Our Facilitators

The facilitators play a crucial role when conducting any form of workshop. Each facilitator shares Epochs principals of teaching – participant lead, task orientated and scenario based learning.

With a common focus and set of goals for the wellbeing of our young people the facilitator plays a crucial role when conducting their workshops:

Dr Brendan Egan

Health & Human Performance

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Barry Mottershead

Outdoor / Watersports Instructor

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Fran O'Reilly

Personal Development

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Kevin Connolly

Yeats Experience

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Aisling Harrison

Conflict Resolution

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Victoria Scanlon

Culinary Advisor

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Elizabeth Neary

Child and Adolescent Therapist

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Charles Harrison

Fitness & Performance

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Dara McGarty

Mindfullness and Yoga Instructor

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Dr Brendan Egan

Health & Human Performance

Brendan Egan, PhD is Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology at the School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Ireland. He received his BSc Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick in 2003, MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition from Loughborough University (UK) in 2004, and PhD from Dublin City University in 2008.

He completed two years of post-doctoral training with the Integrative Physiology group at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, before spending five years as Lecturer in Exercise Metabolism at University College Dublin.His research investigates skeletal muscle function and adaptation across the life course with special interest in the synergy between nutrition and exercise interventions ranging from athletes to older adults. His research group performs human trials involving both acute and chronic interventions for outcomes around performance (physical and cognitive), recovery and adaptation.

Outside of academia, through his sporting career formerly as an inter-county Gaelic footballer with Sligo and currently with the St. Vincent’s football team in Dublin, he has had a lifelong association with sport, training and performance at all levels of competition from grassroots to elite level. He formerly worked with the nutrition resource FoodFlicker where he was co-founder, and currently practices as a performance nutritionist with an emphasis on team sport and endurance athletes across all ages and abilities

Barry Mottershead

Outdoor / Watersports Instructor

Barry possesses an ICU Level 2 in Kayaking. He has Remote Emergency Care First Aid, Garda Vetted and last but not least, he is a Professional Big Wave Surfer.

Barry has been involved in watersports since a child, and have worked in the superyacht industry, as a surf instructor in Ireland’ leading surf school and in 2013 founded Sligo Kayak Tours based on a love of the water and sharing a lifetime of knowledge and respect for the wilderness.

By way of brief introduction, he grew up in Cape Town, and has been a keen surfer all his life. Barry came to Ireland on a surf trip at the age of 18 and fell in love with the countryside of Sligo, its people and a wave called Mullaghmore. He is part of a tight knit crew who regularly ride the biggest waves Ireland has to offer, and he trains all year round to ensure his ability for this pursuit. Barry has a great love of the outdoors and enjoy camping, hiking and exploring the Irish coastline by foot or by sea kayak seeking out new waves and new adventures.

Barry’s attributes to Epoch will certainly instil passion for the outdoors to the participants. Teenagers will learn many life skills from the wilderness environment. Both Barry and his team at Sligo Kayak Tours are industry leaders in their field.

Fran O'Reilly

Personal Development

Personal Development

Fran is Head Coach and the Development of Potential Expert at Amaze and brings 35 years of experience in achieving potential within international business. His expertise has helped develop leaders, mentor businesses and give effective career direction throughout the world.

Fran is unique in his ability and practical expertise in guiding individuals and teams to the development of their true potential. Whilst most of those who commit to the process comes from the business community, there are a growing number of elite sports people and professional musicians engaged.

In all cases, these people know they are capable of more and are seeking practical support to ‘make it happen’ at the highest level and within a shorter space of time.

Fran has held numerous senior roles with international companies in a career which spans technical, business development and leadership roles, up to and including the role of CEO. He has extensive experience as a coach and a Development of Potential Expert over the past 22 years working with executives across multiple industries, countries, and disciplines. These clients come from the Government, Finance, Bio-Tech, Horticultural, Defense, Manufacturing, Community, Local Government, Retail, Internet, Petrochemical, Music, Membership organisations, Beauty, Leisure, Telecoms, Construction, Software, Motor, Technology, Sports, Plastics, Call Center, Education and Legal sectors.

Fran’s approach is one where experiential learning is encouraged throughout, with clients challenged in linking the DOP framework to their own situations and challenges. His specific expertise is in helping organisations and individuals demonstrate leadership, deliver the bottom line, and develop the potential across all business units.

A passionate believer in what people can achieve when exposed to professional development, Fran holds a professional qualification from DCU within an I. T. discipline and an international coaching qualification since 1995.

He is a Fellow of the Sales Institute of Ireland (F.S.I.I.), a cognitive and Neuro Noetic hypnotherapist, an associate of a number of International Coaching organisations, a member of the World Association of Business Coaches (WABC) and a regular contributor to the Irish media.

Reason for getting involved.

Having first- hand experience at how difficult it is for adults, later on in life, to transition into areas where they can excel and to develop skills that allow them succeed , Fran is best positioned to appreciate the value of helping young adults lay strong foundations early on, develop greater self-belief, be more assured and assertive in what they can contribute in the world and have better clarity around the directions in life where they can make the greatest impact.

Kevin Connolly

Yeats Experience

Kevin Connolly has enjoyed a variety of professions throughout his life from horticulture to bookselling and appraising rare books and collections throughout Europe and the USA. Kevin was the founder and owner of The Winding Stair Bookshops and Cafés in Dublin and Sligo (1982-2006). He is also the author of Yeats and Sligo, Brandon Books, 2010 and Arise and Go: W.B. Yeats and the People and Places that Inspired Him, O’Brien Press, 2019 and is a contributor to newspapers, journals, and the radio on a broad range of topics. He possesses a deep interest in, and understanding of, the life and works of W.B. Yeats in particular as they relate to Sligo and it was his passion for Yeats that originally brought him to County Sligo where he now lives. He has been a keen sportsman throughout his life and competed in numerous marathons. Kevin is also a keen rower, having rowed competitively in the United States as a Masters Rower and he currently rows and coaches at Sligo Rowing Club and loves to hike and paddle throughout the beautiful Sligo countryside.

Kevin is also associated with Yeats Society Sligo – For sixty years, Yeats Society Sligo has celebrated the life and work of the poet and his talented family. The Yeats Societies doors are always open to those who love the arts and who are keen to continue celebrating the Yeats family and those poets, artists and writers who have drawn inspiration from them.

Kevin’s attributes and overall contribution to the Epoch team will undoubtedly add to the invaluable and extensive experience of your teen.  As part of the experience teens will follow in Yeats footsteps while camping in the environment that inspired him to write his poetry.

Aisling Harrison

Conflict Resolution

Aisling Harrison Associate Solicitor, has particular expertise in the fields of Personal Injury Claims (including Medical Negligence and Malpractice), Employment Litigation and Commercial Litigation. She regularly deals with a wide variety of legal matters on behalf of clients to include Road Traffic Accidents and Workplace Accidents.

Aisling joined Damien Tansey & Associates in 2006, where she underwent her traineeship. She remained in that office for a number of years after qualification and specialised in Litigation. In 2014, she moved to Noel Smyth & Partners, where she worked for three years in Litigation, dealing in particular with high-value claims across a board spectrum of legal matters.

In 2017, she returned to Damien Tansey Solicitors as an Associate Solicitor, and practices at the firm’s Sligo office.

Education: B.A. in Economics (First-Class Honours, University College Dublin); Diploma in Finance Law (Law Society of Ireland)

Solicitor Admissions: Ireland and England and Wales.

Victoria Scanlon

Culinary Advisor

Victoria is a highly experienced and innovative Head Chef with a wide repertoire in different cuisines and disciplines, gained from working in well renowned Irish and UK establishments. She has undergone extensive training with some of the worlds leading figures in this industry such as James Woods, Liz Doggett and Richard Corrigan. Victoria has worked in many 4 and 5 star Irish hotels, including the iconic Shelbourne Hotel based in the City’s centre.

Victoria has an exceptional passion for creating culinary delights that exceed expectations. She possesses in excess of twenty years experience in intensive working and training in all aspects of the catering industry. Victoria’s skills are extensive and range from menu planning, costing, sourcing, purchasing, cooking foods to delivering cookery classes of the highest standards. Her experience and knowledge has been gained from hard grafting and her knowledge and expertise has afforded her the opportunity to establish her own restaurant here in Sligo in more recent times.

Elizabeth Neary

Child and Adolescent Therapist

Elizabeth practises as a Child and Adolescent therapist, Parent Mentor and Relationship Mentor. Elizabeth holds Post Graduate Diplomas in Play Therapy, Parent Mentoring and Relationship Mentoring from UCC and CTC.  She is a member of Irish Association of Play Therapists and Psychotherapy and Irish Association of Relationship Mentors.

Elizabeth works in private practice in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin extensive experience working with individual children, teenagers and parents. The Play Therapy approach aims to help children understand confused feelings, resolve difficulties and to make sense of upsetting events.

Epoch approaced Elizabeth due to her working methods – she workd in a non judgemental, empathic, safe and respectful way. In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language (Landreth, 2002).

As a Parent and Relationship Mentor her aim is to  work and create safety and space for participants to tap in to their potential so that they can empower themselves and have better understanding in their relationships with themselves and others.

Elizabeth also offers training, workshops, seminars and courses to teenagers, parents, teachers and professionals working with children and adolescents on a variety of topics such as parenting matters, raising self esteem, communication, talks to parents on teenagers and Relationships.

Charles Harrison

Fitness & Performance

Charles is a Sligo native having devoted upwards of fourteen years to senior inter-county Gaelic football. Charles holds a degree in Sports Science awarded by St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. Charles also holds a Professional Diploma in Education from the National University College Galway and a Masters in Health Promotion awarded by the University of Ulster.
As a GAA Vodafone All Star recipient and being awarded a place on the Gaelic Players Association Team of the year in 2010. He knows too well the rewards of dedication and discipline in sport and is willing to share his experience with participants as the workshops unfold. Aside from his educational background, Charles has hands on knowledge on what it’s like to be part of a team. As a facilitator, he can share the health benefits of playing sport but is also anxious to deal with the physical elements and the relevance of promoting teamwork, being social and boosting confidence. Charles believes that personal values and teamwork is a vital component in all areas of life. It creates harmony…

Dara McGarty

Mindfullness and Yoga Instructor

Dara McGarty is proud Sligo native, yoga instructor and radiographer by profession. Dara has diversified his twenty-year career trajectory across a number of different paths and experiences, consistently placing a ‘caring and calm’ component as the core foundation of his work.

A true advocate for self-care and holistic living, Dara holds a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to living one’s “best life” and the tools necessary to achieve this. Dara’s passion for personal improvement led him to further develop his skills in this area, qualifying with a diploma in Executive Life Coaching from the Irish Management Institute in 2015.

An early advocate of yoga, Dara started practicing various forms of yoga as he travelled the world in 2002 and 2003 and ultimately qualified as a yoga instructor in 2012. His particular interest and training is in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga is a physical, mental and spirtual discipline for developing strenght, awareness, character and consciousness.

Dara will lead our Epoch yoga workshops and we are certain he will bring about a new way of thinking and a much appreciated holistic approach to every day life for participants.