Meet the team: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick

Terry Dignan

CEO of EPIC Terry Dignan joined EPIC in January 2017. Terry is the former Director of Trinity Consultants, a leading provider of support services to organizations supporting children and youth. He has over 20 years’ experience working in both the statutory and voluntary sectors in Ireland and internationally. He is former Director of the Sheredar Foundation, the first rehabilitation centre of its kind providing services to children and families from Russia. He was Director of Programmes at Barretstown and Chief Executive Officer at L’Envol (France), a centre for children and families affected by life-threatening illnesses. He was involved in a number of international children’s projects including the Beslan School siege, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami rehabilitation and leadership programmes for children and youth whose lives are affected by conflict. Terry can be contacted at

Karla Charles

Policy Manager. Karla is EPIC’s Policy Manager and has been working in the children’s rights and human rights sector for over a decade. She holds a Masters in Laws (LL.M London) in Human Rights Law, with a focus on children’s rights. She completed her graduate studies at Trinity College and postgraduate studies at the King’s Inns.  She has previously worked for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), the Children’s Commissioner for England, amongst others. Karla can be contacted at

Fidelma Guinan

John Murphy

Advocacy Officer and Researcher Southern Region. John has worked in residential care in both Wicklow and Cork. Following on from this he worked in Barnardos as part of the Origins team that worked with people who went through the Industrial and Reformatory School system to help them access information about their past and to trace family members. He has also worked in Limerick as a Community Resource Worker as part of the Family Support Initiative. John can be contacted at

Susan Carey

Participation and Engagement Coordinator

Susan joined EPIC in October 2017 and is responsible for maximising the engagement of children and young people with care experience by facilitating them to speak out on issues of importance to them in an attempt to influence positive changes to policy and practice. She supports the EPIC Youth Council, a national council for young people with care experience who are interested in participating in campaigns, forums, consultations and events. Susan has been working with and for children and young people for over 10 years in many areas including the legal system, the youth and community sector and the academic sector. Previous to her role in EPIC, she worked in the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Foroige and as a barrister specialising in criminal and family law.

If you would like to find out more about the EPIC Council, please click on the link or email

Fiona Murray

Advocacy Manager Dublin North East and Dublin Mid Leinster. Fiona was appointed as a Children’s Rights & Participation Officer with EPIC in January 2006. Fiona has many years experience in residential care and in more recent times has worked with Early School Leavers in a community setting. Fiona may be contacted at

Peter Lane

Advocacy Officer Dublin Mid Leinster. Peter has many years of experience working in residential care, often with young people with complex and challenging needs. Before that, he worked with YAP, as a Youth Worker and he used to give workshops in communications and media studies. He also has extensive experience in event organisation and management. Peter has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communications and Development and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies. He has a BA (Hons), a National Certificate in Philosophical Studies and a Diploma in Print Media and Journalism. He also has Fetac Level 6 qualification in Management. He is deeply interested in Social Justice and issues concerning Equality. Peter can be contacted at

Suzanne O'Brien

Suzanne O’Brien

Participation and Engagement Officer  Suzanne is the Participation Officer and she is setting up Fora all over Ireland with different age groups, contact Suzanne in the EPIC Dublin Office if you want more information about Fora in your area. Suzanne can be contacted at

Fidelma Guinan

Fidelma Guinan

Advocacy Manager Regional South, Mid-West and West. Fidelma was previously working with Epic as Youth Engagement Officer. Fidelma can be contacted at

Andrea Meyer

Andrea joined EPIC in July 2017 as Administrator to the National Advocacy Service. Andrea comes to EPIC with over 10 years’ experience of working in Office Administration including Community and Family Support Projects. Andrea can be contacted at

Caroline Nolan

Advocacy Officer in the Southern region based in our Cork Office. Caroline joined the EPIC team in 2012. Caroline has a Social Care Work background and worked with young people in Residential Care for over 11 years before joining EPIC. Caroline is passionate about Children’s Rights and in particular the rights of young people to have their voice heard and be taken seriously.

Caroline can be contacted at

Therese Garvin

Advocacy Officer Dublin North East. Therese joined the EPIC team in March 2019 and before she joined EPIC, she worked in residential care as a Social Care Worker for 12 years. Therese was also Deputy Manager of a Residential Centre. Therese was certified as Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) trainer in May 2017 with Cornell University and was involved in training social care workers in TCI across the country. Therese has a BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. Therese is passionate about working with young people and is inspired by their achievements.

Therese can be contacted at

Patricia Thorp

Office Manager Patricia is responsible for the day-to-day working of EPIC’s national office taking on whatever duties need to be done to keep the office running efficiently, allowing other staff members to concentrate on their own jobs. Patricia joined EPIC in 2005, having previously worked as PA and Team Assistant for various businesses in the Corporate Sector.   Patricia can be contacted at

Edel Weldon

Edel Weldon

Advocacy Officer Dublin Mid Leinster. Edel worked in Children’s Residential Centre’s for 9 years as a Social Care Worker, Acting Social Care Leader/ Deputy Manager as well as acting Manager of a Children’s Residential Centre. She was the first established Aftercare Worker in the then HSE Dublin South City Area and developed the Aftercare service (Now part of TUSLA Dublin South Central) and is on the Board of the Irish Aftercare Network. She holds a BA (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care from Sligo I.T. She joined the team in EPIC in January 2017. Edel can be contacted at

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh

Advocacy Officer  Mid West Region (Limerick, Clare and Tipperary). Joe joined EPIC in January 2016 and has a professional background in youth work, family support and community work.  Joe holds a BA Degree from Mary Immaculate Collage and in recent times completed a MA in Social Work from NUIG.  Joe has a strong belief in educating young people and providing them with avenues to express their ideas, thoughts and opinions and in doing so, empowering them to take ownership of their lives. Joe can be contacted at

Brenda Kneafsey

Advocacy Officer Western Region. Brenda has been involved as Aftercare Network Support Co-ordinator since May 2007. Brenda has previously spent 8 years working in Management in long term Residential Care in Galway and Wicklow and during her professional career has worked with young people from age 7 onwards. Brenda may be contacted at

Marcella Buckley

Advocacy Officer Southern Region. Marcella joined EPIC in July 2017.  Marcella has a Degree in Science (Youth & Community) and a Masters in Social Work, both from UCC.  Before joining the EPIC team Marcella worked as a social worker on one of the Child Protection teams in Cork.  She has also worked with both adults and children in a community setting.   Marcella works as an advocate but is also involved with the Cork Fora and Youth Council.  Marcella can be contacted at

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