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Who Are We?

Click on the department titles below to view the people who make Cancer Care West

  • Cancer Care West Management and Fundraising Team

    Richard Flaherty


    Richard joined Cancer Care West in 2009 from his previous role as General Manager of Connemara Golf Club, and has over 15 years business management experience.  He oversees all aspects of Cancer Care West from Fundraising to Operations, and manages a busy and dedicated team delivering enhanced facilities and care to patients and their families.

    Richard loves all sport, particularly GAA and soccer.  He coaches both Soccer and Gaelic football and is also a keen swimmer.  He has taken part in many fundraising challenges for Cancer Care West.

    Dave O Donnell

    Head of Fundraising & Communications

    Dave joined Cancer Care West in 2002 after graduating from NUIG in business and marketing. He oversees numerous fundraising events including the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim and our annual Christmas Card campaign and is responsible for the preparation of management accounts for the Board of Directors.

    Dave is a member of the Galway Triathlon Club and Galway Tennis Club and enjoys going to the gym.  He follows Mayo GAA every year for his sins.

    Orla Cunniffe

    Community Fundraiser & Digital Marketer

    Orla joined the Cancer Care West Team in 2019, bringing over eight years of charity fundraising experience with her. Orla oversees our fundraising campaigns, big and small across the region. She also has a keen interest and skill in digital marketing and manages our Social Media networks and campaigns, while also dealing with PR.

    In her free time, Orla enjoys spending time with family and friends, undertaking further courses and travelling.

  • Donegal Cancer Support Centre

    John Donohue

    Clinical Psychologist

    John gained his accreditation as a clinical psychologist in 2007. Upon qualification, he secured a post in Russells Hall Hospital UK, working primarily in the oncology and clinical hematology wards in the hospital. In 2018 he returned to his native Ireland and following a short phase in private practice,  became appointed as senior clinical psychologist and centre lead for the service in Co. Donegal.

    Patricia Doherty

    Administrative Assistant

    Patricia Doherty is the administrator in the Letterkenny Office. In this position Patricia works closely with colleagues and serves as the primary contact to new clients. Patricia has a background in hospitality and healthcare and enjoys welcoming clients to our wonderful Centre.

    Elaine McDermott

    Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist

    Elaine McDermott qualified from the internationally recognised Dr Vodder Schule of Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Lymphoedema Management and has worked in cancer care since 2015. Elaine’s passion is empowering patients to manage and take control of their ailment through education, massage, skincare, movement, and compression. Elaine works with empathy, taking a holistic view to achieve the best possible outcome, thus improving quality of life

    Grainne Duffy


    Grainne has been qualified in various Holistic Therapies since 2006 from Cavan Institute. She has also attended The London School of Reflexology and The Irish school of Reflexology. Grainne is also an Itec accredited tutor at the award-winning Pyramid Holistic Centre Donegal, where she teaches Reflexology and Massage Therapy. Grainne takes great pride in her work at the Centre supporting Oncology patients Holistically on their road to wellbeing and Vitality. 

  • Galway Cancer Support Centre

    Helen Greally

    Director of Psychology and Support Services

    Dr Helen Greally, Ph.D. qualified as a psychologist in 1982. Her doctoral thesis explored loss and grief and the individual’s ability to cope with traumatic life events remains an area of significant interest. She has worked with Cancer Care West since 2007, and was instrumental in establishing the current Support Centre in 2009. She has an abiding interest in improving quality of life for those living with chronic or terminal health conditions.

    Martina Hickey

    Oncology Nurse

    Martina Hickey has worked at Cancer Care West since 2007. She completed her RGN training at the Whittington Hospital, London and her Higher Diploma in Oncology at NUI Galway in 2005. She has worked at Laurence Hospital, Bronxville, New York and the SAOLTA University Healthcare Group in the Respiratory Unit at Merlin Park. She has a special interest in lung cancer having worked in this area both in Ireland and abroad.

    Elaine Corcoran

    Oncology Nurse

    Elaine Corcoran is an oncology nurse at Cancer Care West since 2007. She completed her Higher Diploma in Oncology from UCD IN 2005. She has worked for the SAOLTA University Health Care Group in Galway and Castlebar as well as St. Vincents Private Hospital, Dublin. She has a specific interest in providing emotional support to cancer patients and their families and she completed a Certificate in the Psychology of Counselling from NUI Galway in 2013.

    Mairead Brennan

    Clinical Psychologist

    Dr Mairead Brennan, BA. MA. DPsychSc., completed her clinical doctorate from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) in 2015. She has always had a special interest in the area of Psycho-Oncology and completed some of her specialist training at Cancer Care West Support Centre. She also works with children of cancer patients and is currently offering therapeutic play interventions for this age group.

    Norma Jean Murphy

    Clinical and Counselling Psychologist

    Dr Norma Jean Murphy is a chartered clinical and counselling psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland. She has a long-standing interest in psychological aspects of physical health, illness and pain, having completed an M.Sc. in Health Psychology and previously supported people with chronic disease, life-limiting illness and at end of life. She joined Cancer Care West in 2017, where her primary role is working with patients and family members impacted by cancer-related distress.

    Elaine Grehan

    Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist

    Elaine Grehan qualified in manual lymph drainage and decongestive lymphatic therapy at the Dr. Vodder Schule in Austria ten years ago. She has been treating cancer related secondary lymphoedema both privately and in cancer care centres since 2007 and has been with Cancer Care West since 2014. Elaine’s philosophy is to facilitate patients in managing their own condition and achieving the best possible outcome for their quality of life and general health and wellness.

    Alazne Larrinaga

    Exercise Physiologist

    Alazne holds a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from The University of Galway. She is a qualified Smart Yoga Teacher, Fitness instructor and Exercise for Health Specialist (Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) Ireland). She joined Caner Care West support centre in February 2023. She believes in making exercise fun and accessible to all cancer patients, whatever stage of the cancer journey they are at. She holds the BACPR (British Association Certificate for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation) and the Level 4 Exercise Specialist for Cancer. She is qualified in the Alexander Technique.

    Anne Buckley

    Brain Tumour Support Worker

    In 2006, Anne founded the Galway and Western Region Irish Brain Tumour Support. She holds a B.A. in Spirituality and Pastoral Care from the University of Wales as well as certificates in counselling and related areas from UCD, The Irish Hospice Foundation and Waverley College, Surrey. She offers both individual counselling to people affected by a brain tumour diagnosis as well as facilitating a monthly support group.

    Mary-Kate Kelly


    Mary-Kate Kelly (MIACP) has worked as a counsellor/psychotherapist for over 20 years. Much of her therapeutic work has been with people impacted by a cancer diagnosis (including inpatients, outpatients, adjusting post-treatment, dealing with recurrence, living with secondaries, family members, as well as carers and the bereaved). A Mayo woman, she worked for many years in Belfast, Northern Ireland and relocated back to Galway in 2018. As a therapist, she is committed to continuing professional development, as well as keeping sight of the person in the middle of the cancer experience in all of her work.

    Dr Nora Eilert

    Counselling Psychologist

    Dr. Nora Eilert completed her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at Trinity College Dublin in 2018 and since 2021 has been working in the Cancer Care West Support Centre Galway. She uses an integrative approach to support people directly or indirectly affected by cancer, collaborating with them in identifying their needs and working towards their goals. She is an experienced researcher and has published her work in peer-reviewed journals. Her research interests lie in internet-delivered and cancer survivorship interventions.

    Justina McElligott

    Massage Therapist

    Justina Mc Elligott qualified as a massage therapist in 1995 and has been working with Cancer Care West since 2009. She is a member of the Irish Massage Therapist Association. She has a diploma in Ki Massage, awarded by IHCA and holds certificates in Physiology and Anatomy from City and Guilds London. In 2008, she undertook specialised training with Gayle MacDonald (OHSU Hospital Portland Oregon) in Massage for People Living with Cancer. Justina uses massage to optimise an individual’s health and to minimise the effects of stress.

    Claire O’Grady


    Claire is a member of the National Register of Reflexology of Ireland. She has been working in the complementary therapy field for over 10 years in both her own private practice and with Cancer Care West. Over the years Claire has completed specific training in Reflexology and Cancer Care in both Ireland and the UK. She has completed counselling skills workshops and has attended lectures on the emotional effects of cancer.  She is also a Reiki practitioner.

    Pauline Berkeley


    Yoga is one of the most popular classes at Cancer Care West. Pauline has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to cancer patients since 2009. She joined the team in Cancer Care West in 2019. There are two yoga classes per week, one in person and one online.

    Jo Pender

    Tai Chi

    Jo has been teaching Tai Chi since 2001. She uses the Yang style of the Tai Chi Chuan. It is the gentlest form of Tai Chi and it is based on slow, gentle graceful movements which improve mind and body. There is one Tai Chi class per week in the centre.

    Mary Ryan


    Tom Gilmore


    Nora Hardiman


    Marie O’Connor


  • Inis Aoibhinn Residence

    Annette Hassett

    Operations Manager

    Kara Giles


    Kara Joined Cancer Care West in 2014. Kara joined us after graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree from UCG. She always has a positive attitude and believes in treating everyone separately, quietly and meeting their needs at that moment in time as much as possible.
    Kara loves to see how a little Compassion and Understanding can be so helpful and vital to all who call to Cancer Care West.

    Teresa Nash

    Staff Nurse

    Teresa works as a nurse in Inis Aoibhinn and is a member of staff since opening in 2007, and prior to this worked with the HSE in differing specialities. Teresa is a mother to three young adults, a proud Clare woman with interests in walking in the Burren, hurling, traditional music and dancing – and so especially enjoys the cultural nights with residents.

    Richard Keane

    Staff Nurse

    Richard works in Inis Aoibhinn as a nurse. He trained in UCHG and worked there as a staff nurse for 3 years before becoming a “Night Nurse”/”Daffodil Nurse” with the Irish Cancer Society. He joined the staff of Inis Aoibhinn in April 2009.  Having been born in the middle of Galway City, he now lives on the Galway/Mayo border and keeps an ever expanding flock of hens and ducks. As an avid rugby fan, he splits his spare time between coaching his local team and supporting the Connacht rugby team.

    Noelle McNamara

    Staff Nurse

    Noelle joined the team in 2021, having been out of nursing for 15 years while raising her 3 daughters. She is a dual qualified mental health and general trained nurse, with a background mainly in accident and emergency. She lives in the beautiful village of Oughterard but is originally from Co Louth. In her spare time, she loves travelling with her husband, attending music concerts and horse-riding.

    Lorraine Quinn

    Health Care Assistant

    Lorraine works as a Health Care Assistant at Inis  Aoibhinn and joined the Staff on opening in 2007. Lorraine enjoys working nights and feels it gives her a great opportunity to get to know our residents through many of the activities especially the fantastic ‘Music Nights’.  The GAA is an important part of her life through the involvement of her children in their local club.

    Ann Burke

    Health Care Assistant

    Ann is a true Galway girl. She has a lot of experience working as a Healthcare Assistant since 2007.  Ann started working for Cancer Care West Inis Aoibhinn in May 2014. Working with people has being a long standing pursuit for Ann and she has a particular  interest in working with cancer patients with whom she has a deep understanding.  Ann is always there to help and listen to residents and her work friends.  In her spare time, she loves to go to watch her 3 kids play football, hurling, soccer and she also loves to travel.

    Bernie Kilcoyne

    Health Care Assistant

    Bernie has worked at Cancer Care West as a Healthcare Assistant Locum since 2014.  She studied Care of the Older Person Level 5 at the Irish Ambulance Institute, Galway.  Bernie also works part time as an Administrator for ISS Facility Services.  She enjoys spending her free time with her family, friends and gardening.

    Margaret Ryan

    Health Care Assistant

    Margaret has worked at Inis Aoibhinn since it opened its doors in 2007. She began her role working in the kitchen before retraining to become a health care assistant in 2011.
    Margaret has lived in Galway City for most of her adult life, but grew up in the countryside of North East County Galway. She is a huge rugby fan, and often spends her weekends supporting the Connacht Rugby team at The Sportsground. Margaret has 16 grandchildren, so has a very busy lifestyle outside of work.

    Maureen Grealish


    Claire Martin


    Ann Monahan


    Nora Delargy


    Eamonn McElroy