Pharmacy in Dublin’s Parnell Street, a family owned and independent business. Since its establishment in 1909 Foley’s Pharmacy has been renowned throughout the city for its work in caring for people with skin problems.
Professor Brian Kirby is a consultant dermatologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. He is a noted expert in psoriasis and joined the board in 2015.
Dr Rosemarie Watson MD, FRCPI, is a graduate of University College Dublin. She trained in dermatology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution Baltimore USA where she was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor of Dermatology. She was appointed consultant in dermatology in Ireland in 1992 to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) and St James’s Hospital Dublin. She is a past President of the Irish Association of Dermatology and is Director of the National Epidermolysis Bullosa Service for children at OLCHC. Her other special interest areas are connective tissue disease, and vascular tumours and malformations.
Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh
Dr. Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh is the Principal Clinical Psychologist at Beaumont Hospital.
Sheila works in the University Hospital Limerick as an advanced nurse practitioner in Dermatology. She has 25 years experience in dermatology practice in both the UK and Ireland. She has acted as dermatology nurse advisor to the National Clinical and National Skin Cancer Control Programmes. She has held senior executive roles in the Irish Dermatology Nurse’s Association and the British Dermatology Nursing Group (BDNG). Currently she is Treasurer of the Irish Dermatology Nurses Association and Secretary of the International Skin Care Nursing Group. She is winner of the 2017 BDNG’s Stone Award for her contribution to Dermatology Nursing. She has published articles on Psoriasis, Acne, Emollients, Cryotherapy and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.
Padraig O’Cearbhaill is Deputy Chairman of the City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Charity and a Member of the Institute Of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. In practice as auditor and accountant for the past 34 years he previously worked in haulage and building industries. He is Chairman of Credit Union Advisory Committee – a statutory body that advises the Minister of Finance on all matters relating to Credit Unions. He is treasurer of the Blackrock Credit Union.
Dr Catherine Wilkinson graduated from NUI Galway in 2005. During her 2 year BST in General Internal Medicine, she worked as a Dermatology SHO for 6 months at UCHG. Following completion of her MRCPI examinations, she commenced the Ballinalsoe Specialist Training Scheme in General Practice. During this time period, she completed a Diploma in Dermatology and subsequently a Certificate in Dermoscopy through Cardiff University. Since 2013, Dr Wilkinson has worked as a part-time Clinical Assistant in Dermatology with Dr Maureen Connolly and Dr Anne-Marie Tobin at Tallaght Hospital. Since 2015, she has been based as a GP between Tallaght Cross and Jobstown.
Conor Sparks is the Board’s legal representative and Managing Partner of Gerrard L McGowan Solicitors in North Dublin. He is experienced in all areas of litigation, also practising in the area of Wills and Estate Planning, taxation and dispute resolution. He is a member of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, a Commissioner for Oaths and a Notary Public.