Chief Executive Officer - CEO

Kevin Hickey

Kevin has worked in the intercultural exchange field for over 25 years, he has lived and worked as an English teacher in Mexico and was as an election observer in South Africa during the first democratic elections in 1994. He served as President of the National Youth Council of Ireland from 2002 – 2004 and was President of the EIL Worldwide Federation from 1998 – 2002 and again from 2006 – 2008. An avid traveller and student of world issues and other cultures he lives in Cork with his wife Cecilia who is from Mexico.


Senior Manager

Fiona O'Leary

Fiona has been a member of the EIL staff team since 2000, when she started as a group leader with the visiting American ‘Road Scholar’ groups.

A native of Cork, Fiona studied European history, politics and languages at the University of Limerick and has lived and worked in France, Germany and Finland. She spent time volunteering in India in 2005 and really values travel and living in another culture as a way to learn about the world and to foster understanding of each other. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading and gardening. She lives in north county Cork with her husband and young daughter.


Manager - Cultural Groups

Marian Lawlor

A member of EIL since 2007, Marian studied History, Law and French in the University of Limerick and has lived and worked in France, San Francisco and Australia. Her interests include nutrition, travel and home interiors. She lives in West Cork with her husband and two kids.

‘Working with Cultural Groups means I am continually welcoming people to Ireland and talking about Ireland and Irish culture. Seeing Ireland through their eyes gives me a whole new perspective on Ireland and learning how much their Irish experience means to them makes my job very rewarding.’


Enterprise Development & Child Safeguarding

Joanna Karolini

Joanna has lived in several cities and since 2016 settled in the ‘Republic of Cork’, joining EIL in October 2018. Her background is in visual art, photography and fine art, and she has worked as an artist, art lecturer and entrepreneur for 14 years, which lead her to do an MBA at Trinity College Dublin. Being a trilingual with Danish, Polish and English she endeavours to continue her dedication to promote and enhance growth, sustainability and safeguarding both at work and the community she lives in.

In her spare time she makes the most of the stunning countryside and any travel opportunities abroad, while she is an avid listener of eclectic music and loves reading, cycling and hiking.


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.”


Manager - Study Abroad Inbound

Gillian McCormack

Having always had an interest in languages Gillian lived and worked in Germany and France as a teenager and continued this love for different cultures and languages by studying French and Archaeology in UCC and later completing a Masters in Archaeology. On completion of her degree she spent many years working with languages and amongst other cultures on archaeology sites, in language schools and secondary schools in Ireland, France and South Korea.

She is passionate about the concepts of experiential learning, intercultural learning and global consciousness and knows the value of studying or living abroad in order to cultivate these areas.  She really enjoys seeing her students grow and learn about themselves and the world by participating in EIL’s Study Abroad programmes. In her spare time she loves acting, telling stories and wandering this beautiful planet.


Manager - Study Abroad Outbound

Tom Hehir

Tom is a PhD graduate (UCC) whose research in Sub Saharan Africa helped him discover a love of travel and a keen interest in experiencing new and diverse cultures. Tom has extensive work experience in the non-profit, development and retail sectors, which has helped him develop his diverse skills in the areas of research, monitoring & evaluation, project/programme management, strategy planning, skills training & team building.

Originally from Kerry, Tom now lives in Cork with his wife & two daughters. Tom is a passionate American Football fan….but we don’t hold that against him.


Senior Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups

Rosemarie O' Sullivan

Rosemarie joined EIL in March 2016. She is working as a programme coordinator for the Cultural Groups department. She is passionate about learning new languages and has always been interested in different cultures. Her family hosted foreign exchange students from all over Europe which sparked her enthusiasm for intercultural learning from a young age.

Prior to commencing her third level studies, she moved to Tarragona where she hoped to immerse herself in a new culture. She worked as an English teaching aupair and maintained a focus on improving her own spoken Spanish, which she had studied for six years in secondary school.

After a year in Spain, she returned to Ireland to study Town Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. She developed a deep interest in both the built and natural environment and how people interact and respond to their surroundings. Now working with incoming educational and cultural groups, Rosemarie is interested in Responsible Tourism and how her department can offer visiting groups fulfilling and meaningful experiences by connecting them to distinctive local cultures and areas of natural beauty, while minimising the negative impacts on localities.



Noel Dillon-Daly

Noel joined EIL in January 2019. He graduated from UCC in 2012 with a degree in Computer Science and has been working in the IT sector since, including a 9-month Software Development internship in Paris.

He has a strong interest in Psychology and Mental Health, and has a desire to help people overcome challenging mental health issues. As such, he is currently completing a degree and accreditation in Psychotherapy. He believes travel broadens the mind and is very proud to be working with EIL.

In his spare time he likes running, watching football, writing and sleeping.


Content Producer / Social Media

Ellie Wright

Ellie is passionate about all things creative, particularly how storytelling and targeted-messaging is created through visual design and graphics.
As Content Producer, Ellie is responsible for the look of EIL, and is eager to increase EIL’s brand awareness. Ellie’s background is in Multimedia, and she has always had an interest in creative content.When Ellie isn’t working, you’ll find her reading, colouring comics, drawing, or binge-watching the latest shows on Netflix.


Programme Co-ordinator - Study Abroad

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.

Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups

Kate Healy

Kate is interested in all things travel, culture and language oriented. She has lived in Madrid and previously worked as an English teacher for adults from all over the world, both in Spain and in Ireland. A lover of language, Kate is a Gaeilgeoir with an MA in Applied Linguistics from University College Cork. She really enjoys music and plays piano, bass and sings. She will listen to any genre, but has a special interest in world music. Kate started out as a Group Leader on the Road Scholar programmes in 2016 and loved the cultural experience so much that she decided to work in the Cultural Groups Department full-time.


Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups

Karen O'Neill

Karen originally started with the organisation in 2013 and returned to EIL in July 2019 after spending two and a half years working in the events team at the University of East Anglia in the UK. She works as a programme coordinator in the Cultural Groups department. Karen studied English and Geography in University College Cork.

She is passionate about all things travel and has lived and worked in America, Australia, New Zealand and most recently Norwich in the UK. Karen is devoted to creating meaningful experiences for the groups visiting Ireland. In her spare time she is an avid cyclist and loves spending time with her husband and daughter.


Programme Co-ordinator / Finance Administrator

Lasia Young

Lasia joined EIL in April 2017 after having worked in the travel industry for 15 years. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, fostered her love of travelling and learning of other cultures. She believes in the transformative power of travel and is delighted to continue that work here at EIL. Prior to moving to Ireland, Lasia managed the operations department for a student travel company.


Finance Manager

Liam Shanahan

Liam joined EIL in March of 2011. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting roles across the service, food and engineering industries, previous to this position. He is responsible for the accounting function within EIL and ensures that all aspects of the financial records and reports are maintained to the highest standards. His primary motivation is to provide accurate financial information that in turn allows the organisation to improve it’s operational activities and accomplish it’s future financial objectives.

Education Co-ordinator

Louise Aherne

Louise has an MA from UL in Applied Social Research, in which she focused on social class, exclusion and the sociology of the media. After the years of academic lecture halls, she found that her education really started when she began volunteering in her own local community in North Cork, and is a very ongoing process. She is interested in issues such as early childhood education, the powerful influence of the media and the role of women in society. She is passionate about community-led change, be it the building of scout hall in a small village or the revolutionary overthrowing of a dictator. She believes strongly that our future lies in increased participation and community ownership.

She like to cook for friends and has been known to road-test her baking in the office.


Group Leader Coordinator - Cultural Groups

Aidan Carrig

Aidan joined EIL in 2016 leading our Road Scholar groups on educational trips around Ireland. Aidan is from North East County Galway, from a small village. He attended University in Maynooth where he completed a BA in Media Studies and an MA in European History. He spent a year tutoring 1st year undergraduate history.

Aidan’s interests are sports of all kinds, having spent time as a volunteer sports presenter on radio. In the past, he worked as a swimming teacher and freelancer with television production. He is an avid swimmer and also enjoys hurling, football, water polo and running. He enjoys reading history and novels and also enjoys watching ‘leave you brain at the door’ comedies. He is a voluntary member of the board of directors of the Castleblakeney Heritage Centre, having being a volunteer here for over 10 years.

Explore Co-ordinator

Jackie Ni Fhogartaigh

Jackie joined the Global Citizenship team at EIL in August 2019. She is responsible for the Explore Travel Awards and supporting each individual, before, during and after their adventures.

Jackie’s first experience with EIL was as part of the CIT Volunteer Abroad Programme where she was a scholarship recipient in 2017. After 4 years in CIT studying Social Care, Jackie volunteered with EIL for 3 months in Guatemala working with children with disabilities in a therapeutic learning centre and found it to be an unforgettable experience, because of this she has a passion for the Explore Awards and believes in the benefits of intercultural living and learning. She then spent a couple of years in CIT as the CIT Societies Intern where she had a vital role in the CIT Volunteer Abroad Programme, which is still closely linked with EIL. Jackie has also spent 3 months in 2018 at Camp Allen which is a unique camp in New Hampsire, USA that caters for people of all abilities and allows both adults and children to participate and experience a summer camp that best suits them.

In 2018 Jackie held a photographic exhibition outlining her learnings in Guatemala and focusing on the SDG number 4 ‘Quality Education’ which helped her receive the Silver Global Citizens Award as well as her reflective posts including ‘Girls Grow in Education’ and ‘Learning at Every Ability’.


Global Citizen Award Co-ordinator

Tessa Cornally

Tessa joined the EIL team in January 2019 as the Global Citizen Award Coordinator. She has moved back to Cork after living in France, Spain, Peru and Dublin, among others, and is very glad to be back in the People’s Republic. After an experience of international volunteering in India with Suas Educational Development in 2004, she became motivated to become more involved with local issues and
got involved with the students union and the Suas Society in UCC.

Her intercultural learning experiences continued during an Erasmus year in Caen, France and a Masters in Natural Language Processing in Besançon, France and in Barcelona, Spain. However, the experience which impacted on her most significantly was living in Chimbote, Peru for two years and working with an Early Childhood Educational Project.

She has a keen interest in social and trade justice, gender equality and sustainability issues. In her spare time she loves reading, yoga, cycling and hiking.



Stephanie O'Driscoll

Stephanie joined EIL in February 2019 having returned to Ireland from San Francisco. Prior to living in the USA she lived and worked in England (London), Australia, Israel, Spain, Greece & Holland and has travelled extensively in Europe and beyond.

When not working at EIL Stephanie is actively involved in drama, volunteering, beach cleaning and hiking.