The selection process was led by Bishop William Crean, Chair of the Board of Trócaire. Commenting today after de Barra’s appointment was confirmed, he said the selection panel was delighted to appoint a person of such talent. Bishop Crean said:
“We were delighted to offer this position to Caoimhe. Over the course of her career with Trócaire she has proven herself to be a strong leader and an enormous asset to the organisation. We had a number of very strong candidates and it was a difficult decision in the end but we are confident that Caoimhe will do an exceptional job leading Trócaire. I am constantly amazed by the commitment and dedication of Trócaire’s staff around the world. Under Caoimhe’s leadership, the organisation will continue to deliver real and meaningful change to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world”.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Éamonn Meehan, who will retire in October after 27 years of service to Trócaire, including five as Executive Director. Éamonn’s contribution to Trócaire and to the lives of the people it serves has been enormous. On behalf of everybody associated with the organisation I wish him well in his retirement.”
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, welcomed the appointment:
“I am delighted to welcome Caoimhe as CEO of Trócaire. When the Bishops’ Conference established Trócaire in 1973 they said we must never grow accustomed to injustice or grow weary in the work of tackling it. That sentiment is as important now as it was 45 years ago. Trócaire has the support of parishioners all over Ireland and carries out life-saving and life-changing work in their name. As Chair of the Trustees I look forward to working with Caoimhe to further this work. She has an exceptional background and is clearly driven by the ethos and values that make Trócaire such an important institution in Irish life.”
Caoimhe de Barra biography
Caoimhe de Barra first joined Trócaire in 1997 and held a variety of roles in the organisation over the following 18 years. Her first role was as Campaigns Officer, later becoming Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. She moved to Mozambique in 2007 to take up the role of Assistant Regional Manager for Southern Africa with Trócaire.
In 2011 she was appointed Director of Trócaire’s International Division, managing development and humanitarian operations in over 20 countries. In this role she achieved strategic change in the structure and direction of the Division, leading to significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people. From May 2015 – July 2018 Caoimhe was Country Director for Concern Worldwide in Malawi where she managed one of the largest ever humanitarian responses to a food crisis in that country.
A fluent Irish speaker, Caoimhe is from Dublin and continues to live there with her husband, Carl, and their two sons, Fionán and Ferdia. Caoimhe has a Masters in Development Studies from University College Dublin.