Louise Lovett credited with building a new vision for Longford Women's Link

CEO of Longford Women’s Link retires after almost a decade at helm

Louise Lovett is retiring from her role as CEO of Longford Women’s Link after almost ten years at the helm of the organisation.

Named as Image Magazine’s Social Entrepreneur Business Woman of the Year 2017, Louise joined Longford Women’s Link (LWL) as Head of Operations in 2008 before becoming CEO in 2011.

Prior to making the move to the Community & Voluntary sector, Ms Lovett gained extensive management experience working in the corporate sector for 27 years.

The Board of Longford Women’s Link announced the news of Ms Lovett’s retirement on Thursday morning last and they made a presentation to her in recognition of her enormous contribution to LWL.

During her time with LWL, Louise played a transformative role while staying true to the vision that underpins Longford Women’s Link.

Louise has driven a strategy that has enabled LWL to diversify and develop its services to enable the organisation to cater for women from all walks of life, with a variety of needs, throughout the county.

Her vision, drive and determination has ensured that LWL is now recognised as a leader within the sector in terms of delivery of community education, the provision of domestic violence services, support for female entrepreneurs and key support pillars to promote the participation of women in public life.

As a representative for critical issues impacting women and their families locally, Louise has been a member of the Longford LCDC as well as Chairperson of Longford County Childcare Committee.

At a national level, Louise was elected as Chairperson of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) in June 2020.

Following her election, Ms Lovett outlined, “As we face uncertain times with a new Government and the response we make to Covid-19, we must ensure that women’s voices and experiences are at the centre of the debates on women’s health, the gender pay gap, direct provision, violence against women, recognition for women’s care roles, women and leadership.”

Paying tribute, Sheila Reilly, Chairperson of the Board of LWL, remarked, “Louise has been a dedicated and passionate advocate for Longford Women’s Link who built a new vision for LWL on the foundations laid by our founders Tess Murphy, Elsie Moxham and Mary O’Hara (RIP) 25 years ago.”

Ms Reilly added, “On behalf of the board, I want to thank her for her immense contribution to LWL and wish her all the best in the future.”

LWL is a local rural NGO and dynamic social enterprise based in Longford town and it has been providing services to women and children in Longford/Midlands for the past 25 years. LWL has a long track record on issues such as childcare and violence against women, and were among the first community based women’s centres in Ireland.

Louise Lovett said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the helm of LWL, supporting women in crisis, developing opportunities for women to achieve economic independence, working to progress women’s equality and influencing policy development at local, regional and national level.”

She added, “I am grateful to LWL’s board for the opportunity to work in this sector and also want to say a huge thank you to the amazing supportive and loyal LWL team without whom none of the achievements of my tenure would have been possible. I can happily retire knowing the organisation is in the safe hands of the incoming CEO, Tara Farrell.”

Tara Farrell has been the Deputy CEO at LWL since 2011 and she takes up the role of CEO this month.

Tara is also the National Chairperson of AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation which advocates for the right of all adults in Ireland to quality learning throughout their lives, and to promote the value and benefits of lifelong learning.

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