Chief Executive Officer - CEO

Aideen O’Leary

Aideen joins EIL in January 2024, bringing an abundance of passion and skills to the team. A Cork native, she has always embodied the the ethos and values of EIL, having lived in 7 countries and travelled to 50.

In addition to speaking French and Spanish, Aideen has a post graduate in Finance and an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability. She has a wealth of professional experience across sectors and geographies, including 6 years working in the development sector in Africa and a background in international banking.

Prior to joining EIL, Aideen oversaw Irish charity Bóthar through a significant crisis, and was instrumental in implementing robust governance and financial controls, clean accounts, and leading the organisation back to a position of being able to actively fundraise.

Aideens’ interests have always been centred around new people and places, and she looks forward to sharing these with others through her role in EIL.


Head of Administration & Finance

Mary Martin

Mary has over 20 years experience in the education sector.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business in Accounting & is currently studying the final accountancy exams with CPA Ireland.

A native of Cork, Mary has travelled to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, The Netherlands, North America & The West Indies however Italy has her heart.

In her spare time, Mary enjoys swimming, gym, hiking, reading & gardening. Mary lives in Cork and has 3 daughters.


Head of Programmes

Neil O'Mahony

Neil has been working in International Education in Ireland and abroad since 2007. He has post graduate qualifications in teaching English language and English for Academic Purposes. He is currently studying a Masters in Education Leadership and Management.

Neil is originally from Skibbereen in West Cork but has travelled and worked abroad in China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Poland before returning to Ireland and joining the EIL team in 2023. He loves playing football, music, going to gigs and festivals, DIY, gardening and the outdoors.


Manager - Global Citizenship Department

Adam Peerbux

Adam has backgrounds in Social Care and Innovation & Enterprise and worked as a youth worker with a keen interest in wellbeing. Adam first got involved with EIL Ireland in 2013 when he won an award with C.I.T’s Volunteer Abroad Programme where he spent a summer working in Jaipur, India in a Women Empowerment project. Adam has stated that his journey and experience in India was “without any doubt, the greatest learning of my life to date”.

Since then Adam went on to become a member of the Global Education Committee with the rest of “The Dream Team”, and has led inbound and outbound groups from Ireland, Hong Kong and the USA.

A travel lover, son of a Cork “mammy”, a Mauritian father, and living the first 11 years of his life in Britwell, Slough, England – cultures and diversity is something Adam is accustomed to and he loves meeting new people, from new places, with new insights and believes everyone has something special to bring to the party! Being an active role model is something Adam brings to the work and volunteer work he does with the mission – “aspire to inspire.”


Programme Co-Ordinator - Global Citizenship Department

Carolin Chucholowski

Carolin was born and raised in Germany and has a background in teaching English and Mathematics. During her assistant teaching experience in Cork she fell in love with Ireland. When she finally decided to come back to Cork and try something new she started working with EIL in October 2022.

Carolin has always enjoyed exploring different cultures, whether it was through travelling or staying abroad as an exchange student in the US, an au-pair in Spain, or an assistant teacher in Ireland. She’s a fan of the outdoors and enjoys hiking, climbing, trying to surf and playing disc golf.


Manager - Cultural Groups Department

Aidan Carrig

Aidan is from North East Galway and joined EIL in 2016 as Road Scholar Group Leader. Aidan has led all the Road Scholar programs in Ireland. In 2019 Aidan became the Group Leader Coordinator. During the Covid Pandemic, he was involved with delivering online Road Scholar Programs. Aidan re-joined EIL as manager of the Cultural Groups department in April 2023 following a brief period working in Tax.

Aidan got involved with heritage in his local community as a teenager volunteering in his local heritage centre which he is now a director of. Aidan has been involved in his local community as Chairperson of the Community Employment Scheme and the tidy towns in his local village.

Aidan’s educational background consists of a BA in Media Studies and History, an MA in European History from Maynooth University, a diploma in Archaeology from National University of Galway, a professional diploma in Digital Marketing from UCD and a postgraduate degree in Accountancy from Atlantic Technological University. Aidan also is a qualified Failte Ireland certified tour guide.

Aidan’s hobbies include swimming, reading, exploring Ireland, photography, and running. In his spare time he can be found coaching his local athletics club or shouting at a GAA match.


Programme Coordinator - Cultural Groups Department

Mary Watson

Mary joined EIL in the Cultural Department team as a Programme Coordinator in November 2022. With a BA in Film Studies & Italian, Mary began her career in animation sales and distribution but with a keen interest in travel and culture she moved to Seoul, South Korea where she worked as a TEFL teacher for two years in a unique environment that focused on delivering educational content in an entertaining manner. When she finished teaching, Mary took the opportunity to travel through Asia before returning home and completing an MA in PR & New Media at MTU Cork.

In the PR & Marketing industry she worked with many arts organisations and charities and she has also been on the events management team of numerous festivals and events in Cork and beyond that showcase the various talent, cultural and entertaining experiences on offer throughout Ireland.

With a background in arts, culture, entertainment, and education, Mary enjoys the opportunity to combine elements of all of these sectors creatively and practically to create truly unique experiences.


Programme Coordinator - Cultural Groups Department

Jillian Harris

In 2019 Jillian joined EIL as a group leader for their Road Scholar Programmes. Jillian has returned to EIL in 2023 in the role of Group Leader Coordinator for incoming Road Scholar programmes to Ireland.

Her background is dominated by the hospitality, dining, and tourism sector with many years of service in the hotel and restaurant industry. Jillian has been a conference and banqueting manager, in the hotel business and an area manager for 20 years with a busy Irish owned restaurant enterprise. She has worked with the public throughout her entire career.

Jillian has travelled to numerous food, drink and hospitality fairs around the world, Rome, Paris, London, Chicago. She has a great interest in food and beverages and loves to cook. She has a diploma with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, UK, in Wines and Spirits.

Jillian enjoys the great outdoors and being active. She is an avid golfer and invests much of her spare time on a golf course. She has many years of sailing experience and has completed a leg of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race on board the Asgard ll, Irish sail training vessel. She plays tennis socially and enjoys watching rugby. Countries visited include, Australia, USA, Malaysia, Greece. Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, and most central European nations.

Jillian is a member of Toastmasters International and has competed at international level. She dabbles in photography and photoshop.

Jillian has completed courses in Train the Trainer, Business office Management and is a qualified Failte Ireland National Tour Guide.


Programme Coordinator - Cultural Groups Department

Laura Hughes

Laura is the newest member of the Cultural Groups Department; born and raised in Dublin she moved to Cork at the end of 2023.

With a BA in Photography and Visual Culture, and an MA in Information and Library Studies, she joins us having spent 6 years working in and adoring public libraries. Recognising the values that EIL shares with libraries in offering space and opportunity for people to grow, become informed and active citizens, experience and share different cultures and knowledge – she found the right place to work.

She is an avid reader, singer-songwriter, and travels when she can.


Group Leader Coordinator

Antoinette O'Sullivan

Antoinette recently joined EIL as Group Leader Coordinator, having led groups of Road Scholar programmes. She grew up in the well-oiled tourism machine of Killarney, so it’s no surprise that after years of teaching English as a Foreign Language, she followed her parents’ footsteps into the world of tour guiding. Antoinette is passionate about travel, and has lived in New York, Australia, Italy, and all over Spain (although she never quite managed to grasp the language!)

With a background in Classics and English, and an MA in Journalism, Antoinette likes to write during her free time, and is an Irish history and mythology fanatic. She loves leading tours around Ireland, and delights in showing visitors the time of their lives while travelling. When not travelling, working, or writing, you’ll find her at a gig, or camping in the Irish countryside.


Manager - Study Abroad Department

Petra Milan

Petra joined EIL Ireland and became the Study Abroad Programme Manager. She was born and raised in Croatia, where she completed a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education. During her university years, she was awarded Erasmus+ Scholarship twice to study abroad at the Social Sciences department at the University of Wrocław and work as an English teacher both at Niepubliczna Szkoła Podstawowa Pro Futuro school and at the University of the Third Age in Poland. Petra has long-term experience working both as a teacher and a consultant for the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education as well as for Školska knjiga, one of the largest publishing companies in Croatia. A versatile person, she worked in various fields of education, working with all age groups. Petra decided to broaden her knowledge and skills by working on ESF projects as a Project Program Coordinator in the Association of People with Disabilities TOMS, improving employment and education opportunities for long-term unemployed and socially excluded people. As soon as she moved to Cork, Ireland, she started to work as a Student Welfare Officer, providing support assistance to students and ensuring that services are delivered to the highest standard.

Petra speaks Croatian, English, Polish and is currently learning Portuguese. Besides, she uses every opportunity to discover other languages and cultures. Petra is exceptionally passionate about traveling, cooking, ethnic music, traditional dances, and photography. Visiting family and friends bring her immense joy, so she uses every opportunity to spend time with them and enjoy the sun and endless coffees.”


Programme Co-ordinator - Study Abroad Department

Therese Casey

Therese studied English and archaeology in University College Cork. After college she worked for a number of years on archaeological excavations on the highways and byways around Ireland. She then went on to work within the English language teaching sector for over a decade. This role allowed her to meet people from the four corners of the world within her classroom. She enjoys keeping fit(despite the weather), travelling (to escape the aforementioned weather), getting involved in community groups, attending cultural events and quietly noting wandering apostrophes.



Shannon Coetzer

Shannon was born and raised in South Africa by her Irish mother but later returned to Cork Ireland in March 2022 with her husband. Shannon obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Law but her passion for assisting people was present from a young age. Shannon was the lead Project Manager for a large South African NPO which targeted the most vulnerable individuals through various sustainable projects. Not only does she obtain the correct humanitarian and corporate skills but Shannon also has vast administrational skills which can be linked back to her part-time work throughout her high school and college career.

Shannon is passionate about all things people and assisting wherever possible.



Richard Nixon

Richard was born and raised in Brazil and began his career working at the Integrated Emergency Operations Center, the heart of the police command center. Later, he joined the police force, where he had the opportunity to develop technological projects for combating and preventing crime.

Richard led the technical team for the operation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in his hometown, Manaus, which was chosen as one of the host cities.

In 2016, he was part of the accreditation team for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, working in partnership with international agencies to combat individuals linked to terrorist cells. This effort culminated in the launch of Operation Hashtag and the arrest of a total of 15 people, marking a milestone for the country’s anti-terrorism legislation.

Richard worked for six years at the Brazilian Central Intelligence Agency, under the Ministry of Justice. In this role, he provided crucial advice to the Presidency of Brazil, particularly during major crisis management situations and technology projects. He holds a degree in technology management and a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Beyond his professional endeavors at EIL, Richard finds enjoyment in staying active through jogging. He also dedicates time to expanding his knowledge through exploring new DIY projects and indulging his passion for coding.

Untitled design (1)

Finance Officer

Lisa Tetteh

Lisa joined EIL in March 2021 as Finance Officer.

She has an MSc in Management Information and Managerial Accounting Systems from UCC and has worked in several finance role before landing the role in EIL. What drew Lisa to this role is the culture of the organisation and the wonderful work being carried out daily.

Lisa loves travelling to different countries to experience new cultures and, in her spare time, you can find her rollerblading around Cork.


Finance assistant

Andrew Choe

Andrew  joined EIL in June 2022 as a Finance Intern during his studies at Accounting Technician Ireland.

He travelled to Europe more than a decade ago and was working in sales and distribution, restaurants and pubs in Singapore, Malaysia and Ireland before he became an Accounting Technician. He is originally from Malaysia and enjoys living with his spouse and two children in Cork by exploring Irish culture and natural habitat in his spare time.