SHEP Project Team Members 

The SHEP  team spans across many different disciplines. Counselling, Training & Development, Environmental Action and Awareness, Advocacy and an International Partnership to name but a few.  The team brings a wealth of experience to the project allowing SHEPs mission in the world to grow and flourish.

Jim Sheehan
Jim Sheehan Director
Jim has been the Director of SHEP since 2009. He is particularly interested in lifelong learning, social inclusion and community development.

He lives in Boherbue in Duhallow, though is originally from the Mitchelstown area. He is a keen gardener and loves cooking and travelling

Liam Mccarthy
Liam Mccarthy Senior Training and Development Officer
Liam has been working full-time with SHEP in Community Education in the South of Ireland since 2005. With a background in engineering, therapy, critical social work practice and community development, his current interest is in systems thinking/change.

Liam loves to laugh, walking, family, music, growing vegetables and spiritual development.

Carmel Savage
Carmel SavageCounselling Coordinator
Carmel is the coordinator of the Coisceim Counselling Programmes which provides low-cost counselling to adults, young adults, couples and children. Having trained as a psychotherapist in MTU, she has a keen interest in mental health and well-being.

A Cork City woman, she loves a good belly laugh, long walks in nature, listening to music and travelling whenever she can.

Fern Higgins Atkinson
Fern Higgins AtkinsonSenior Training and Development Officer
Fern has a background in youth and community work, public health and health promotion. She also lectures part time in UCC, is completing her PhD and is a Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. Relationships have always been at the heart of her work.

Fern loves music, dancing, the outdoors and travelling. She is particularly fond of having fun with her partner and six children in West Cork.

Marge Lysaght
Marge LysaghtAdvocacy Co-ordinator
Marge has a background in social policy research, advocacy, training and project work. She is one of our SHEP Advocacy Programme coordinators. Her role involves supporting the team to delivery SHEP advocacy services & advocacy training.

Marge is a music lover and she enjoys going wild in the great outdoors whenever she can.

Niamh Kelleher
Niamh KelleherAdvocacy Coordinator
Niamh Kelleher has a background in law, advocacy and health inequalities. She is the coordinator of the Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance (CESCA), a social justice alliance of 18 community organisations in Cork, currently hosted by SHEP.

Niamh loves to spend time reading, occasionally writing and spending time in nature, but has yet to master the craft of gardening!

Tatenda Zira
Tatenda ZiraFinance Manager
Tatenda joined SHEP in 2023 after relocating from South Africa. She has a background in finance and is involved with monitoring project finances.

Tatenda enjoys nature walks, reading and exploring new things.

Niamh Findley
Niamh FindleyFinance Officer
Niamh started working for SHEP in 2022 after looking for a move into the community sector. She enjoys doing courses in her spare time and has diplomas in Development and Global Human Rights, and Human Rights and Equality, among others.

In her free time she also enjoys growing her own food, photography and meeting up with friends.

Nuala Burke
Nuala BurkeCounselling Referral Officer
Nuala has been involved with the project since 1991. In 2011 she took up her current role as referral counsellor with Coisceim. A Gestalt psychotherapist, she also runs a small private practice. She has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2001.

Nuala loves the joy and wellbeing she gets from year-round sea swimming and plenty of laughter. She also enjoys travelling and listening to all kinds of music.

Eilish O'Hanlon
Eilish O'HanlonTraining and Development Officer
Eilish has working in SHEP since 2016 and her primary role is looking after the one year SHEP ‘Cert in Personal Development’ Course. Training background: MTU – BA & Masters in Psychotherapy. Post Grad Dip in Supervision & Reflective Practice for Counselling & Professional.

Eilish loves the outdoors and has recently taken up playing Pitch & Putt.

Gerlaldine Flanagan
Gerlaldine FlanaganTraining and Development Officer
Starting with SHEP in 2005 as Programme Administrator, Ger has progressed through the SHEP training levels going on to graduate with a degree in counselling and psychotherapy from MTU and is currenty working on accreditation. Ger now holds the role of Training and Development Officer within the project.

Ger can be seen regluarly at club GAA matches in her own townland and when she has the time loves to travel to her favourite spots on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Anita O Shea
Anita O SheaSHEP Limerick
Anita is a humanistic & integrative psychotherapist accredited with IACP. Anita works in private practice and has lectured in UL in drug and alcohol studies. Currently employed with MWRDAF. Anita also facilitates personal development programmes with SHEP in the Mid West.

She likes swimming, listening to music and going to shows. She likes spending time in nature, traveling and loves a good old sing song.

Toufik Messabih
Toufik Messabih Counsellor and Outreach Officer
Toufik coordinates Lib, a free counselling service for asylum seekers and refugees. Lib also offers personal development courses for adults and children. He feels strongly about social justice, dignity and freedom.

Born in France he is also proud of his Algerian roots. Coming from the wonderful region of Franche-Comt on the border with Switzerland, with great gastronomy, brilliant outdoor activities and wonderful people.

Sheila Kelleher
Sheila KelleherCoiscceim Referral Officer
Sheila is first and foremost a human being but is also an art therapist and psychotherapist based in Cork. She is one of the Referral Counsellors in Coisceim and works on the child and adolescent side as well as with adults.

Sheila can often be found in the sea honing her skills as a mermaid. Outside that she enjoys land-based nature and the outdoors as well as creativity, connection and community.

Lorraine Vercuiel
Lorraine VercuielCoisceim Admin Support Worker
Lorraine began her journey with SHEP in 2015 in Front of House, before moving to her role in Coisceim while completing Counselling Skills studies (Higher Certificate) in MTU. Lorraine values and appreciates lifelong learning and believes that everyone has the potential for personal growth and to heal with the right supports.

Recent convert to country living. Lorraine enjoys time spent in nature especially with family.

Robert Ni Hlaraithe
Robert Ni HlaraitheCommunications Officer
Robert started with SHEP in 2021. He works part-time with the basic remit to assist in communicating SHEP’s message to a wider community.

Robert likes cycling his bike and listening to music.

Norma Roche
Norma RocheTraining and Development Officer
Norma works as part of the wider SHEP Training and Development Team. Norma has a background in youth and community work. Norma has been involved with the organisation since 1992.

She loves reading, going to live gigs and adult colouring books to keep her creative side alive.

Jess Bowen
Jess BowenTraining Officer
Jessie works in both the Training and Development and Advocacy Programmes in SHEP and feels passionate about social justice and equality. She is a Trainer, Facilitator and Advocate. Jessie started her journey with the project in 2001 and has since joined the team in a staff role.

Jessie enjoys socializing, long walks in nature, swimming and gardening.

Deirdre Lillis
Deirdre LillisAdvocacy Consultant
Deirdre has been working as an advocate for 28 years and has been working for SHEP since 2009. She now offers consultancy and direction to the SHEP Advocacy Project. Together with a small team of trained advocates, she works to support people who are struggling to get their voices heard.

Deirdre lives in County Cork by the sea and loves the spot she calls home . She also loves gardening and swimming.

Maria Young
Maria YoungTraining and Development Officer
Maria coordinates SHEP Earth Aware & works also with Green Spaces for Health and the Cork Food Policy Council. All three organisations are concerned with issues arising from climate change and biodiversity collapse. All Maria’s work is informed by the heart approach of SHEP.

Maria’s hobbies include walking in the countryside, growing vegetables , looking at old movies and playing with her nieces.

Abigail Joffe
Abigail JoffeInt. Learning Partnership Co-ordinator
Abigail has a degree in Development and coordinates SHEP’s International Learning Partnership with Sahakarmi Samaj in Nepal. She is also a SHEP trainer on the Cert in Social Awareness & Community Empowerment (SACE ).

Abigail lives in West Kerry and loves to sing, draw and spend time in nature.

Zilma Exshaw
Zilma ExshawFront of House
After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in U.C.C, Zilma spent several years in the furniture relocation and shipping industry. She joined the front of house team in SHEP in 2019.

A native of Blackrock “a true Rockie”, she enjoys walking in nature, reading, listening to 80’s music and sport.

Sarah Harrington
Sarah Harrington Cesca Coordinator
Sarah has a degree in Social Science and a Masters in Social Policy.
Having lectured in UCC on the Diploma for Disability Studies she has spent the last year working as fundraising assistant for the Cork Deaf Association.

Sarah has a passion for travelling to new countries and attends concerts when she has time.

Breda Power
Breda PowerAccounts Assistant
Breda started her journey with SHEP in 2018, progressed through the SHEP training levels and graduated from UCC with a Diploma in Social & Psychological Health Studies in 2023. She now works part-time with the SHEP Accounts Team

A Lover of lifelong learning and starts each day with gratitude, Breda enjoys has a warm quirky sense of humour and enjoys a good belly laugh.

Debbie Lahive
Debbie LahiveFront of House
Debbie started with SHEP through work experience, while studying Applied Psychology and Social Studies. It is Debbie’s ambition to work towards becoming a facilitator with SHEP.

In her spare time Debbie likes Music, volunteering with Cork Art Community Link and creating using arts and crafts.

Eilish Lee
Eilish LeeFront Of House
Eilish started working in SHEP in May 2023 she is passionate about people and is studying a Diploma in Social and Psychological health studies in UCC.

Eilish loves a good laugh and loves spending time with her family. I love the outdoors and recently taken up Rowing.

This could be you !
This could be you !