Meet The Team

Board of Directors of COPD Support Ireland

Prof Tim McDonnell – Chair of COPD Support Ireland

Professor Tim McDonnell is a retired consultant and respiratory physician. He currently is on the HSE national clinical lead for COPD programme. Tim became chair of the Board of COPD Support Ireland in 2021.

Dr Breda Cushen

Dr Breda Cushen is a Consultant in the Department of Respiratory Medicine in Beaumont Hospital.  Breda joined the board of COPD Support Ireland in 2021.

Dr Sarah O’Beirne

Dr Sarah O’Beirne, is a Consultant Respiratory Physician, at St Vincent’s University Hospital, and St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoighaire. She runs pulmonary rehabilitation clinics for patients with severe lung disease. In addition, she now provides rehabilitation classes for patients suffering from post-Covid respiratory symptoms, an emerging and new area in medicine. Sarah also has a keen interest in the future of virtual health.

Eileen Grace

Eileen Grace is a solicitor and partner in the law firm Addleshaw Goddard*. Eileen specialises in corporate law with specific expertise in the area of corporate governance, and obtained a diploma from Corporate Governance Institute in 2021.

Ciara Hanrahan

Ciara Hanrahan is a chartered physiotherapist and lecturer in respiratory physiotherapy on the MSc Physiotherapy programme in University College Cork. Ciara has worked with people living with chronic respiratory disease for twenty years, most recently providing a COPD outreach service from the Mercy University Hospital, Cork. She is currently pursuing her PhD in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, physical activity and behaviour change. Ciara helped to develop the first COPD support group for people on the northside of Cork city and has been a member of the board of COPD Support Ireland since 2019.

Marion Hurley

Marion Hurley is a new board member. Marion is an Occupation Pre -School Teacher. She graduated in 2014 from Cork College of Commerce .She also has an Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education. Marion has been running the Cork North COPD Support Group since 2019 and joined the board of COPD Support Ireland in 2021.

Catherine Craig

Catherine Craig has been the Secretary of COPD Ballyfermot Support Group for the last year. She was diagnosed with COPD 2010. Her hobbies are upcycling furniture, knitting, and walking. Catherine’s goal is to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Catherine joined the board of COPD Support Ireland in 2021.

Sue Cleary

Sue is an independent brand strategy consultant, with over 20 years local and global experience working in International creative advertising agency groups (WPP Ogilvy & Mather, JWT & TBWA).

She has worked with many of the top brands in the world (Vodafone, McDonald's, IBM, Heineken, Mars, PlayStation, Pfizer, Pernod Ricard IDL) and now has a successful independent brand strategy and communications planning and programme delivery consultancy working with Clients in Ireland and overseas.

Awarded the An Post Integrated Marketeer Award (2001), very active within the industry including being a Member of the Marketing Institute (MMII) and the Marketing Society.

She is a co-founder/ NED of rezexe, an Enterprise Ireland HPSU and recently became a Trustee of the Board / Director for COPD Support Charity.

Deirdre Garvin

Deirdre Garvin joined COPD board in Autumn 2021. Currently working in Mayo University Hospital as a respiratory clinical nurse specialist (CNS) since 2016. Prior to this she worked as a manager on busy medical departments and cared for many with respiratory conditions. She cares for and supports patients and their families with a variety of respiratory illnesses including COPD.

Jenny Mulry

Jenny Mulry has a demonstrated history of working in the financial, non-profit, and telecommunications industries. She has over 15 years direct HR experience in recruitment and selection, performance management, employee engagement, industrial relations, systems and compensation and benefits. Jenny has operated in multiple corporate functions; HR, Internal Audit, CEO Office and Board Management, driving people and process changes to benefit the organisational operations.

Jenny has obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting & Human Resource Management, Diploma in Employment Law and is a Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Michael Coakley

Michael was diagnosed with COPD in 2015. He is a member of the Ballyfermot support group as well as the Tallaght support group. Michael is the Treasurer in the Tallaght support group. He was co-opted to the board in 2022 and is a member of the board committee dealing with Governance and Compliance.

Michael was a volunteer director for thirty years in his local credit union. He held all the senior positions on the board and was active on the Governance and Compliance Committee. He retired from Irish Rail in 2015 after forty-eight years and enjoys attending concerts at home and abroad as well as running the occasional pub gig in Dublin.


Joan Johnston – Manager COPD Support Ireland

Prior to joining COPDSI as National Co-ordinator in April 2020 and now as General Manager, Joan was the Senior Physiotherapist in COPD Outreach in St Michaels Hospital, Dun Laoghaire.

Joan has worked as a physiotherapist across a variety of acute hospital settings and has been a Parent Ambassador for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation. She is currently acting as a patient representative on the HIQA led Children’s Reference Group (CRG) for Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services. Joan sits as the COPD Support Ireland patient representative on the National Clinical Programme, Respiratory working group and has also just joined the Board of IPPOSI the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry.

Katie McIntyre – Singstrong Administrator

Katie McIntyre is the SingStrong administrator. Katie has extensive administrative experience from her time working with Michael Page Recruitment and Halifax Bank of Scotland in Jersey. Katie will work to support the SingStrong project.

Karen Halligan – Office Manager

Karen Halligan is the Office Manager for COPD Support Ireland. Karen is a Business and Marketing graduate and has over 20 years’ experience working in private industry and in the charities sector.