Meet the team
A.S.S.C. is governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees. The trustees have a responsibility to support and oversee the management, staff and volunteers involved in the charity. They also ensure that the organisation meets its legal obligations and that its finances are properly managed. A.S.S.C. is registered with both the Charities Regulatory Authority and the Companies Registration Office.
The day-to-day management of A.S.S.C is carried out by two senior directors.
Advocacy, Support & Accompaniment services are is provided by A.S.S.C.’s highly trained and dedicated volunteers.
Ms. Eve Farrelly
Eve is one of the founding members of A.S.S.C and serves as Chairperson on its Board of Management. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology (DBS), a Masters in Criminology (DIT) and a Masters in Management (Michael Smurfit Business School). Eve has also achieved academic Diplomas in Strategic Business Management (IBAT) and Data Protection Law (Honourable Society of Kings Inn’s).
Eve has 10 years’ experience working with victims of crime in the field of Child Sexual Abuse. She has particular expertise in the area of child victims as witnesses for the State in criminal trials. She spent five years in Complaints and Investigations at the Ombudsman for Children’ Office; examining complaints and overseeing governance standards in line with legal and policy-based frameworks. She served as Lead Facilitator Coordinator for OCD Ireland which ran support groups for people living with OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Trichotillomania. She has volunteered as a facilitator working directly with prisoners through the AVP Project. A project that runs workshops in conflict resolution and restorative practices with prisoners. She has spent the last year as an Inspector with the Office of Inspector of Prisons conducting inspections of Irish prisons against Human Rights standards, before taking up position as a High Court Registrar with The Courts Service.
Ms. Gillian Mc Namee’
Gillian is from Galway and is the Company Secretary for A.S.S.C. She previously volunteered as a Forensic Accompaniment Worker in the Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Unit in Galway for 2.5 years. She has a Masters in Child & Youth Care (Athlone Institute of Technology), Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies & Social Care (Athlone Institute of Technology), Diploma in Psychology of Criminal Behaviour (University College Cork), Certificate in Autism Studies (University College Cork) and Trauma Informed Care (Quality Matters).
She has over 17 years of experience directly working with, leading and managing services that support individuals with Intellectual Disability, Acquired Brain Injury, Forensic Issues, Autism, Mental Health needs, Dual Diagnoses & Complex Needs. Gillian has a particular interest in the experiences of people with disabilities in the Criminal Justice System and is a strong advocate for the provision of appropriate systems and strategies to support those people and has had her paper published in the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies: “Supports for Offenders with Learning Disabilities in the Irish Judicial System: A Critical Review”. She was invited to Prague to deliver workshops and seminars raising awareness on disability, autism, child sexual abuse and the criminal justice system. Gillian is also a Guest Lecturer in University College Cork on their Psychology of Criminal Behaviour course.
Ms. Fiona Kenny
Fiona is a solicitor, qualified to practice in Ireland, England and Wales. She graduated from UCD with a Bachelor of Civil Law (Hons). Fiona also achieved a Diploma in French Law from the Université de Nancy 2 in France and a Diploma in Finance Law from the Law Society of Ireland.
Fiona has over ten years’ legal experience; having worked in a large Dublin law firm, in a London law firm, and in a the legal department of a global financial services firm. Her areas of expertise include corporate transactions, corporate governance and commercial/ contract law.
Fiona serves on the Board of Management of ASSC as legal trustee, advising on legal and governance matters.
Mr. Michael Lynch
Justice & Child Protection Trustee
Michael Lynch is currently Safeguarding Manager at Scouting Ireland. He is a retired Detective Inspector who served at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau from 2006 to 2020.
Throughout his career at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, Michael managed four Garda national units: the Sexual Crime Management Unit; the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit; the Online Child Exploitation Unit; and the Garda National Child Protection Unit.
Michael holds a B.A. (Humanities), majoring in Psychology, from NUI Maynooth and a M.Sc. in Child Protection and Welfare from Trinity College Dublin.
Michael was the Garda Lead on the HSE’s interagency Sexual Assault Response Team, the Inter-departmental Group for Development of Cross-agency Child Sexual Abuse Services (Barnahus) and the Inter-departmental Group for the Implementation of Children First.
He has been a member of:
- Interpol Specialist Group on Crimes Against Children
- Europol National Experts group on Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet
- COSPOL Internet Related Child Abuse Material Project (CIRCAMP)
and has been a consultant/trainer to the European Commission, Council of Europe, European Academy of Law and the United Nations regarding child protection and Sexual Exploitation & Abuse.
Michael has been involved in drafting a number of policy/guideline documents and reports in Ireland, including:
- Garda Síochána Policy on Domestic Violence Intervention (2007);
- Garda Síochána Policy in the Investigation of Sexual Crime, Crimes Against Children and Child Welfare (2010/2013);
- Children First (interagency working) Protocol between An Garda Síochána and the Child and Family Agency (2017);
- Recent Rape/Sexual Assault: National Guidelines on Referral and Forensic Clinical Examination, 2nd (2010), 3rd (2014) & 4th (2018) Editions;
- RCNI Hearing Every Voice – Towards A New Strategy on Vulnerable Witnesses in Legal Proceedings (2018).
- Review of Protections for Vulnerable Witnesses in the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Offences (O’Malley).
Ms. Sheila Gallagher
Sheila is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and has a Bachelor of Business Studies from DCU. She has over 20 years’ experience in financial management, strategy, organizational change, corporate governance, compliance and controls.
Sheila is currently employed as Chief Financial Officer for the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland where she has responsibility for strategic and financial planning, business development, treasury management, compliance and regulation. She is also responsible for the HR function and has a broad knowledge of employment law. Sheila has previously served as Finance Director in RTÉ and has vast experience in the not-for-profit sector.
Sheila serves on the Board of Management of ASSC as Financial trustee advising on best practices in financial reporting and controls, compliance and regulatory matters. She will also have oversight of finances and cashflow to advise the Board on budget planning and management.
Mr. Kieran Kenny
Kieran Kenny, BA, Dip, Adv, MSc
Kieran retired from An Garda Síochána at the rank of Assistant Commissioner having completed over 41 years’ service in 2016. He spent over six years as Regional Commander of the Garda Northern Region and was the Strategic Commander for the G8 Summit held in Ireland in June of 2013.
Kieran holds an MSc in Police Leadership and an Advanced Management Diploma in Police Leadership from the Michael Smurfit School of Business, UCD, and a BA in Police Management (Distinction) from the Higher Education and Training Awards Council and the University of Limerick. He also completed the Executive Education Programme – Driving Government Performance, John F. Kennedy, School of Government, Harvard University, Boston. He holds further international Certificates and Diplomas in Community Policing, Strategic Planning for EU Missions, and Crime Analysis and Strategic Planning.
As Deputy Commissioner, Kieran had responsibility for Legal Affairs, Corporate Governance, Initial Training, Risk Management and Internal Audit within An Garda Síochána at a national level. As an Assistant Commissioner Kieran conducted a review of all Specialist Sections within An Garda Síochána and his final report and recommendations now form the basis for the current Garda Transformation Programme; he was also responsible for the introduction of the Missing Kids Website to Ireland.
Kieran is currently Chairperson of the CORU Education and Review Teams having responsibility for protecting and promoting high standards amongst health and social care professionals. He is also a Board Member of the Parole Board an independent statutory body that considers applications for parole from prisoners serving life sentences. He recently completed his term of office and retired as Chairperson of Victim Support at Court having worked with the charity since 2017 and possesses an in-depth knowledge of court accompaniment service provision within the Criminal Justice System.
Ms. Lynette Bradshaw
Lynette is one of the founding members of A.S.S.C. and serves as Executive Director with the organisation. She is responsible for the operations of A.S.S.C., from excellent governance standards to liaising and reporting to the Board of Trustees. She is responsible for the finances of A.S.S.C. and also holds the title of DLP, to ensure prompt engagement with Tusla concerning any child safeguarding matters. Lynette provides external training to stakeholders on such topics as the impact of trauma, child victims of crime & tools to help safeguard professionals. She is also responsible for media engagement and represents A.S.S.C. on government advisory groups.
Lynette initially qualified and worked as a professional chef before retraining in the NGO sector. She holds a first-class Honours Degree in Psychology Applied to Information Technology (IADT), after which she was engaged under a Community Employment Scheme in CARI in 2012. Lynette progressed through the organisation to become the manager of the court accompaniment support service.
Lynette is in her 10th year supporting young people who are victims of crime. She has expertise in supporting a young person and family when their child is due to give testimony in a criminal trial. This expertise is related to voicing the rights of the young person through the Victims of Crime Act 2017 and other relevant legislation in Ireland.
Lynette is a creative and innovative thinker as she has experience in the arts, professional cookery, and advanced IT skills in usability engineering and computer software development, all accomplished through her past academic and work-life experience. Her ambitions presently are to work at establishing A.S.S.C. as a leading victim support service for young people & families within Ireland. Lynette recently completed the “New Frontiers” entrepreneurial training programme with Enterprise Ireland.
Ms. Grace Jordan
Director of Services
Grace is one of the founding members of A.S.S.C. and serves as Director of Services on a part-time basis. She is responsible for the smooth running of A.S.S.C. services and adhering to best practice and policy implications.
Grace also works part-time with Le Chéile Mentoring Services as the Dublin North Coordinator. She works closely with the probation services to support young offenders, through mentoring and other service provisions. Grace initially volunteered with Le Chéile, as a mentor for young offenders and their parents/guardians, for more than three years, before she was employed with their service.
Grace has over 23 years’ experience working with victims of crime in the field of Child Sexual Abuse. Specifically, she has over 10 years of volunteer management experience recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers on a national level. Grace has expertise in the area of supporting young people and their families when a young person is going through a forensic or medical examination process, where a concern or disclosure of child sexual abuse occurs. She also has extensive experience of supporting young people and their families though criminal trials, advocacy/helpline support.
Grace holds a first-class Honours Degree in Psychology (DBS) and an M.A. in Criminology (DIT). Grace has also achieved academic Diplomas in Family Law and Child Psychology & Development and has undertaken further on-going extensive training within the area of volunteer management training.
Ms. Caroline Bagnall
Caroline Bagnall is the A.S.S.C. Administrator since 2022. Caroline started her career in the food industry and holds a Higher Certificate in Health and Nutrition for Culinary Arts and a BSc in Baking and Pastry Arts Management.
Caroline began working in administration from 2015 and has experience in a variety of companies, including the motor industry.
Caroline has an interest in martial arts, training in Krav Maga self-defence and holding a 2nd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon-Do. Caroline is an instructor in Newlands Taekwon-Do and has over 10 years of experience coaching children, which she finds very enjoyable and rewarding.
Caroline is certified in first aid and since commencing employment with A.S.S.C she has completed further training, including Trauma Informed Practice, child protection procedures, manual handling and is continuing her education by undertaking a child psychology course in 2023.
Ms. Margaret Dent
Margaret joined ASSC as Volunteer Coordinator early in 2023 having previously volunteered with the organisation for 18 months as a Court Accompaniment Officer.
Margaret is an experienced volunteer manager and has worked with volunteers for 15 years. She has worked in volunteer manager or coordinator roles with organisations including Aware, Dublin Simon and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association), a British military charity, travelling extensively throughout Northern Ireland, England and Wales in her roles.
Margaret also volunteers with SeniorLine.
Ms. Karen Keaveney
National Service Coordinator
Karen Keaveney is the National Service Coordinator for A.S.S.C., coordinating both the forensic and court advocacy phone support. She maintains an in-person presence in the courts providing active support to young service users and guidance for volunteers.
Karen has over six years’ experience working directly with children and families. Karen joined Children at Risk in Ireland in 2018 as a Court Accompaniment Officer, providing onsite support for young people giving testimony in criminal trials. She volunteered with A.S.S.C. as a phone support worker, serving families of young persons engaged in the criminal justice system, from 2020 until taking up the service coordinator role in 2022.
Karen has an integrated approach to wellbeing, with a special interest in the understanding of trauma and the science behind well-being. She holds a Batchelor of Science (Hons) in Nutraceuticals in Health & Nutrition, a PGCert in Understanding Conflict, Mediation Theory and Practice, an ITEC Diploma In Anatomy and Physiology, an Advanced Diploma in Child Psychology and is a qualified and experienced Holistic Therapist.
Karen is up to date with the current training in Children First (Tusla), Child Protection, Trauma Informed Response, Suicide & Self-harm prevention and Sex-trafficking. She intends to further her Trauma Studies in 2023 with a Diploma in Traumatology and PTSD.
Ms. Cathy Wyer
Advocacy Phone Support Caseworker
Cathy provides phone support to any adult or guardian involved in supporting a child through the Criminal Justice Process including when they provide testimony for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The advocacy phone support provides a vital listening space for families to prevent them from feeling isolated. It allows families to explore any common concerns or questions around the Criminal Justice Process.
Cathy worked in the area of education for 30 years before moving into the area of Family Mediation.
A member of the Mediators institute of Ireland, she has a great interest in “The Voice of the Child” in Family Law proceedings.
Prior to joining A.S.S.C., she worked as a Court Accompaniment Officer for a domestic abuse support service.
Cathy has worked as a volunteer with a number of organisations including Barnardos and as Forensic Accompaniment Officer with CARI and A.S.S.C.
Ms. Helen Kelly
A.S.S.C. Youth Advocate, Barnahus West
Helen works as an A.S.S.C. youth advocate within Barnahus West, Galway. This is an exciting pilot role that will aim to give “voice to the child” while the young person is navigating the criminal justice process following a disclosure or a concern of child sexual abuse has been raised. Helen will also be representing and bringing the young person’s voice to multidisciplinary meetings and making referrals were appropriate.
For 23 years, Helen has worked in Galway City as a centre manager in a probation funded training centre for young offenders and young people at risk aged 15-25 years.
Prior to that Helen served as a Police Constable for 14 years in Birmingham UK, working in the Child Protection and Domestic violence units.
Helen is a certified mediator and has previously volunteered with A.S.S.C. as a forensic accompaniment support officer. She has also served as Chairperson at her local secondary school for 7 years.
Ms. Lara Hannah
Court Accompaniment Officer
Lara has worked in the support sector for over 25 years. She has worked with young people, individuals and families needing advocacy, high levels of support and specialised crisis interventions. Trained in social care, her qualifications from UCD, TUSLA/HSE and NCI have equipped her to work on cases of domestic violence, addiction, mental health, as well as with housing services. Lara is also trained in court accompaniment and is familiar with working with An Garda and other related community and national supports for children and families in Ireland.
Ms. Veronica Keys
Support & Advocay Officer
Veronica has over 20 years experience working with survivors and perpetrators of violence and has worked in the past with the HSE, the Social Services Trust in Northern Ireland as well as voluntary services at home and abroad.
Prior to this Veronica worked as a clinical social worker with an Irish Centre in Boston for 5 years covering a caseload that ranged from child abuse, psychological first aid to mental health crises.
She dovetails her two days a week with A.S.S.C. with sessional work as a Trauma Informed Practice trainer, Youth Facilitator & Mental Health First Aid consultant as well as relief work in residential homeless services.
Veronica holds a BSc Honors degree in Social Psychology & Sociology and a Master in Social Work. She also has certificates in Conflict Mediation, Trauma Informed Practice, Counselling Abusers, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Skills.
A big shout out to you. Thank you.
We run approximately two recruitment drives for volunteers a year. If you are interested in exploring our volunteer opportunities, please contact our Director of Services at email@example.com
A.S.S.C. has approximately seventy volunteers working nationwide.
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“Volunteering as a child accompaniment volunteer is personally a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, you feel your role is valued by the families and children attending the service as they navigate the forensic interview and forensic interview & medical examination. You can offer some clarity, support or just to be a listening ear to parents or play & distract the child while they attend the appointment. It is good to give something back to society and know that it is valued and appreciated”
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“As a volunteer I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, caring, and genuine concern for children’s welfare of all the A.S.S.C. team and volunteers. Not only are the team extremely professional but there’s a vocational kind of commitment in the work they do to support young people. I could not imagine negotiating the justice system as a child without the support of an organisation like A.S.S.C”
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