The Team

GIY is for a healthy, happy world where people grow their own food. Our team is passionate about changing the world one GIYer at a time.


Michael Kelly - Founder

Michael Kelly - Founder

Michael Kelly is a writer, founder of GIY and hacker grower. He has written three books on food and self-sufficiency - his latest book GROW COOK EAT (2014) was a winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  Michael is an Ashoka Fellow, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee and a recipient of the inaugural 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund. He is a member of the TASTE Council of Ireland. He has written columns on food and health for The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and Food & Wine Magazine. Michael is a passionate speaker on food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and growing your own food. He worked for ten years in the IT industry in Dublin but now lives the good life in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford with his wife and two little GIYers.


Shona Dubois - Head of Operations

Shona Dubois - Head of Operations

Shona Dubois has joined us from a festival management background and was most recently a key organiser behind Waterford Harvest Festival 2014. A recent graduate from WIT, Shona has a BBS degree, specialising in economics and finance. A self-confessed foodie and (very ) novice grower (3 herb plants on the kitchen windowsill)- she is really looking forward to learning more about GIY and spreading the message far and wide. With a keen eye for detail and a rogue creative streak- Shona will be busy coordinating GIY campaigns such as Sow & Grow, organising GIY events such as the Gathering and just generally keeping the office on the organisational straight and narrow. Shona lives in Waterford with her husband and two children.


Karen O'Donohoe - Head of Community Development

Karen O'Donohoe - Head of Community Development

Karen O’Donohoe join us with an academic background in health promotion and vast experience in developing and delivering a wide range of healthy lifestyle and community development activities. During her time at the University of Bristol Karen raised over half a million pounds for community sport development initiatives and set up the John Rutley Sport Fund which supports sport and activity initiatives for young people in Bristol. She also worked closely with the Campaigns Department to engage corporate sponsors and private donors for the long term strategic development of health and sport for the University’s staff and students. She played an integral role in the development of the University’s award winning Positive Working Environment programme and represented the University of Bristol on the UK National Healthy Universities Network. Since her move home to Ladysbridge in East Cork in 2012 Karen has started a GIY Group to great success in the village and is a two times successful awardee of the Get Ireland Growing Fund. Karen’s style of work is high energy, pro- active and solution orientated so she’ll fit right in to Team GIY! She firmly believes in everyone’s potential to bring about positive change and is keen to engage the entire GIY Family that is our outstanding network of groups, schools, workplaces, corporate partners, founding friends, media partners and sponsors in to the concept, delivery and legacy of GROW HQ. Together with her children Dylan and Saoirse and their dog Sam, Karen can usually be found in the polytunnel learning how to grow it herself or playing on the beach at Garryvoe.


Claire Cullen - Communications Manager

Claire Cullen - Communications Manager

Claire worked in sales and hospitality for years before heading back to college to get an Economics and Finance degree. After working in investment fund administration (we don“t know what that is either) she joined us in late 2016. Starting out as ‘The Facebook girl’ (a title she always really, really loved) she now edits our quarterly magazine, Grow, manages and writes the press releases, the ezines and the website content, and coordinates all the social media accounts. So technically she is still the Facebook girl. 


Ciarán Walsh - Finance Manager

Ciarán Walsh - Finance Manager

Ciarán Walsh originally from Midleton Co Cork, graduated in '98 with a Degree in Business Studies from Waterford Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Irish Taxation Institute. Ciarán has been involved with GIY since the first meeting in September 2008. Ciarán is former chairman of Ferrybank Community Development Group, a member of the Ferrybank Socio Economic Development Committee and is the Founder of the Ferrybank Community Allotment Project. He lives in Waterford with his wife Collette.


Rosy Bent – Campaign & Events Assistant

Rosy Bent – Campaign & Events Assistant

Rosy graduated from Dun Laoghaire IADT in 2008 with a first class honours degree in Business and Arts Management. After working as Box Office Manager in the Dublin Theatre Festival for a year she moved back to Waterford to take up a role at the newly renovated Theatre Royal as Box Office Manager. She has worked with Spraoi as Programme Manager and on various other festivals and events in Waterford having set up an event management company with two friends in 2014. Rosy joins GIY to help with campaigns and events and is looking forward to learning more about growing!


Caitriona Kelly - Therapeutic Horticulturist

Caitriona Kelly - Therapeutic Horticulturist

Caitriona is a community worker, activist, writer and grower who has recently joined GIY as a therapeutic horticulturist.  She has worked with a range of communities including asylum seekers and refugees in Dublin, the Travelling community in Ballymun as the Coordinator of a Primary Health Care Project for women, disabled adults with Cheshire Ireland, Gypsies in Spain as a literacy tutor and with inner city women’s groups. She has a BA in Natural Science along with a H Dip in Community and Youth Work. She also holds an MA in Education, and recently completed a Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. Her interest in growing her own vegetables brought her to The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co Leitrim in 2012 to study organic horticulture, and like many a fellow blow-in before her, she has taken root in Lovely Leitrim.


Síona Stokes - Project Assistant

Síona Stokes - Project Assistant

Síona worked in retail for years before deciding to head back to college as a mature student to study marketing. After college, she jumped straight into working at a radio station. This is where she developed her love for her community. Combining her creative side and loving the community helped her devise strategies that were all inclusive. Now working for GIY she is looking forward to being involved in a bigger community and keeping up her creative side and drawing a creative side out of others to add to what she does.


Jim Brindley - Communications Coordinator

Jim Brindley - Communications Coordinator

Juicie Jim grows and juices various plants at home, festivals and the GIY office! He has traveled by campervan and bicycle around much of Ireland and Europe working on interesting farms and community projects along the way. He has lots of experience in organic growing, permaculture and herbalism and has trained with great teachers including Jim Cronin & Patrick Whitefield. He also has an MSc in Multimedia Technology from UCC.

He has been a GIYer since 2011 when he attended a GIY Gathering and met some of his heroes including Joy Larkcom & Bob Flowerdew. He grows most of his own food on his dashboard, in his kitchen window and allotment and is an avid forager & fermenter. He is currently training as a Living Food Instructor, and teaches juicing, smoothie making, sprouting and growing microgreens at GROW HQ.


Donna Lacey - Admin Assistant

Donna Lacey - Admin Assistant

After staying at home for the last couple of years growing her family. Donna has decided to get back into the working world. With a background in computers, she is one of two of our admin assistants. Since starting work with GIY, she has become interested in learning the process of horticulture and is currently growing fruit and veg at home  in her own back garden.