Meet the Grow Mental Health Team

The Board

John O'Donnell: Board

John O’Donnell

Christine Fitzgerald

Christine Fitzgerald

Paul Clabby

Paul Clabby

Yvonne Pearse

Yvonne Pearse

Gerry Farrell

Gerry Farrell

Dennis Fitzpatrick: Board

Denis Fitzpatrick

John O’Donnell

Joining a Grow Group in 2013, John took his first steps into the world of ‘Peer Support Mental Health Recovery ‘by joining the Donegal Town Grow group where he rediscovered the importance of friendship to mental health “To have a friend, be a friend.”

From very early on he completely embraced the community spirit and personal development opportunities which he found to be unique to Grow Mental Health at that time. Since then, John has filled many roles within the organisation, firstly within his own region of the Northwest and secondly at national level with positions on both The Program Team and The Board.

John has previous experience in the charity sector working with the RSPCA.

Still an animal lover at heart John shares his home with a stray cat but his passion for both Mental Health and The Grow Program is fuelled by his belief in the power of human connection and friendship.

Christine Fitzgerald

Christine Fitzgerald has been a member of Grow Mental Health since 1986. She is delighted to serve on the board as she attributes, her own positive mental well-being to her lived experience of mental health challenges and years of membership with her Limerick peer support group. As part of her own 12 step recovery journey her fellow group members encouraged her to return to education and she now holds a degree in Psychotherapy and is a licensed therapist. She also held the role of National Program Coordinator for Grow for over 7 years. In her spare time Christine loves travelling and spending time with her grandsons.

Paul Clabby

Yvonne Pearse

Gerry Farrell

Denis Fitzpatrick

Denis joined Grow in the 90’s. He has served as both Organizer and Recorder of two different Grow groups in Dublin. He subsequently became a member and subsequently, Chairperson, of the Eastern Regional Team. He has served on the Board of Grow in Ireland as both a member and as an officer, with a break in service, over the years. Currently he is Company Secretary and a member of the National Programme Team.

Leading Grow Mental Health Centrally

Annabel O’Keeffe

Interim CEO

 Annabel is responsible for day-to-day management of Grow Mental Health and is accountable to the board

Colette Flannery

Interim Head of National Programs

Colette reports to the CEO and is responsible for leading a work plan driven by the organisation’s strategic plan. Colette works directly with Grow Mental Health’s Senior Leadership Team, the National Program Committee, Staff, Regional Program Teams, and volunteers to deliver these aims.

Dara Farrelly​

People and Culture Manager

Dara is responsible for building a people focused, values based workplace and building capacity among our volunteers and staff. This will involve supporting the creation of the People and Culture Subcommittee of the Board and ensuring that our volunteers and staff have opportunities to develop their skills to meet the current and future needs of Grow Mental Health.


Sile Tracey

Marketing, Communications and Fundraising Manager

Sile is is responsible for day-to-day management of the Marketing, Communications and Fundraising departments of Grow Mental Health.

Position to be filled

Digital Services Development Manager

The Digital Services Development Manager is  responsible for day-to-day strategic management of the Grow Online support groups.

Mary Purcell

Regional Manager (South / South East / Midwest)

Mary is responsible for managing the work of Grow MH in the south of the Country, supported by 12 Staff and 3 Volunteer Regional Teams.

Martin Cadden

Regional Manager (North East / North West)

Martin is is responsible for managing the work of Grow MH in the North of the country, supported by 12 staff and 2 Volunteer Regional Teams.

Ruairi Powell

Regional Manager (South Connaught/ Dublin Mid Leinster)

Ruairi is is responsible for managing the work of Grow MH in the midlands, south Connacht and Dublin. He is supported by 12 staff and 3 Volunteer Regional Teams.

Brian Heelan

governance, Compliance and Risk Officer

As Governance, Compliance and Risk Officer (GCRO) – Brian advises the Board of Grow and the management team on matters of governance and oversee how we meet our risk management and compliance obligations.

Aisling Cassin

Financial Manager

Aisling is responsible for the Control and Management of all Financial aspects of Grow Mental Health.

James Flynn

IT Officer

James runs the IT function in Grow, which works with Grow members and staff to facilitate the digitisation of Grow, plan IT infrastructure for the organisation and help with making Grow function more efficiently.

Lindsay O'Donoghue

Data Officer for Monitoring and Evaluation

Lindsay is responsible for the processes and policies around data collection, monitoring and evaluation.

Kris Berg

Human Resources - HR Manager

Kris is responsible for the Recruitment and Selection,  Policy and Procedures and Employee Relations within Grow Mental Health.

Mary Walsh

Volunteer and Member Support Officer

Mary’s role is to support, encourage and empower our volunteers and members.

Leading Grow Mental Health all around the country

Timmy Percy

Midwest Region Regional Chair

John O’Donnell

North West Regional Chair

Interim Regional Chair

North East Regional Chair

Kate Slater

Southeast Regional Chair

Lorraine Lydon

Western Regional Chair

Tim Murphy

Midlands Regional Chair

John Farren

Eastern Regional Acting Chair

Diarmuid Cronin

Southern Regional Chair

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