Our Leadership Team

Meet the COPE Galway Leadership Team.

Our experienced leadership team guide COPE Galway towards achieving our mission to make a difference by empowering people, creating change and strengthening communities.

Reporting to our board of directors, they provide strategic leadership for COPE Galway’s governance, management, services, development, fundraising and finance teams.

Michael Smyth, COPE Galway CEO


Michael Smyth

Michael joined COPE Galway as CEO in May 2021 and is responsible for its management, oversight and governance as set by our Board of Directors. Prior to joining COPE Galway, Michael was CEO of SCCUL Enterprises, a position he held since 2014. Michael is a graduate of GMIT (BA Gno agus Cumarsaid 2012) and NUIG (MBA 2020 and MSc Strategic Marketing 2013). Michael is a keen sports fan, fluent in Irish and has a passionate belief in people’s potential and the power of community.

Martin O’Connor COPE Galway

Assistant CEO & Head of Operations

Martin O’Connor

Martin oversees the development and delivery of operations across COPE Galway’s services. An ardent advocate for people who are homeless, he also engages in media and political spaces, advocating for change that will see the wider range of issues affecting those we work with addressed. He has worked with COPE Galway since 1997 prior to which he worked in the UK in the area of homelessness and housing.

Head of Homeless Services

Sinéad Carey

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Sinéad Carey as Head of COPE Galway Homeless Services. Sinéad brings 15 years’ experience working in homeless, addiction, health and recovery services in Limerick, and is a strong advocate of service users. She also has experience and particular interest in Trauma Informed Care, peer initiatives and harm reduction.

Head of Development

Sharon Fitzpatrick

Sharon is COPE Galway’s Head of Development, with responsibility for fundraising and earned income, marketing and communications. Sharon is a graduate of GMIT, NUIG and the Irish Management Institute and has 25 years’ experience of the not for profit and private sectors in Ireland and the UK. Outside of work Sharon spends her time raising family and combining her interests in travel and long distance running.

Head of Senior Support Services

Jacquie Lynskey

Having led COPE Galway as Chief Executive Officer for 24 years. In 2020, Jacquie changed roles and is now the Head of COPE Galway Senior Support Service. In this role she leads out on supporting Healthy Independent Ageing at Home, and she is passionate about promoting positive ageing across all ages.

Head of Domestic Abuse Service

Gillian Mc Namee

Gillian joined COPE Galway as Head of Domestic Abuse Service in October 2022. She brings over 20 years’ experience working in a wide range of human care services to the role. This includes more than 11 years’ operational expertise in commissioning and managing innovative services and teams.
She is a Guest Lecturer in Psychology of Criminal Behaviour at the University of Cork, and has been published in the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies. Gillian is also a strong advocate for the provision of appropriate systems and strategies in the Criminal Justice System to support people with disabilities..

Head of Finance

Neil McNeil

Neil is COPE Galway’s Head of Finance, leading the accounts team within the organisation, having joined in 2017. After graduating from NUI Galway where he obtained a degree in Commerce, Neil went on to train and qualify as a Chartered Account in 2004 with BDO Ireland. Over the course of his career, he has held various financial roles with companies such as Lifes2good and CMS Distribution.

Geraldine Ryan, COPE Galway

Manager, Community Catering & Meals4Health

Geraldine Ryan

Geraldine joined our Senior Support Service in 2008. She leads Community Catering’s product and service innovation, achieving national awards for innovation in the social care sector for addressing the social care and nutritional needs of older people and supporting independent living at home. Geraldine is co-founder of  Meals4Health, COPE Galway’s social enterprise provides nutritional and social care services, reinvesting surpluses into achieving the social objectives of Senior Support Services.
“I want to help build a society that cares for, values and supports our older people.”

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