BARBARA WALSHE has been chair of the Board of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation since October 2014. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in research, advocacy, training, broadcasting, project management, community development, poverty and deprivation, peace building and restorative justice roles – both in Ireland (north and south) and internationally. Barbara worked on the development of restorative initiatives with inmates in Wisconsin prisons in 2013. Prior to that, she spent time as a Peace Envoy in Israel/Palestine. She has also researched and presented a series of six radio programmes called Picking up the Pieces for RTE Radio on grassroots peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and the Border region.
lived in Belfast until 1975 and then moved south. He got involved with Glencree along with his wife Margaret in the seventies and later, as chair of the board of directors, was instrumental in the re-opening of the organization in 1992. He then worked as the programme manager of the Glencree Churches Programme, an inclusive cross-border initiative that examined the role of the churches in the conflict. Colin continues to seek ways to uncover peacebuilding possibilities for people of faith. His belief is that: “if religion is part of the problem, it has to be part of the solution”.
ROBIN HANAN has recently retired as Director of the EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network) Ireland. EAPN is a network of groups and individuals working to put the fight against poverty at the top of the national and European agendas. Previously he was CEO of the Irish Refugee Council and Coordinator of Comhlámh, a membership based organisation for global solidarity.
He has published widely on national and international human rights and social justice issues and has chaired the Europe-wide policy and advocacy groups of the international development NGOs and the EAPN.
ANDY POLLAK was the founding director (1999-2013) of the Centre for Cross Border Studies. Before that he was religious affairs correspondent, education correspondent, assistant news editor and Belfast reporter with the Irish Times. In the early 1990s he was co-ordinator of the Opsahl Commission, the independent ‘citizen’s inquiry’ into ways forward for Northern Ireland. He is the co-author of a biography of Rev Ian Paisley.
MARY CURTIN Her career in broadcasting included fourteen years as a producer in the Religious Programmes department in RTÉ Radio 1, as well as periods in Education, Features and Current Affairs. In 2005 she became Secretary of the RTÉ Trade Union Group and, up to her retirement in 2012, was involved in protracted negotiations on new pension, pay and working conditions in the context of the economic crisis and its effect on the finances of the organisation. As a result of her experience in RTÉ she subsequently trained as a mediator and is a volunteer with Community Law and Mediation in Coolock, Dublin 17. She also has a particular interest in the area of Restorative Justice and is a member of the management committee of Facing Forward.
ALAN TYRELL recently appointed Vice-Chair of our Board, is an experienced business leader, public relations and communications professional. He is currently Managing Director with Teneo PSG, Ireland’s leading strategic advisory firm, advising CEOs, Leadership Teams and Boards on reputation management, crisis communications and strategy. His previous roles include Internal Communcations Management at Ulster Bank and Corporate Reputation & Media Relations Management at Aviva.
DAVID O’BRIEN has been involved in peace work and relationship building for many years. He managed New Border Generation, a cross border and cross community organisation based along the border in Carlingford Co. Louth. Since becoming involved in cross border and cross community work David has obtained and developed a wealth of experience from working with diverse groups and individuals from all backgrounds and beliefs on the island and has been involved in many innovative peace and relationship building projects. David also has a Marketing/Communications and Customer Care background from his time in the communications sector. David obtained a Higher Diploma in Conflict Studies from Trinity College and became an accredited mediator during his time with the Workplace Relations Commission.
DÓNALL CURTIN is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, currently serving as Chairman of the Institute’s Registration Committee. Dónall was a Partner in the accountancy practice Byrne Curtin Kelly and has 32 years’ experience. He is a Member of the Institute of Directors and was awarded the Certificate and Diploma in Corporate Governance, and achieved Chartered Director Qualification within the Institute. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, with considerable experience in arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution. Until recently, he served as President of Chambers Ireland, the country’s largest business organisation. He worked with several organisations in promoting the role of the Visual Arts within Ireland. He currently serves as a director of Abbey Theatre, Visual Artists Ireland and European Movement Ireland.
DARA HAYES grew up in Co. Down through the 70s and 80s and went to school in Downpatrick. Having studied in UCD and King’s Inns he was called to the Bar in 1994 and has been a practicing barrister since 1995. He has been vice-chairman of the Employment Appeals Tribunal since 2002 and was a member of the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal from 2003 to 2012. He now lives in Co. Meath.
is a passionate International Development consultant specializing in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), in women’s health, democracy and governance. Focused on ensuring solutions are locally driven, evidence based, scalable and sustainable, Niamh brings a track record and a unique combination of the application of technology to solve country client and user needs.
She has provided technical assistance, local capacity building, broad stakeholder engagement, program management, and been instrumental in hiring in country project teams as well as partnering with local NGOs, universities and private companies. Niamh combines a strong interest in Fair Trade with being an advocate for women and marginalized people. She has worked in post conflict countries such as Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA. Previously she worked in the private sector holding technology leadership positions including Chief Technology Officer at a variety of young start-up companies in the US and Ghana. Niamh holds an MS, Computer Science from Northeastern University (US), and a BS, Electronic Engineering from UCD and holds 3 patents. When not traveling, Niamh enjoys hiking in Wicklow, painting and yoga.
is married to Liz and they live with their four children in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Since 2003 Martin has managed the communications office for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference supporting the pastoral areas of child safeguarding, the Northern peace process, education, overseas humanitarian aid, marginalised and elderly Irish in Britain, prisoners abroad, marriage care, alcohol misuse, as well as social justice and peace issues.
Martin was part of the communications teams for the Papal visit and the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Ireland, and for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 in Dublin.
From 1999 to 2003 Martin was the public relations manager for the trade body Insurance Ireland. During the 1990s Martin worked with the Fianna Fáil party in Oireachtas Éireann and as the special adviser to the Minister for Food.
Martin is vice-chair of the board of management of Saint Peter’s College, Dunboyne, and a member of the advisory board of the Dunboyne College for Further Education. In January 2018 Martin was awarded a fellowship by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.
SEAN MC GEARTY
has extensive experience in peacebuilding both in Ireland and in a number of fragile and conflict affected regions including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Liberia, Cyprus and South Sudan. He has expertise in conflict analysis, mediation, evaluation, policy development and training and is an adjunct lecturer with the Edward Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention. He has been active in a number of capacities in Northern Ireland including work with the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, the International Fund for Ireland, the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs.
Sean has worked in both conflict and post conflict contexts and has been Reconciliation Advisor to the EU in Sri Lanka (2017) and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (2018) and previously worked in Afghanistan and Liberia on Glencree’s International Programme. He also has considerable experience in the evaluation of peacebuilding, transitional justice and governance programmes and has carried out evaluation on behalf of the EU, the UNDP, the African Union and the United States Institute for Peace.