An Óige Board

Maria Shanahan (Chairperson)

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Maria Shanahan first became involved in An Óige after a murder-mystery weekend in the Killarney Hostel. After a few more weekends away surfing in Tramore and hiking in Wicklow, Maria realised she was among kindred people and was delighted to sign up when she was approached to start volunteering. Maria has been volunteering on the board of directors since 2014, becoming vice-Chairperson in the summer of 2015, and the current Chairperson in May 2018.

She is part of the team working on Volunteer co-ordination and has recently joined the roster of volunteer wardens at Glenmalure in the Wicklow mountains. In her day job, Maria works as a Project Manager for a Healthcare Technology company. She enjoys travel, having visited Australia, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in the last year. She loves the outdoors and is passionate about access for everyone, especially young people, to escape modern life, modern cities, modern technology and reconnect to nature in rural Ireland.

Johana Ferriere (Vice-Chairperson)

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Johana Ferriere works in the Financial Services Industry in Dublin. She has been volunteering with An Oige since 2012 and was co-opted to the Board in 2015. A native-French Speaker, Johana is also one of our volunteer co-ordinators and co-manages the volunteer database. When she isn’t traveling, she enjoys practicing Pilates and Krav Maga. She was appointed Vice-Chairperson of An Óige in 2018.

Marie McDonnell (Company Secretary)

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Marie McDonnell joined An Óige in the 1960’s and since then has been active in the Association on many levels. She co-ordinates the Weekly Hillwalking activities and is Treasurer of the Photographic Group which runs our Annual successful Photographic Exhibition in the National Botanic Gardens. She is also on the Environmental Conservation Committee and serves the Board in her role as Company Secretary.

Darragh Miller

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Darragh Miller was elected as one of the youngest Chairs in An Óige’s history. He first joined the Board in 2012 after volunteering for the organisation. Over the years he has trekked and stayed in a number of youth hostels around Ireland and Europe. He has a firm belief in the educational powers of hostel travel and broadening horizons through meeting others in a natural environment. He is realising this belief through the governance of An Óige and wish to re-instate An Óige’s relevance within Irish society.

He is currently a mature student in UCD studying Sociology and Philosophy and plays for a football team based there. He went to secondary school in Knocklyon Community School and still lives in the area. He enjoys learning and volunteering for An Óige as it has provided him with essential continuity in his life.

Darragh stepped down as Chairperson of An Óige in May 2018 to focus on his education and completing his thesis, however, he remains a member of the board.

Domhnall Egan

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In his day job he works as a project manager across various sectors including telecoms, financial services and aviation. His job involves work in pressure cooker environments with varying priorities and changing deadlines. As part of his involvement with An Oige I ran a Hostel Network Mapping project for them. Currently he is working as part of a small team to getting a key IT software project off the ground. When he is not doing the day jobs or helping other Not For Profits he enjoys adventure racing and loves a good read.

Philip Hayden

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Philip worked for many years as a warehouse operative and currently acts a carer to his elderly father. Joining An Óige in the 1990’s, he is an avid hillwalker with a great interest in natural history. He joined and became secretary of the An Óige Environmental Conservation group in 2004 and has acted as a one of its representatives on the An Óige National Council for the past four years. In December 2016 Philip was co-opted to the Board of An Óige.

Sarah Johnston

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Sarah is currently the Administration Assistant for Áiseanna Tacaíochta, the first and main organisation to facilitate Direct Payments to people with disabilities in Ireland. After graduating from the National College of Art and Design, with a Fine Art degree and a PGDip in Fine Art Ed, she worked in Dublin City Gallery in The Hugh Lane as an Education Officer. She has since continued in education roles with institutions including the IFI and Trinity College Dublin.

An enthusiast of all things outdoors, if Sarah’s not out cycling, hiking and camping in nature, she’s out sipping flasks of tea and sketching. She also volunteers with Foodcloud, and enjoys working at festivals and events during the summer months. She has been a Director of the Board since 2014 and is involved in volunteer co-ordination and activities.

Peter Silvester

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Peter practised for many years as a solicitor in the area of commercial property, having been a Partner at a prominent Dublin law firm.  Peter brings  a wealth of experience, contacts and opportunities to the team at An Óige.  He has an active interest in Rugby and plays tennis with enthusiasm.

Heather Boyle

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Heather Boyle is Communications Officer for Cycling Ireland, and initially became involved with An Óige as part of the Activities Committee in January 2013. In the year 2017 she was co-opted onto the board. Having been involved with sports, specifically rowing, cycling and hiking, all her life. Heather believes in the power of sports and outdoor activities in connecting communities, and enjoys working in an area about which she’s passionate. Travel, laughing, music and family are also important to the newest member of the An Óige.