Our Board of Directors
At COPE Galway, we are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors
Our Board is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of COPE Galway.
Meet our current board members who volunteer their time to direct and support our work.
Padraic Timon, Chair
Padraic joined COPE Galway’s Board in 2019 bringing with him many years of international business experience. A Dublin native, Padraic grew up in Salthill, graduating from NUIG with a B. Comm and later an MBA. He set up Chameleon Colour Systems in 1992 and is a member of the Regional committee of IBEC. Still an active sports participant and fan, Padraic trained and managed local under age teams for many years.
Ashling McEllin, Vice Chair
Ashling has a background in customer service and operations management. In her most recent role at Wayfair, Galway, she had direct responsibility for a Customer Service team of 150, and was heavily involved in the scaling and optimization of Wayfair’s Customer Service throughout Europe. She has a degree in Law and German from Trinity College Dublin and achieved her MBA from NUI Galway in 2019.
“I joined the Board shortly after taking part in the COPE Galway Business Sleepout in 2019. I met many people that night who spoke about how COPE Galway had helped them during the most difficult times in their lives. It is a real privilege to be involved with an organisation that does so much to help so many in our local community.”
Ciara Greaney is Group Director of Operations for CMS Distribution where she manages the middle office function. Her role focuses on scaling and improving operational processes in a diverse and growing company. Previously Ciara was International Controller in Avaya so has a variety of financial and cross functional management experience. She is a fellow with ACCA, certified as a project manager with PMI and in 2020 she completed her MBA in NUI Galway.
“I was aware of the work COPE Galway was doing that benefitted many in the Galway community. I met some of the staff and was blown away by their dedication and determination to make a difference. I really wanted to get involved and contribute in some way using my own experience. It is an exceptional organisation, I am very proud to work with COPE Galway.”
Caroline Healy is an experienced senior human resource manager with broad experience in learning and development, operations and quality. Her key competencies include coaching, change management, talent management and succession planning. Caroline specialises in continuous improvement, high potential leadership development and integration with other HR processes. She is particularly interested in developing strategies that achieve a robust workforce through intentional career development processes resulting in an enhanced bench strength of motivated talent.
Gerald joined our board in 2022, bringing 5 decades experience of the law as a Circuit Court Judge, Barrister and Law Lecturer. He practiced as a Barrister on the Western Circuit from 1973 to 2002, specialising in Civil and Criminal Law. In 2002, he was appointed Circuit Court Judge and sat on the Flood and Mahon Planning Tribunals. From 2012 until his retirement in 2020 Gerald sat as a permanent Judge of the Circuit Court, sitting mainly on the South Western Circuit and dealing with Civil, Criminal and Family Law cases.
Cormac is the Internal Auditor in the University of Galway. Cormac is a qualified accountant (ACCA) with extensive experience specialising in internal control, audit, governance and risk. Prior to joining the University, Cormac worked for Mazars Galway, providing internal and external audit and consultancy services to a range of clients including charities and publicly funded organisations. Previously he has held internal audit positions in PWC and AIB. Originally from Cavan, Cormac lives in county Galway with his family.
“I had previously worked with COPE Galway on a number of internal reviews and gained an understanding of the vital services they provide. As a Board of Director, my aim is that we ensure COPE Galway has both the governance structures and resources in place to meet the needs of its users and staff, comply with regulatory and best practice requirements and achieve its strategic objectives.””
Education & Quality Representative
Seamus is Head of Department of Biopharmaceutical & Medical Science at the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). Prior to that, Seamus held various roles within the Pharmaceutical / Biopharmaceutical industry and remains a consultant in the area of Quality to the Pharma, Biopharma and Medical Device sectors. Seamus is Chairperson of Shark Swimming Club in Galway city.
Colette has worked in emergency accommodation services with COPE Galway for over 20 years. She initially joined the organisation to work with children at risk and homeless families. Having worked in frontline homeless services, predominantly with homeless women in Osterley Lodge, Colette has developed a particular interest in trauma and mental health as well as the psychology of addiction. She completed a degree in languages at University College Dublin then studied Social Care at the University of Galway. She has significant experience in staff welfare, development and training; and currently manages the COPE Galway Community Based Housing, Winter Project.
“I joined the COPE Galway Board to gain a perspective on how the organisation works from the board level and to bring the voice of COPE Galway frontline staff to the Board.”
Dermot Nolan is the Group Finance Director of Headspace Group and current President of Galway Chamber.
Colm is a Senior Partner at O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers and has been a very good supporter of COPE Galway for many years including taking part in a number of business sleep outs. Colm also has supported a number of other fundraising events and is very well known and connected in Galway.
Declan Varley joined the COPE Galway board in July 2023. Declan is the Group Editor of the Galway Advertiser Newspaper Group, a position he has held since 2001. In that time, Declan has overseen the growth of the Advertiser Newspaper brand into the highest circulation regional newspaper in Ireland. A prolific journalist and author for more than thirty years, Declan holds Masters degrees in Writing and Culture; Media and Identity and has won global and European accolades for the quality of his editorial writing. He ensures that the Advertiser is a strong advocate of the objective of ensuring that Galway is an accessible, welcoming, and inclusive place for people to study, live, and work; and he offers the newspaper as a platform for voices urging this goal. To this end, he is keen to help COPE Galway in achieving its objectives of empowering people, creating change, and strengthening communities through the application of dignity, empathy and respect.