About the Board

EPIC Empowering People In Care Limited is a company limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Directors.  The Board is responsible for the Vision, Mission and Strategy of EPIC; they approve strategy, structure, annual plans and budgets of the organisation and strive to ensure that it is effective and accountable.

The Board has constituted three sub-committees of the Board to support their ongoing evaluation and monitoring of risks and accountability.

The sub-committees are:

  • Finance and Fundraising Committee
  • Governance and Risk Committee
  • Strategy and Purpose Committee

The Board’s key focus areas are:

  • Governance Continuous Improvement Plan
  • Financial Sustainability

Meet the Board:

Conor Brophy, Managing Director Strategic Communications, Teneo

Board Member and Chair of the Strategy and Purpose Committee 

Conor’s background and experience 

In my role, I advise clients across a range of sectors – including indigenous and multinational corporations, semi state companies and non-profit organisations – and work with them to craft and tell their stories in an accessible, memorable and impactful ways. My work with Teneo encompasses all aspects of strategic communications including, stakeholder engagement, public affairs, narrative development, media relations, crisis/issue management and executive coaching/media training.  

Prior to joining Teneo, I was a financial journalist and radio presenter with RTÉ and a weekly columnist with the Sunday Business Post where I reported on news, current affairs, business, and economics across radio, television and online platforms. I also presented The Media Show on RTÉ Radio 1 and was a regular presenter on Morning Ireland, the News at One, Drivetime, The Business and This Week. 

Conor’s qualifications  

MA in Journalism (DCU); BA in Business and Law (UCD).  


Maeve Doyle, HR Business Manager, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC

Chair of the Board

Maeve’s background and experience 

I have over 20 years HR experience in various roles supporting a number of areas within UCC, and experience across a range of HR functions including management of the employee lifecycle, resource planning and the management of employee relations and wellbeing issues. I am currently the HR Business Manager for the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences where I work closely with the Head of College and Schools within the College to ensure the delivery of best practice HR to support the College in achieving its goals and objectives. 

Maeve’s qualifications 


Maeve’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board 

I very much support the mission of EPIC and their work with children and young people in the care system. I joined the Board to play a small part in supporting EPIC and hope that my experience can provide some value. 



Mr John Feehan, Company Secretary, Mercer Ireland

EPIC Board Member and Chair of the Governance and Risk Committee 

John’s background & experience    

I have circa 20 years’ experience working in the company secretarial and company law compliance sector and have acted as meeting secretary for different client companies during my professional career. 

I recently joined Marsh McLennan as a member of the UK/IRL Co. Sec. Team and was subsequently appointed Company Secretary to Marsh McLennan’s Irish businesses including Mercer Ireland, Mercer Global Investments Europe, and Marsh Ireland Brokers. Since taking up my new position, I have been involved in supporting Irish Boards and Committees through meeting support and governance advice, and in a number of special assignments including an ongoing entity rationalisation project. I am also a member of the Company’s recently formed Steering Group for the Central Bank of Ireland’s Individual Accountability Framework (IAF).   

Prior to joining Marsh McLennan, I was the Director of KPMG Restructuring and a Director in KPMG’s Corporate Legal Advisory Services /Company Secretarial Department. I have also contributed technical articles to newspapers and professional journals as well as presenting company law and company secretarial courses to professional bodies.   

John’s qualifications   

Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute; Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).   

John’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board   

I have a great respect and admiration for people in care and those who support them. I hope I can contribute to EPIC by bringing my skillset to the Board so that the care professionals can dedicate their time to continuing to advocate for and support young people in care.   

Bernard Kennedy, Finance Executive, TU Dublin Student's Union

EPIC Board Member

Bernard’s background and experience

My name is Bernard, and I am the Finance Executive with the Student’s Union in TU Dublin. Prior to this, I worked as a Financial Controller in the corporate and public sector, and more recently, as a Financial Consultant working with an organisation that enables older people to age at home, and a women’s empowerment charity.

Bernard’s Qualifications

I am a Qualified Management Accountant with 30 years’ experience, and I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UCD and a Master’s degree in Treasury from DCU.

Bernard’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board

Although I do not have direct experience with children and young people in care, I joined the EPIC Board as I feel that EPIC is the best of causes to put my skills and experience to use for. I believe the staff of EPIC do an important job with sensitivity and with professionalism and are dedicated to advocating for children and young people with care-experience, and that these efforts can be enhanced by someone on the Board with a financial background. As I have worked for several companies across different industries, I believe I can contribute positively to the governance and financial health of the organisation.


Ms Val Kerr, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), TIGALA

EPIC Board Member


Val’s background & experience 

I am a professionally qualified Social Worker with over 15 years’ experience working with children and families and particular expertise in child protection, child welfare, neglect, and abuse. 

I currently work as a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) and an Independent Social Worker. I independently represent children’s best interests and wishes in the context of public law child care proceedings initiated by the state, and I am directly appointed by the Court. I have represented children’s interests in the District, High, Supreme and European Courts and have also been appointed to advise the Court in relation to the welfare of children subject to Criminal Proceedings. Prior to my work as a GAL, I worked in the public sector in social work front line and management positions. 

Val’s Qualifications  

BA Social Studies (TCD); National Qualification in Social Work (National Social Work Qualification Board); Diploma in Mediator Training (The Law society of Ireland); Dyadic Developmental Practice: Parenting and Psychotherapy; Accredited Mediator (Mediator’s Institute of Ireland); Child Specialist Interviewing (An Garda Siochana and the HSE);  


Mary Emer Larkin, Former Solicitor & Retired District Court

EPIC Board Member

Mary Emer’s background and experience 

I practiced as a solicitor from 1976 to 2012. During that time I managed a very busy and successful general practice specialising in litigation, family law, conveyancing, probate and corporate advises to SME’s in the west of Ireland.  My experience in general practice as a solicitor, particularly in the area of corporate governance, will be of assistance with EPIC. 

I was appointed by the government to be a District Court Judge in 2012 and permanently assigned to the District Court Area of Limerick in 2013 where I then worked for 9 years.  During this period I had primary  responsibility for one of the largest and busiest family law and childcare lists in the country.  I also dealt with criminal, civil and other matters.  In 2021, I was assigned to the District Court area of Clare sitting at Ennis, Kilrush and Gort District Courts with sole responsibility for all matters coming before the court including family law, childcare law, crime and civil.  I retired in May 2023. 

Mary Emer’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board  

My experience as a Judge has made me acutely aware of the lives of children in care and I have dealt with some of the most complicated cases in the country involving children in care.

By becoming a member of the Board of EPIC, I bring my very particular experience as a childcare Judge to bear in advocating for the rights of children in care. My skills as a solicitor, with broad legal knowledge, will also be of assistance to EPIC.


Edel O'Connor, Programme Manager, Musgrave

EPIC Board Member

Edel’s background and experience 

As a strategic and objective thinker with strong leadership, influence, and motivational experience, I enjoy working with people, meeting new people, and building relationships and nurturing talent. I have real passion for building and coaching teams to deliver.  I started my career journey 17-years ago in accounting and have gained experience in both practice and industry across all aspects of financial reporting, performance management, audit and assurance, taxation, company secretarial, financial and management accounting. I realised my interest in strategic transformation and through my work in project assurance and programme management, and I’ve collated experience and lessons learned across a large variety of ambitious multimillion transformation programmes to enhance business strategic growth.

Edel’s qualifications 

I am a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and hold a Professional Diploma in Organisational Behaviour (IMI/UCC); PRINCE2 – Foundation and Practitioner; Lean Six Sigma – Yellow Belt.  

Edel’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board  

I strongly support and believe in EPIC’s work to empower and support children in care and young care-leavers.  I hope to utilise my skillset to contribute in some small way to the amazing work being done by the team.  


Dr Fiachra O’Suilleabháin, Lecturer in Social Work, UCC

EPIC Board Member and Chair of the Finance and Fundraising Committee 

Fiachra’s background & experience 

I currently work as part of a multi-disciplinary Master of Social Work team delivering a professionally accredited, two-year taught postgraduate programme to students who wish to become Social Workers. On that specific programme, I teach and mentor students’ practice skills and lectures on research methods, investigative interviewing, child protection and welfare, and professional practice.  

As a professionally qualified, CORU registered Social Worker, I also have extensive practice experience in the Social Work sector and I was the Manager of a regional multi-disciplinary child sexual abuse assessment unit within the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) for nine years.  

I am actively involved in research about the experiences of trans youth in Ireland; social work practice in the area of alleged sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviour; activism in social work; and social work education. 

Fiachra’s qualifications 

PhD in Social Science (UCC); Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (UCC); Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (UCC); MA in Social Work (UCC); BA in Social Science (UCC). 


Mr Barry O'Sullivan, CEO and Chief Customer Officer, Acorn Insurance


EPIC Board Member

Barry’s background & experience  

I am the CEO and Chief Customer Officer with Acorn Insurance and a senior leader with over 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector.  In 2012, I moved into a Senior Management role and have since gained extensive experience in governance, risk, compliance and driving strategic change within organisations with a view to ensuring long term sustainability. I have a proven track record in shaping and delivering business and digital transformation and am a strong believer in relationship building with a consultative and strategic approach.  

Barry’s qualifications 

MA in Business Practice; Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP); Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA); Diploma in Leadership, Strategy & Innovation; Diploma in Management.   

Barry’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board 

I believe strongly in and support the mission and vision of EPIC and want to support the organisation by bringing my experience and skillset to the Board. 

Aidan Stacey, Commercial Director, Irish Wheelchair Association

Vice Chair of the Board and Company Secretary

Aidan’s background and experience  

As Commercial Director for Irish Wheelchair Association, I am responsible for public fundraising, retail, advocacy, customer care and communications. I started out in the NGO sector with the Dublin Simon Community and the Irish Heart Foundation before becoming the Global Head of Fundraising for GOAL, the international aid agency. During my career, I have raised over €30 million for the organisations I’ve worked with and I have a strong interest in direct marketing and corporate fundraising. Prior to joining the not-for-profit sector, I spent 15 years working in the commercial sector in marketing and sales organisations on both the client and agency side.  

Aidan’s qualifications   

BA in Economics (UCD); MA in Business Science (IMI/UCC); Member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland; Member of the Institute of Directors of Ireland.  

Aidan’s motivation for joining the EPIC Board  

My wife and I have been foster parents and share a passion for the rights of children and young people in care. 

Our Constitution

Download/View the EPIC Constitution (PDF file)

Our Annual Financial Statements

2021 Financial Statements (PDF file)

2020 Financial Statements (PDF file)

2019 Financial Statements (PDF file)

2018 Financial Statements (PDF file)

2017 Financial Statements (PDF file)

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