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Meet Our Team

We'd like to introduce you to the individuals who make up our diverse and dedicated team.

Whether you’re a funder, sponsor, prospective employee, or a potential course participant, we believe it’s important for you to get to know the passionate individuals behind the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI).

At CDI, we are driven by a common purpose: we want to make sure that every child gets the best possible start in life and reaches their full potential. We collaborate, work in and with communities, and develop services according to need. We also train and provide advice to professionals who work with children and families. to empower individuals and communities through education and skills development. Our team is comprised of talented professionals from a range of backgrounds, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience to our organisation.

We invite you to explore the profiles of our team members and learn more about the expertise they bring to CDI. We are proud of the collective impact we have achieved and excited about the future opportunities that lie ahead.

Find out more about what it’s like to work at CDI.

George Best Restorative Practice Coordinator

George Best

Restorative Practice Coordinator
T: 01 910 3075

George is the CDI Restorative Practice Programme Coordinator. George holds a BSc In Education and Training from DCU; he worked as a Parent Carer Facilitator with CDI, before moving on to take up a role as Programme Coordinator for the Boys and Young Men’s Programme with London Borough Of Hillingdon’s Early Intervention and Prevention Services. George returned to Ireland to work with Cooperative Housing Ireland as a Housing Officer.

Clare Bohan Programme manager

Clare Bohan

Programme and Quality Manager
T: 01 414 7362

Clare is the Programme and Quality Manager at CDI. She holds a BSc and PhD in Psychology from Dublin City University and has previously worked as the Literacy Co-ordinator in CDI, and as an Assistant Professor in Psychology, lecturing primarily in lifespan development. Clare’s PhD research focused on positive behavioural interventions in classroom settings, and much of this work has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Marian Breslin Powerful Parenting Co-Ordinator

Maria Breslin

Powerful Parenting Support Officer
T: 083 206 8700

Maria works as the Powerful Parenting Support Officer within CDI. She works in collaboration with CDI’s Powerful Parenting Coordinator, the Parent Carer Facilitators, and key stakeholders in the Antenatal to Early Years Sector to support the delivery of the Powerful Parenting Programme.

Maria previously worked as a Parent Carer Facilitator for CDI in an Early Years service in Tallaght West. Maria has worked in the early years sector for 17 years, supporting children, parents, and families.  Maria has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education, and a Diploma in Montessori teaching.

Claire Casey Restorative Practices Manager

Claire Casey

Restorative Practices Manager
T: 01 414 7369

Claire has worked in community development for over 30 years. She has worked as a Development Worker, Policy Development Officer, Trainer and Manager with community and voluntary organisations in Dublin’s North Inner City, Ballymun and Ringsend and has experience and expertise in design and delivery of adult education and training, conflict resolution and mediation skills, group development and facilitation, personnel and financial management, mentoring, research, and report writing.

She is responsible for the implementation of the Restorative Practices Programme and is passionate about combatting poverty, discrimination and inequality.  Claire holds a Bachelor of Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult and Community Education from Maynooth University and a Master of Science in Restorative Practices from Ulster University.

Bernie Coleman Parent Carer Facilitator

Bernie Coleman

Parent Carer Facilitator
T: 086 035 3791

Bernie is a Parent Carer Facilitator in An Cosán Kiltipper since 2009. She has worked in the early years sector for many years in many capacities and has delivered FETEC Early Years training in Levels 4,5 & 6 and a multitude of parenting courses. As well as her work in An Cosán, Kiltipper, she coordinates the Lifestart Growing Child Programme working with parents and babies (0–3 years.) She holds an Honours Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy. She is accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP) and practices at An Cosán.

Leanne Collins

Parent Carer Facilitator
T: 087 784 7486

Leanne is a Parent Carer Facilitator for Startbright Greenhills.

Leanne has 13 years of experience in Early Years care and education, primary education and working with parents. Leanne has a Level 8 BA Honours degree in Early Years Education from University College Cork. Leanne also has a Level 6 degree in Leadership and Inclusion from MUI.

Michelle Quinn Nova Coordinator

Michelle Collins

School Engagement and Wellbeing Coordinator
T: 083 471 6671

Michelle joined the team in September 2023 as our School Engagement and Wellbeing Coordinator. She is responsible for the Nova Programme and holds an MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) and a BA in Applied Psychology. Michelle is currently completing a Specialist Certificate in Youth Mental Health Promotion. Michelle has previously worked in youth justice and several community-based and national organisations. Michelle volunteers with a youth project. She is passionate about working to improve outcomes for young people.

Winnie Donoghue Programme Support Coordinator

Winnie Donoghue

Programme Support Coordinator
T: 01 494 0030

Winnie is the Programme Support Coordinator at CDI. She worked in various areas before joining CDI, including human rights, cancer support, and prevention and early intervention, and has over 15 years of experience coordinating and managing national networks and groups of different kinds. Winnie holds an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from SOAS, a Higher Diploma in Psychology from UCD, and a BA in English and History from Trinity College Dublin.

Jonathon Doyle

Jonathon Doyle

Business Development Manager

Jonathan is the Business Development Manager at CDI. He studied Community and Family Development at NUI Galway and recently completed a MSC in Social Policy and Practice at Trinity. Jonathon is a native of West Tallaght and really enjoys working with the people in the community. Jonathon has a great passion for connecting local work with philanthropic and corporate partners and also exploring how CDI programmes can transcend Europe! In between that he loves all sports and is a proud St. Annes GAA man.

PCF Natalie Dunne

Natalie Dunne

Parent Carer Facilitator
T: 086 077 2756

Natalie has a BA (hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies. She has worked with Barnardos for over 20 years, all of it being in family support and in particular early years families in Tallaght. Natalie began working with CDI in 2010 when we first implemented Parent Carer Facilitators and additional supports to Early Years services. She was the Project Co-Ordinator of a Barnardos preschool and worked on the control site during a three year period of research and evaluation. Natalie is also on the Board of Management for Tallaght Childcare Centre.

Denise Lakes

Denise Lakes

Literacy and STEAM Co-ordinator
T: 083 114 3723

Denise is the Literacy and STEAM Co-ordinator at CDI.  She supports the delivery of CDI’s literacy based interventions which are Doodle Den, Doodle Families, Doodle STEAM and Dolly Partons’ Imagination Library.  Denise holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Applied Social Care and has over 20 years of experience in various sectors.  Most recently Denise worked with CDI as a Parent Carer Facilitator within an early years service in Tallaght West, supporting Children and Families.

Audrey Mc Mahon

Parent Carer Facilitator
T: 086 070 7597

Audrey is a Parent/Carer Facilitator in Startbright Brookview. She has extensive experience of working in Tallaght and surrounding areas having spent six years working in early sectors and a further eleven years as a Youth Worker in the local area. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning and an MA in Child, Family, and Community Studies.

Pauline Minsky Communications Coordinator

Pauline Minsky

Communications Coordinator
T: 01 910 3076

Pauline is the Communications Coordinator at CDI. During an 18-year career in the UK, she worked in a professional and voluntary capacity in the public and third sectors. Having been Design Manager at Manchester City Galleries for 12 years, she went on to work at Manchester City Council, where she managed marketing and communications activities for key clients in Public Health, NHS, Adult Social Care, Equalities and Leisure. She has a BsB (First Class Hons) Degree in Digital Marketing and Sales, a BA in Visual Communication, and QQI Level 5 & 6 in Special Needs Assisting. She has experience working with primary school-age children with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools.

Holly McGann Administrator

Holly McGann

T: 01 414 7361

Holly provides administration support to the management and team in CDI and has over 15 years of experience working as an Administrator in various organisations.  Holly holds certificates in Secretarial Studies and European and Language Studies. She also has a QQI-accredited qualification in Web Design.

Alexandra Necula

Finance Administrator
T: 01 414 7360

Alexandra is the Finance Administrator at CDI. Alexandra has more than six years experience as an administrator and provides administrative support to the management and team in CDI. Alexandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography.

Boby Finance and Operations Manager

Boby Philip

Finance and Operations Manager
T: 01 414 7368

Boby is the Finance and Operations Manager at CDI. He has more than 18 years of experience in Accounting and Finance in various industries ranging from manufacturing, construction, and service industries. He moved to Dublin after working in India and the Sultanate of Oman. He holds a master’s in accounting (M Com) and Business Administration (MBA). He is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) USA, and a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) USA. 

Marian Quinn CEO

Marian Quinn

Chief Executive Officer
T: 01 414 7367

Marian’s career has been focused on children, young people and families. She has worked in the Health Services Executive and the Department of Justice, worked directly with young people at risk, and developed and coordinated Copping On, a national crime prevention programme. Marian holds a Masters in Adult Education, a BSc Honours in Youth and Community Work and is a qualified Life and Business Coach and nurse. Marian has extensive governance experience and has served as a Trustee on the new Childrens Hospital Board, the Social Work Registration Board, and the Airfield Trust, and also holds a Diploma in Corporate Governance. She is currently a Trustee with both Extern and the Irish Landmark Trust.

Michelle Quinn chit chat

Michelle Quinn

Chit Chat Coordinator
T: 085 801 5069

Michelle is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist with CDI and coordinates CDI’s on-site Speech and Language Therapy Service, Chit Chat. Michelle has a BA in Linguistic and Sociology, an MSc in Speech and Language Therapy and a PG Dip in Child Language and Communication from the University of Sheffield.

Jefrey Shumba National Research and Data Specialist

Jefrey Shumba

National Research and Data Specialist
T: 01 414 7364

Jefrey is the National Research and Data Specialist and works with the 12 Area Based Childhood Programme areas to operationalise the ABC Outcomes Framework. Jefrey recently worked with CDI as a Data Specialist. Jefrey has more than six years experience in monitoring and evaluation overseas. In Ireland, Jefrey has worked with the Royal College of Surgeons as a Research Assistant. Jefrey holds a Masters in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin, a Higher National Diploma in Data Analytics from the National College of Ireland, and an Honours Degree in Social Work.

Jessica Twomney

Parent Carer Facilitator
T: 085 180 4482

Jessica is a Parent Carer Facilitator in an Early Years service in Tallaght West. Jessica has over 13 years experience working with and supporting children, parents and families. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Early Years Education and Care.

Marie Daly

Senior Speech and Language Therapist
T: 086 219 3579

Marie joined the Chit Chat team in April 2023. Before this, Marie worked in multi-disciplinary teams supporting children with complex needs and disabilities. Marie qualified from Trinity College Dublin with a BSc in Clinical Speech and Language Studies and has a H.Dip in Education through Drama. Marie really enjoys the energy and creativity of the role and supporting young children in learning and loving language and communication.

Niamh Egan

Senior Speech and Language Therapist
T: 086 834 4337

Niamh joined the team in April 2023 as a Senior Speech and Language Therapist in CDI’s Speech and Language Programme, Chit Chat.
Niamh has a B.A. in Translation and Interpreting from DCU (1987) and an MSc. in Speech and Language Therapy and Pathology from University College London (1997).
Niamh has over 20 years of experience working with children with communication needs in a variety of settings in the UK, USA and Ireland and loves her job.

Louise Renwick Parenting Specialist

Louise Renwick

Powerful Parenting Co-Ordinator
T: 083 471 9306

Louise joined our team in March 2023 as a Support Officer, supporting our Powerful Parenting programme in early years services and in the wider Tallaght community. Louise took over the role of Co-ordinator of the Powerful Parenting programme in October 2023. Louise has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Care along with qualifications in mental health awareness, training and development, life coaching and coaching ethics. Louise has almost 20 years’ experience working within social care services and inspecting and regulating social services in Ireland.

Lauren Ward data specialist

Lauren Ward

Data Specialist
T: 01 494 0030

Lauren joined the team in February 2023 as our Data Specialist. She is responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of CDI’s programmes and interventions. Lauren attended Maynooth University and holds a BA Honours degree in Sociology and Psychological Studies, and an MA degree in Sociology, focusing on societies in transition, advanced research methods, and social science data.