Ann - President

Elaine Martyn – - Secretary/email moderator

Mary - Education

Lorraine - Treasurer

Caroline - Public Relations

TBC – Website,  IT & Social media moderator

TBC - Newsletter

Darragh - Ordinary Member

The work of the committee falls under the following categories:
(Please note the members of the committee do so in a voluntary capacity, for which is greatly appreciated by all members)

  1. Manages the affairs of the OHNAI.

  2. Strives to meet the objectives of the Association.

  3. Keeps abreast of the latest developments in Occupational Health.

  4. Gives people the opportunity to practice their public relations, people management and organisational skills as well as contributing to personal development.

Election to the Committee

Committee work is challenging and rewarding. Any two ordinary members of the OHNAI may nominate any eligible member of the Association for election to the committee or to any office. This nomination must be made in writing two weeks before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and together with the nominees consent. The votes shall then be counted at the AGM of the Association.



The first nurse on record to be officially employed by industry in Ireland was appointed to Guinness in 1904. Some records mention the employment of a nurse in a company called Goodbodies, Co Offaly in the 1800’s.


Nurse Gwendoline Barrington was appointed to Jacobs Biscuit factory in 1911. The ‘industry nurse’ as she was called then, cared for the general health of the workers as well as for those injured at work; it was very much a curative role.


In 1952 the Occupational Health Nurses Association of Ireland (OHNAI) was founded by a group of nurses working in industry, mainly in the Dublin area. At that time there was no specific training for industrial nursing.


Meetings took place with the Minister for Health leading to Nurse Mary O’Callaghan being awarded a World Health Fellowship to study and observe the role and duties of nurses in industries in England and Holland from the 5th – 28th April 1961. In October 1961 the OHNAI, in collaboration with the Department of Health and An Bord Altranais, organised the first course, which was delivered over a two-week period by Mary (course leader). The lectures were delivered by An Bord Altranais, Nurses and Doctors working in industry, hospital doctors, an engineer from the ESB, a medical inspector from the Department of Health, a personnel manage and two priests – one lecturing on Industrial Psychology and Human Relations, and the other on Employees at Work. There were three afternoon site visits arranged as part of the course. Mary compiled and transcribed the lectures into book format following the course.


Following representations from the OHNAI in 1984, An Bord Altranais set up a certificate course for Occupational Health (OH) Nursing. Participants on this course received a certificate in OH Nursing from An Bord Altranais.


This course continued up until 1989, after which An Bord Altranais joined with University College Dublin (UCD) to run the Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work. Nurses who had undertaken the course sat a separate exam for which they were awarded a Diploma in OH Nursing. This course lasted for one year after which An Bord Altranais discontinued their involvement and UCD continued the course themselves.UCD now run a Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at work. Presently there are several courses being run at University level, the Multidisciplinary Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work run by UCD, UCC, WIT & UL, a Higher Diploma in Applied Science – Occupational Health and Hygiene run by The National University of Ireland, Galway. In addition there is also a Grad.Dip/MBS in Safety and Health at Work in DCU. All of these courses are recognised by An Bord Altranais as a relevant course for OH nursing in Ireland. There has been discussions between the OHNAI and the Faculty of Nursing in UCD to set up a postgraduate diploma in OH Nursing in the past, but unfortunately this appears to be on the hold at this present time. The OHNAI have also pursued the role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) for OH nursing, for which the first position in Ireland has recently been appointed. Today there are well over 200 Occupational Health Nurses throughout the country, working in a variety of settings, industrial and healthcare: both private and public sector. This number also includes those who have retired (honorary members).

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Bernadette Lavelle and Joan McNamara for this invaluable information


Title: The title of the Association shall be ‘Occupational Health Nurses Association of Ireland’. (of Ireland to be used in headed paper etc.)

Object: To form a group of Nurses engaged in the practice of Occupational Health or any of its branches for the purposes of keeping in touch with the latest developments in Occupational Health, social intercourse and mutual help. These objects shall be attained through meetings, conferences, newsletters and other correspondences.

The Officers of the Association: The Officers of the Association shall be ordinary Members and shall consist of the following: The President, Past President, The Honorary Secretary, The Honorary Treasurer & The PRO (PRO being separate to secretary). The tenure of the President, The Honorary Secretary & The Honorary Treasurer on the Committee shall not be more that two consecutive years at a time. The Past President’s tenure on the Committee is for one year only, and then Vice President for one year. The President or his/her deputy shall in all matters have a casting vote.

Honorary Membership of Officers: Honorary Membership may be bestowed on any person at the discretion of the committee. Retired members are automatically eligible for honorary membership.

The Committee: The affairs of the Association shall be managed by a Committee which shall consist of the officers of the Association together with three Ordinary Members. Four members shall form a quorum of the Committee. The President may co-opt any Member of the Association to the Committee. Members so co-opted shall have no vote on the Committee. The Committee shall hold not less than four meetings in each year of office. The continuing Members of the Committee may act notwithstanding any vacancy in their body.

Casual Vacancies: The Committee may fill any casual vacancy occurring in the office of Officers or of the Committee but any Member so appointed shall retain his office as long only as the vacating Member in whose place he is appointed would have retained same if no vacancy had occurred. Members so appointed will be eligible to go forward for election at the next Annual General Meeting.

Election of Officers: Any two ordinary members may nominate any eligible Member of the Association for election to any office or to the Committee for the Annual General Meeting, provided that such nomination shall be in writing to the Honorary Secretary before the Annual General Meeting together with the nominees consent. The votes shall be counted at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

Membership: Duly registered trained Nurses actively engaged in the practice of Occupational Health shall be eligible for membership. Nurses who are undertaking a recognized Occupational Health Nursing course or who have completed same shall be eligible for membership. A subsection of the Association may be established as required to meet the needs of the regional members. These sections must work within the realms of the constitution and inform the main committee of their undertakings

Application for Membership: Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary. Acceptance for membership shall rest with the Committee. Election of Honorary Membership shall rest with the Association at a General Meeting of the Association, provided that names for election to such Honorary Membership shall only be submitted with the approval of the Committee.

Annual Subscription: At the Annual General Meeting of the Association, the amount of the Annual Subscription for the ensuing year should be decided by resolution of the Members. Annual Subscriptions shall be payable to the OHNAI each year.

Lapse of Membership: If the Annual Subscription due from any Member is not paid by March 1st a final notice calling for payment shall be sent to such Member by the Honorary Secretary and if the outstanding sum is not received within 14 days of posting such a notice, such Member shall automatically cease to be a Member of the Association.

Continuity of Membership: All Ordinary Members shall, within 3 months, notify the Honorary Secretary of any change in their status as defined in the Membership Rule above. Should the practice of an Ordinary Member change in such a way that he/she is no longer eligible to continue as an Ordinary Member under the Membership Rule above, such a Member shall resign Ordinary Membership. The Committee shall have power to investigate this Rule and take action if deemed necessary.

General Meetings: The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall ordinarily be held at the end of each year, but can be deferred for 3 months where necessary. At that meeting the Committee shall present a report of proceedings since the previous Annual General Meeting of the Association. Officers of the Association and Members of the Committee shall be elected. The Committee shall present a duly audited Statement of accounts. Membership of candidates shall be submitted for confirmation.

The Committee may from time to time appoint for such purposes as are thought fit sub-committees. The decision(s) of a sub-committee shall require the sanction of the Committee before becoming binding on the Association. The notice conveying the Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be circulation not less than seven days before the Meeting, together with the names nominated for election at the Annual General Meeting. A quorum at the General Meeting shall be 10 – 20 Members to vote.

On the direction of the Committee or on the request of not less than five Ordinary members of the Association, the Honorary Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association of which not less than fourteen days notice specifying the business to be transacted shall be given.

Change of Constitution:  This Constitution may be altered or rescinded by the Association in General Meeting provided, however that no motion for altering or rescinding the Constitution shall be proposed at any General Meeting unless the Committee for the Association shall first have approved of same. Notice of such a motion, if approved by the Committee, specifying the proposed alterations, shall be circulated with the notice convening the General Meeting of the Association.