Meet the team
Adrian Sheehy (he/him)
Advocacy Officer (Southern Region)
Adrian joined the EPIC team in June 2020. He has a background in Social Care and Community Development. Adrian holds a BA in Community Development from Munster Technological University (Cork Institute of Technology) and an MA in Voluntary and Community Sector Management from University College Cork. Adrian worked for a number of years in the private residential care sector. He then transferred to residential care in the disabilities sector. Adrian worked alongside individuals with a dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental health, gaining lots of experience and insight into behaviours that challenge. Adrian is committed to supporting people in taking back control of the circumstances of their own lives’.
Adrian can be contacted at: email@example.com
Caroline Nolan (she/her)
Advocacy Officer (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 Carolinenolan@epiconline.ie
Edel Weldon (she/her)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Walsh (he/him)
Advocacy Officer (Mid-West Region)
Joe joined EPIC in January 2016 and has a professional background in youth work, family support and community work. Joe holds a BA Arts 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 email@example.com
Marissa Ryan (she/her)
CEO of EPIC
Marissa has over fifteen years’ experience working on human rights, equality and protection in both governmental and non-governmental capacities in Ireland and internationally. Marissa joined EPIC in December 2020 from Brussels, where she was based as Oxfam’s Global Deputy Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, leading the organisation’s multilateral policy and advocacy with the European Union, the United Nations, the International Financial Institutions and the OECD.
Previously, Marissa worked with Oxfam Ireland and Concern Worldwide; coordinated a project on the protection of LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees with BeLonG To; and represented the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs at the UN Human Rights Council and to the UN humanitarian agencies headquartered in Geneva. Marissa also spent a number of years in East Africa where she worked with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Uganda, and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, among others. Marissa has a Master’s Degree in Human Rights from University College Dublin, and has served on the Board of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office.
Marissa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Madden (she/her)
Education Project Manager
I work from our Limerick office, and you can contact me at email@example.com
Brenda Kneafsey (she/her)
Advocacy Officer (Western Region)
Brenda is the Advocacy officer for the West since 2015 and was previously the Aftercare Network Support Co-ordinator in EPIC. Before Joining EPIC, she spent eight years working in management in long-term Residential Care in Galway and Wicklow and during her professional career Brenda has worked with young people from the age of seven onwards. Brenda may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Reid (she/her)
My name is Caroline, and I joined the EPIC team in January 2022 as Communications Manager. It is my job to communicate EPIC’s vision, work and impact, and to build awareness and understanding about the experiences of children and young people in care and with care experience.
Before joining the EPIC team, I worked with national advocacy organisations including the Irish Refugee Council, the Irish Network Against Racism, and the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. I also have experience in managing external communications for international non-profits and as a communications contractor. My qualifications include an MA in International Communications from DCU and a BA in Audio-Visual Media from TUD Tallaght – and I am always learning on the job, sometimes the hard way!
I work from our Dublin office, and you can contact me at email@example.com
Eilis Dwyer (she/her)
Eilis joined the EPIC team in February 2022. Eilis has experience working in legal offices and procurement and prior to EPIC she worked with the Irish Cancer Society in the fundraising department. She also has a background in various social care placements in Dublin and worked in childcare in Perth, Australia. Eilis is passionate about working with children and advocating for their needs.
Eilis holds a BA (Hons) in Social Care from Dublin Institute of Technology and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Dublin Business School.
Eilis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Murphy (he/him)
Advocacy Officer (Southern Region) and Researcher
John joined the EPIC team in 2012. Prior to EPIC he worked in residential care in both Wicklow and Cork, and in Limerick as a Community Resource Worker as part of the Family Support Initiative. John has also worked with 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. During his time with EPIC, John returned to college and completed a Law Degree and a Masters in Child and Family Law in UCC. John can be contacted at email@example.com
Michele Brady (she/her)
Michele joined the EPIC team as Finance Manager in 2015, originally on a part time basis. She is a qualified accountant who has worked in financial and management roles in both not for profit and commercial sectors. In the last 12 years this has been predominantly in the charity sector. She brings extensive experience to her role in EPIC.
Michele can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Therese Garvin (she/her)
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 email@example.com
Brian Kealy (he/him)
My name is Brian, and I joined the EPIC team in March 2023 as a Finance Officer. It is my job to ensure the financial requirements of the organisation are met by providing accurate financial information/reports and to support the Chief Operations Officer in monitoring and maintaining compliance with statutory, legal and charitable governance requirements.
Before joining the EPIC team, I worked most recently with homeless charity, Depaul as a Finance Officer, focusing most of my attention on accounts payable functions. I also have experience in accounts receivables, investment compliance from previous roles with Sysco & Northern Trust in addition to volunteer experience in Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. My qualifications include an BA in Business Management & Marketing from LIT.
I work from our Dublin office, and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Conor Stitt (he/him)
Research and Policy Manager
Conor joined the EPIC team in December 2022. Conor has over ten years’ experience in public policy and campaigning on social issues. Prior to joining EPIC, Conor was working with Meta on their EU Affairs team progressing conversations and regulation in the areas on child safety and youth protection online.
Previously, he worked for four years in the Houses of the Oireachtas as a policy advisor to TDs and Senators notably in the areas on children and youth affairs, LGBTQI+ rights and housing. He also spent some time campaigning for students’ rights and access to third level education as a Vice President to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and NUI Galway Students’ Union.
Conor has a BA in legal studies and I.T. and an LLB from NUI Galway and is passionate about human rights law.
Conor is working with EPIC to ensure that the lived experience affecting children and young people in state care is heard by policymakers and has an informed effect in public policy.
Conor can be contacted at email@example.com
Fiona Murray (she/her)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kizito Mutahi Wahome (he/him)
Advocacy Officer (Dublin North East)
Kizito is passionate about human rights and social justice and has worked both in Ireland and Kenya for non-governmental human rights organisations. Kizito has worked in the disabilities sector as a social care worker where he helped to establish a self-advocacy group at the residential centre. Kizito transitioned to work in private residential care with young people and with separated children seeking international protection. Kizito has worked in residential Aftercare with young adults. Kizito is a qualified social worker and has worked with Tusla Child and Family Agency in the Children in Care Team.
Kizito holds a Master’s in Social Work from Trinity College Dublin, Master’s in Human Rights from University College Dublin, BA in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre and Higher National Diploma in Media Moving Image from St. Kevin’s College.
“What matters in Life is not the fact that we lived. It is what difference we made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” Nelson Mandela
Kitzito can be contacted at email@example.com
Peter Lane (he/him)
Advocacy Officer (Dublin Mid Leinster) and Media Coordinator
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 firstname.lastname@example.org