Averil Power appointed chief executive of Asthma Society

Former Fianna Fáil senator says she was hospitalised several times with condition

 

Former Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power has been appointed chief executive of the Asthma Society.

Ms Power, who has asthma herself, ran unsuccessfully for a Dáil seat in the Dublin Bay North constituency at the general election earlier this year.

Announcing the appointment, the society described Ms Power as a respected advocate and award-winning campaigner with a proven ability to influence public policy and secure social change.

“She also has a strong understanding of the charity sector and a deep personal commitment to the work of the Asthma Society,” said chairman Oliver Carroll.

Ms Power said she was honoured to be joining a “dynamic and committed team” at the society. “As an asthmatic myself, I know how important the society’s work is. I was hospitalised several times as a student due to ineffective management of my condition and the prohibitively high cost of preventative medication.”

“While I now have my asthma under control, I remember how frightening those attacks were and I think it is shocking that over fifty people die every year in Ireland from preventable asthma attacks.”

Ms Power is a former president of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union and was a Fianna Fáil senator between 2011 and 2015. She became an independent senator, citing differences over the handling of the same-sex marriage referendum as her reason for leaving the party.

Other former Fianna Fáil politicians who have gone on to work in the charity sector include Barry Andrews, chief executive of Goal, and Peter Power, executive director of Unicef.