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 - 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

Aileen Linehan

Aileen first joined EIL as a Programme participant in 2012, when she volunteered in Ghana for 3 months.  Over the years, she has either worked or volunteered with almost every EIL department, and even had a short stint on EIL’s Board.  Aileen joined the staff team originally in 2014 for 2 years, and rejoined again in 2019. The ethos of EIL is one that is very close to her heart, that she tries to embody in her daily life, specifically by volunteering in her local community.

Aileen has a Degree in Social Sciences from UCC, as well as a Masters in Sociology (Youth, Community and Social Regeneration) from UL, and is currently studying towards a Diploma in Business Management.

An on-again, off-again runner, Aileen is a proud member of Sanctuary Runners – a volunteer led organisation that uses sport, and running in particular, to build bridges between local communities and those seeking international protection in Ireland.


Manager - 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 - Cultural Groups

Rachel McCourt

With a background in tourism, Rachel joined the Cultural Groups team in September 2019.

In secondary school she had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with a family in Bavaria, where she was immersed in the culture and improved her German, which made her passionate about languages and travel. Later she went on to study Applied Languages in UL.

She loves experiencing different cultures, and has lived and worked in countries such as Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand. Rachel believes that travel makes people more open-minded and compassionate, and likes to take every opportunity to do a trip abroad, or somewhere in Ireland.

In her free time she loves playing or listening to music, getting outside for a walk or a swim in the sea, and baking.



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.


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 / 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.

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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.


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.