The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) has appointed Empower CEO Adeline O’Brien as the network’s social inclusion committee chair.

The ILDN is the national representative body of 49 local development companies who deliver the €40 million Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) across Ireland.

O’Brien has 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors in a variety of roles.

Welcoming the appointment, ILDN chairman Jim Finn said: “Maximising social inclusion is central to the work our members do in their communities.

“Through programmes such as SICAP, LEADER, Ability and a range of employment support services, the ethos of local development companies is built on the continued pursuit of social inclusion in all our communities.

“Our Social Inclusion Committee is an important driver for our work as a Network and I am delighted that our colleague Adeline has taken on the challenge of leading this important committee as we overcome the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Commenting following her appointment, O’Brien said: “Equality, social justice and social inclusion have been the motivating principles of my career to date.

“I’m really looking forward to working with my colleagues across our network in ensuring that LDCs are properly resourced to carry out essential social inclusion work in communities.

“Investment in SICAP and other social inclusion measures will be vital, particularly as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and face into the inevitable unemployment and social crisis that it will create,” she concluded.