Meet The Team

Across our four offices in Kerry and West Cork, the Local Cooperation Project (CP) Team are on hand to help with the rollout of the scheme at the local level and to support farmers in improving the condition of habitats, protecting waterways, and supporting rare and threatened species on their land. By meeting these environmental targets for their locality and the wider region, participating farmers can improve their results-based score over their five-year contract which will help them to achieve higher payments.

Below, you can find details of our four regional offices and meet the team members working in the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP Zone.

Beaufort Office

Phone Number: 064 6624607

Address: The Old Barracks, Beaufort Village, Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Patricia Deane is the Project Manager for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork Co-operation Project. Trisha comes from a small family farm in Mid-Kerry and has been working closely with farmers since commencing employment with the South Kerry Development Partnership. Trisha feels strongly that farmers need as much support as possible to continue farming and that more needs to be done to encourage young people to become actively involved in farming. Previously Trisha worked as a Rural Development Officer and then as a Rural Recreation Officer implementing the Walks Scheme before moving over to manage the award winning MacGillycuddy Reeks European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Project with the SKDP.

Phone Number: 087 2031034

Marianah Sahmad is the ACRES Kerry/West Cork Co-operation Project Administrator and is originally from Singapore, having moved to Ireland in 2010. Marianah joined the South Kerry Development Partnership in 2019, working on the MacGillycuddy Reeks European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Project.

Mary Toomey is the Senior Ecologist for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork Co-operation Project. She has a BA in Science (specialising in zoology) from Trinity College Dublin, an MSc in Wildlife Management and Conservation from Reading University and is a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. Prior to ACRES, Mary worked as the MacGillycuddy Reeks EIP Project Ecologist carrying out results-based habitat assessments and working with farmers to develop plans to improve the ecological condition of their land. Previously, Mary worked as the Biodiversity Officer for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council where she was responsible for implementation of the Council’s biodiversity plan. Mary also has a number of years’ experience working as an ecological consultant and working for NGOs in the UK and Ireland.

Phone Number: 087 7201760

Stephen O’Shea is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in Beaufort and is a native of Glenbeigh. He has been involved in upland farming all his life. Before recently joining the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP Team, he had worked as a catchment officer with the very successful results-based Pearl Mussel Project. This role involved detailed assessments of various habitats types, approval of actions that contributed to habitat improvement, as well as running training sessions for farmers and advisors. Prior to working on the Pearl Mussel Project, he worked as an agricultural consultant in the South Kerry region designing GLAS, NMP and Commonage plans. Stephen holds a degree in Wildlife Biology from the Munster Technological University.

Phone Number: 087 4118385

Luke Myers is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in Beaufort. He holds a BSc in Wildlife Biology from the Institute of Technology Tralee, Level 6 Practice support in Social Farming and has LANTRA qualifications in the safe use of pesticides and in hand-held pesticide stem injecting equipment (Level 2). Luke is passionate about invasive species, social inclusion and has been involved in several large-scale invasive species eradication projects across Ireland – with a particular emphasis in involving people with disabilities into the equation. Luke has a background in project management, and many other areas of ecology including ornithological surveys for proposed renewable energy developments.

Phone Number: 087 3683109

Siún Ní Cheallaigh is an Agri-Environmental Officer for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP. Siún is from north Co. Mayo and has an MSc in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology from Queen’s University Belfast. She has experience in many different bird and habitat surveys across Galway, Mayo and Donegal, including Red Grouse and upland bird surveys on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS). During her MSc degree, Siún worked as an ecologist in Killarney National Park on the wildfire research project, studying the regeneration of the park’s woodlands and peatlands after the 2021 fires. She is particularly passionate about Ireland’s breeding birds and is an active hiker and wildlife photographer in her spare time.

Phone Number: 0874286632

Luke Sullivan is an Agri-Environmental Officer for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP. A Glenflesk native, Luke has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Limerick with a focus on Ecology, Conservation and Waste Treatment modules. Luke has a strong passion for nature and the conservation of our environments. Luke has experience working with the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) as a General Operative in the Killarney National Park. Here, he worked to eradicate Rhododenrum ponticum and gained valuable insights into conservation strategies and actions from working closely with Conservation Rangers and General Operatives alike.

Camp Office

Address: O’ Dwyer’s Digital Hub, Camp, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Michael Morrissey is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in Camp. He has a Master’s Degree in Ecological Assessment and an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science. He has worked as an agricultural consultant for over a decade, administering a range of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Agri-Environmental Schemes. Most recently, he worked as a project team member on the Duhallow Blue Dot and Owentaraglin River EIP Projects. His primary skillsets include plant identification, habitat assessment, habitat management plans, as well as selecting and verifying supporting actions to improve the ecological status of sensitive habitats in the Natura 2000 network.

Phone Number: 087 3566270

Catherine Heduan is an Agri-Environmental Officer working for ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP. She holds a Master’s Degree in Animal Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from Swansea University. Catherine grew up on a beef suckler and sheep farm in Westmeath and has experience in balancing agricultural output with biodiversity promotion. She has a keen interest in improving the relationship between wildlife and agriculture and has worked on projects studying the links between vectors of veterinary diseases and wildlife. In her free time, Catherine volunteers in wildlife rehabilitation and enjoys wildlife photography.

Phone Number: 087 4290971

Fiach Byrne is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in the Camp office. With a background in Zoology, he is particularly interested in regional development and landscape conservation. While working in Kerry, Fiach has worked to help connect local communities and visitors to the county’s incredible range of plants, animals and habitats. Fiach has studied a wide range of insects and birds with a particular focus on species that associate with farmland, such as the charismatic Red-billed Chough. Having joined the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP team in 2023, he looks forward to working with the farming community to support the region’s valuable wildlife and habitats.

Kenmare Office

Address: 21 Henry Street, 1st Floor, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

Dáire O’Hare Doherty is an Agri-Environmental Officer and graduated as a Field Ecologist from the Munster Technological University in 2019. Since obtaining his BSc, he has worked within the Environmental Consultancy and Agri-Environmental sectors. Dáire has over two years’ experience conducting baseline habitat assessments, freshwater drainage mapping, and protected species surveys. In 2022 he graduated with an MSc in Climate Change from Maynooth University. From this, he has experience in preparing adaptation and mitigation measures for the changing Irish climate, oceanographic survey techniques, and paleoecological data analysis. Dáire has previously volunteered with Killarney National Park on a number of occasions, primarily focusing on the removal of invasive species such as Rhododendron ponticum from high priority habitats.

Phone Number: 087 3465212

Tiernan O’Shea is an Agri-Environmental Officer for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP based in Kenmare. He recently graduated from UCC with a degree in Environmental Science. Tiernan is from a sheep farming background within the Black Valley region of Kerry. He is interested in all agricultural enterprises, the need to enhance the ecological and environmental value of agricultural lands, the continuation of upland farming and is keenly aware of the constraints facing farming communities within these areas.

Phone Number: 087 9090602

Caoimhe Mulcahy is an Agri-Environmental officer for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP based in Kenmare. Originally from Kildare, she holds both a bachelor’s degree in Botany and a master’s in Biodiversity and Conservation from Trinity College Dublin. From these courses she has gained experience in vegetation surveys, game transects and rare species monitoring. She has taken part in field work in a variety of habitats both in Ireland and abroad. Her master’s thesis focused on the plant-pollinator conflict associated with the carnivorous pitcher plant species Sarracenia purpurea.

Bantry Office

Address: Cork Development Partnership, The Warner Centre, Barrack Street, Bantry, Co. Cork.

Brógan Jones is an Agri-Environmental Officer working for the ACRES Kerry/West Cork CP. A graduate of Munster Technological University with a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology, she has a keen interest in the conservation of Irish wildlife and enjoys hiking and birding in her free time. Brógan has experience working for environmental consultancy agencies and has also been involved in projects relating to the monitoring, management and protection of the marine environment. Her education and career in the environmental sector have provided her with excellent identification, monitoring and analytical skills.

Phone Number: 087 2182412

Howard Cross is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in Cork with a backrground in ecological consultancy and government agency. A native of County Kildare, Howard has a particular interest in the protection and rehabilitation of peatland and wetland habitats. In recent years he has been involved in national energy infrastructure upgrades, regional flood defence projects and major critical infrastructure planning, mostly based in sensitive upland and maritime environments. He has served as Ecological Clerk of Works on several of these projects with a special focus on the prevention of spreading of invasive species in sensitive aquatic habitats, and for the protection of designated species during construction. Howard is based in Bantry, Co. Cork and has an active interest in outdoor pursuits such as camping, fishing and hillwalking.

Phone Number: 087 2213170

Stephen Mulkearn is an Agri-Environmental Officer based in Bantry. He returned to full-time education in 2016 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology at UCD, where he studied with grassland ecologist Tamara Hochstrasser. He worked with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council where he assessed plant diversity on All-Ireland Pollinator Plan sites, and with upland ecologist Dr. Mary Tubridy as a research assistant. Stephen graduated with a Master’s Degree in Biodiversity and Conservation from TCD in 2022. For his MSc thesis, he assessed the conservation status of the legally protected fern, Gymnocarpium robertianum. He has also worked in ecological consultancy, carrying out bat surveys, and has conducted fieldwork in the Burren, South Africa, southern Spain and Costa Rica. Stephen’s interests are in botanical assessment, ecosystem functioning and habitat conservation.

Will Hayes comes from a farming background and advocates for stronger ties between landowners and environmental goals, aiming towards a sustainable landscape that benefits both farmers and biodiversity. Will’s experience spans conservation projects in Ireland, the UK, and the Neotropics. He holds a PhD in Biodiversity Management, specialising in bird conservation and the intersection of rural livelihoods with changing land use practices, including agriculture, mining, and urbanisation.

Co-funded by the European Union and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine