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 comes from a festival management and retail management background and has worked for large Irish retailers and Waterford festivals including Harvest Festival & Winterval. A 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 loves learning to GIY and spreading the message far and wide. With a keen eye for detail and a rogue creative streak- Shona is busy coordinating GIY campaigns such as the big grow; GROW2CEO; Energia Get Ireland Growing; organising GIY events such as Food Matters at Bloom & GROW HQ. Also contributes to online retail, new product development and education at GROW HQ and just generally keeping the office on the organisational straight and narrow. Shona lives in Waterford with her husband (who is also our Head Chef at GROW HQ) and two children.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.