Maura Gilmore – Chairperson
School: St. Attracta’s C.S. Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo
I have been working in education since 2001, starting out as an R.E. Teacher with Chaplaincy duties in St. Louis High School Rathmines. Following a move home to my native Roscommon in 2011, the commute continued until the opportunity of a full time Chaplains post became available in St. Attracta’s C.S. in 2014. Working happily and a Mum of three, life is busy but fulfilling.
Building key relationships with students, parents and colleagues is my main objective and providing a safe place to listen and be present with those who come to me underpins all I do. I am grateful for the unwavering support of both management and colleagues who assist and work with me tailoring liturgies, organising wellbeing programmes, and placing value in the time spent with individuals.
And of course, where would I be without my own personal faith providing the very sustenance of my being…. The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you…. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
This is my fourth year on the Executive, and I look forward to working alongside a great team in my role as Chairperson, supporting the School Chaplains’ Association. I have always experienced the work of the Executive and especially Conference, to be the “well that nourishes me” and this is my way of giving back.
Catherine Clarke – Vice Chairperson, PRO, Email
School: Portmarnock Community School
Hello, this is my second year on this current Executive Committee, I worked on a previous Executive many moons ago. I am 15 Years in Chaplaincy and am five years in my current school. I love to travel, and this photo is from a recent trip that I made to Santiago de Compostela over the mid-term break. Some of my other interests include listening to music and spending time with family and friends. On a Friday after school, you will often find me in a nice coffee shop sipping a nice cappuccino and watching the world go by, there is no better way than to wind down after a busy week’s work. I continue to look forward to working with the SCA and getting to know its members. Let us continue to pray for each other in our mission and work.
Pierce Cuthbert – Treasurer, Conference Coordinator
School: Killinarden CS,Tallaght
This is my 31st year working as a school chaplain and l volunteered to join the SCA executive this year as l have always been grateful for the work that other chaplains have done on my behalf over the years and I thought it was about time that l gave something back!
The role of a chaplain in a school is unique but as a result it can be quite isolating so l think it is very important that we can find support from one another in our association and clusters.
I am a very proud Cork man despite the many years l have been living in exile as well as being the father of two grown up young men. I like all sports but consider hurling as the closest thing to Godliness! I look forward to working on your behalf on the executive for the next few years and hopefully getting the chance to meet you all in person soon
Shona Killeen – Membership, Diaries
Diocese: Kildare & Leighlin
School: Heywood Community School, Ballinakill, Co. Laois
I qualified as a School Chaplain from Mater Dei Institute of Education, DCU in 2012 and have been working in this privileged role for 10 years and counting! I am also Religion and English teacher with a special interest in Wellbeing and SPHE. I am nourished by the support provided to me by my school community in its entirety, especially our exceptional students, staff, management, Parents and our Patrons- The Salesians of Don Bosco Ireland.
I feel a special connection to Celtic Spirituality and both my school and our national heritage and traditions. I have completed a Diploma in Integrative Adolescent Psychotherapy and my work as a School Chaplain is guided by my interest in the Neuroscience of the Adolescent Brain, the Relationship between the Brain and the Body (Polyvagal Theory) and our our human need for Bondedness.
I use prayer and mindfulness techniques, art therapy and sand tray therapy in both my person and professional life in order to honour these areas of interest and to help address challenges such as anxiety, trauma and isolation. This is my second stint on the executive and I’m looking forward to connecting with others more closely once again and hopefully being able to do something for them in gratitude for God’s promise to us all ‘I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine’ (Ephesians 3.20).
Finola Casey – Website, Facebook, Twitter
This is my second time to serve on the Executive. Previously my role as Conference & Social Media. This time my role is Website, Facebook & Twitter.
I am the College Chaplain in my school. I worked as the Tallaght Chaplains Cluster Coordinator for a number of years and I am passionate about making and fostering connections and support between Chaplains in our roles.
In my role as Chaplain I think building rapport with students, teachers, parents/guardians & the wider school community is vital as well as providing a supportive and safe environment.
I love travel and keeping active, going on hikes and walks. I love meeting up with friends and trying new things.
Sarah Greene – Secretary
School: St. MacDaras Community College, Templeogue
I have been a teacher for 15 years and have been doing chaplaincy for the last 3 of those. I really enjoy the diversity that the role brings. Each day is very different from the last and you can never tell what you’ll encounter. Wellbeing is the cornerstone of the new JCT and I think chaplains have a pivotal role in ensuring that the wellbeing needs of our school community are met.
Colette Colgan – Cluster, Mid Year Conference
School: Firhouse Community College
I have been involved in education since I qualified from Mater Dei Institute/ Pontifical
University of Maynooth, in 1992 with a B.Rel.Sc. in Education (Theory & Practice), Religious
Education and History as my teaching subjects. The concurrent nature of my training to
become an educator, catechist, teacher began with teaching practice in primary classrooms
progressing to teaching at second level, hence my formation as a teacher spanned all four
years of my degree. This formation style was I believe a strong foundation for my pedagogical
I started teaching in the voluntary secondary system and then moved into the Vocational
Education Committee school system (VEC) in Co. Louth VEC, having a brief sojourn in the
Community School system then into County Dublin VEC there successfully getting a full-time
In Riversdale Community College a school in a DEIS area I grew up and devloped as a teacher
and educator. We welcomed our two beautiful children into our life while I was teaching there.
In Riversdale CC after being a teacher and tutor for 7years, I was very privileged to learn a
huge amount about partnership in Education and the impact of socio-economic disadvantage
when I took on the role of Home School Community Liaison Teacher/ Coordinator.
A huge influence on my practice as an educator was Dr.Concepta Conaty RIP. She led the
H.S.C.L scheme with the Department of Education. As well as being a person of faith, Concepta
was a strong force in education in Ireland between the 1980’s and 2012 and a huge influence
I completed my MA in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care in 2005 again in Mater Dei Institute/
DCU. It was not until 8years ago that I took the plunge into Chaplaincy taking up the role of
School Chaplain in Firhouse Community College, part of Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB.
Moving from the school where I grew up as an educator after 18 years was scary but very much
worth the move as I have found my role as Chaplain most rewarding.
I have been an active Teachers Union of Ireland member for the last 29 years, being a congress
delegate, branch secretary, equality officer and branch chair. I have learned a lot about
education through my involvement in the union and found huge support at branch and
I am looking forward to serving on the executive for the first time and I hope I bring relevant
experience to the committee.
Katie Kilcullen – Print, Digital Media
Seamus McGroarty – Cluster, Mid Year Conference