The Board

Eleanor Edmond
Chairperson

Eleanor is  a qualified (non-practising) solicitor, with a B.A. in English and Philosophy (T.C.D). I also hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution (TCD) and a Certificate in Facilitation and Groupwork (NUI Maynooth).

She initially practised as fulltime solicitor with FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) specialising in Equality, Human Rights and Social Welfare Law, then spent some time in Scotland working in restorative justice and community mediation. From 2005-2012 she worked for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland managing various projects promoting self-determination and human rights for people with dementia. Since 2012 she has worked as a freelance consultant and trainer on human rights and disability, particularly in the areas of supported decision-making and personal advocacy.

She is from from Dublin but has lived in Laragh for the past 12 years, just 5 minutes from Síolta Chroí, and is very excited to be involved in such a wonderful project within my local community but with global connections and significance.

Deirdre has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2015 with multiple NGOs primarily in project implementation and management, youth advocacy, development education and philanthropy funding. She has held roles in project and funding management and on the operational side of NGOs reporting to the board on financial and governance matters. She is no stranger to collaborating with international partners on projects across Europe, Vietnam and Tanzania. Currently Deirdre works for a consulting company that works with government ministries and agencies overseas supporting them with their strategic plans. Deirdre has a degree in Business & Management and a Masters in Environmental Management. Originally from Mayo, she lives in Dublin but enjoys getting out of the city!.

Deirdre Gavin

Joe Murray

Joe Murray has been Director of Afri since 1994. In this capacity he is responsible for all elements of Afri´s work including Financial management, staff, corporate governance and project coordination. He has been a key organiser of the annual Doolough Famine Walk, Féile Bríde, Food Sovereignty Assemblies as well as various other innovative campaigns. Afri´s areas of concern include the impact of war and militarisation, climate change and forced migration. and promotes Food and Seed sovereignty as critical elements in responding to hunger and food insecurity.

He grew up on a small “self-sufficient” farm in Country Longford. He recently discovered his grandfather emigrated to New York Sheskin, Country Monaghan in 1905.

Shane O´Connor from the Board of Directors at Síolta Chroí Centre for environmental awareness

Shane O'Connor

Shane leads the CIT Education Initiative and Coordinates the Global Education Network, which aims to connect educators, those passionate about education, formal and non-formal education centers and institutions across the globe and to offer, support, integrate and share CIT. 

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Shane lives with his family in Madrid, Spain. He has studied Journalism, and post-graduates in Development Education, Mediation and Restorative Practice.  Shane is also a qualified Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Natural Movement Specialist and Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, all passions which he endeavors to incorporate into his work.

Shane has worked internationally as a facilitator, trainer and educator in a wide range of areas from Peace and Global Education, Youth Work for professionals to teacher training workshops. He has over two decades of experience working for local peace and human rights organizations, as well as larger International NGOs and educational institutions in the Global North and South.

Sive Breshnan

Sive lives in lovely Leitrim. She is a trainer in the field of global education with a background (way back) in theatre and (more recently) in human rights and development. During the 2000s she lived in Southern Africa (Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa) and completed studies in adult education in Cape Town before returning to Ireland in 2012. Since her return home she has been active in a range of spaces, all of which have proved so formative – teaching and research work in gender studies, anti-racism movements and global education. Over the past couple of years Sive has been revisiting theatre as an education tool and is developing a practice in all things decolonial. Guided by the work of others, she is interested in the interface of historic and ongoing injustices and unsustainability and cultivating, with others, new ways of knowing and relating

Deirdre Kelly

Deirdre has been involved in global justice work for more than 10 years in education and awareness-raising roles. She completed a Masters in Economics for Transition, which explored alternatives to the current destructive economic system. She is interested in the role that community-based groups can play in creating local solutions for some of our biggest global problems.

Deirdre Kelly

Operations Team

Gareth Conlon

Gareth has worked in development education for over 10 years; in different organisations including Comhlámh, Development Perspective and ECO-UNESCO. This led him to discover and learn about Permaculture which he has developed a strong passion for. He is very interested in how permaculture; development education and spirituality meet. 

Karen Jeffares
Director

Karen is a self-employed yoga instructor who also works as a freelance facilitator and consultant in the charity sector. She has a strong passion for human rights and peacebuilding and worked for almost five years in Latin America in conflict and post- conflict settings. On return to Ireland in 2014, she established the Irish branch of the international human rights organisation Peace Brigades International. The experience of establishing a not for profit organization in Ireland has allowed her to develop a variety of skills related to company and charity governance. As a yoga instructor, she has experience in promoting courses and retreats, managing payments and keeping transparent accounts in her freelance work.

Karen Jeffares
Director

Conan Connolly

Conan is a South Monaghan native. His early years loose on the land progressed into saving grass, herding cattle and spreading 18:6:12 as a teenager. His love of the outdoors and wilderness brought him to start a military career and progress to leading outdoor adventure activities. Later whilst studying for his degrees in Civil Engineering, where he focused on natural & environmental processes, he became aware of the widespread mismanagement and exploitation of the natural environment. 

He has since worked tirelessly to raise the awareness of others about environmental issues while also upskilling himself to undertake ecosystem restoration. 

Jamie Lague

Jamie’s involvement in Síolta Chroí brings out her organised, driven and determined side – whilst allowing space to learn and immerse herself in matters close to her heart. 

Having spent part of her formative years in Zimbabwe, before returning to South Africa and subsequently settling in Ireland in her early twenties, has helped to form her own unique perspective. Jamie now lives in Magheracloone, with her two young children. 

With a strong love of learning, Jamie is taking every training opportunity available – while also being part of a group of parents setting up an independent (and alternative!) kindergarten and primary school in county Monaghan. 

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