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Dearbhla Kinsella

Business Leader

About Dearbhla Kinsella

Dearbhla Kinsella is a Managing Director with over 15 years of experience. She currently works as the Financial and Managing Director for Chieftain Fabrics in Trim, Ireland. As a leader in the company, Dearbhla is committed to ensuring that Chieftain Fabrics continues to be at the forefront in the manufacturing of performance vinyl fabrics while providing outstanding customer service and maintaining a sense of global responsibility. 

Chieftain Fabrics is a company that prides itself on being a market leader in sustainable sourcing of performance fabrics. They have been in business for over 60 years and specialise in designing and producing the highest quality performance fabric and contract upholstery. The organisation is a member of the UN Global Compact, which is an initiative for companies to focus on sustainable efforts. Twenty-five per cent of Chieftain Fabrics’ raw materials is from recycled content. They also produce a fabric that is 90 per cent recyclable. 

In her current role as Financial and Managing Director for Chieftain Fabrics, Dearbhla Kinsella is responsible for dealing with day to day issues ranging from human resources to customer and supplier problems. She also analyses costs, plans and budgets supplies, and works closely with the sales and marketing teams. She has assisted the company through rebranding, leading the way for Chieftain Fabrics to become a leader in sustainable fabrics. She has also led the company through many significant obstacles, including Brexit, an economic crash, currency crisis, and difficult supplier relationships.

Dearbhla Kinsella’s position also involves regular travel across Europe sourcing new suppliers, distributors and customers. She is a skilled project manager and has twice led her team through uprooting and changing plants. This process included relocating cumbersome machinery and training new suppliers on Chieftain Fabric’s manufacturing processes. 

Throughout her career, Dearbhla Kinsella has been a member of several networks and business associations. She is currently a member of the Women in Office Design, as well as a member of the British Contract Fabric Association. She was also awarded InterTrade Ireland Business Ambassador by the president of Ireland. 

Dearbhla Kinsella studied economics and politics at the University College Dublin before earning a Masters in Business Studies, specialising in finance from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She also spent three years working on a PhD in finance specialising on corporate governance and the role of independent board members.

From 2001 to 2006, Dearbhla Kinsella lectured at the Dublin Institute of Technology on the subject of finance. She worked in both the School of Accounting and Finance and the School of Marketing. Dearbhla taught first-year through fourth-year students, as well as second-year MBA students. She was also a supervisor for final year dissertation students and a coordinator for final-year dissertation programmes. 

Dearbhla Kinsella is also a wife and mother of three girls. She loves to bake and cook at home, as well as write for her blog called She stays in shape by working out regularly. Her other interests include skiing, running, and horseriding. She is also a qualified open sea diver, even though she is terrified of fish!