Since 2013 I have been a HAI member and I have served three years on the Board. My main responsibilities are to sit on the Ceremonies Development Management Committee (CDMC) and to be the designated Garda Vetting office liaison. In addition I sit on a number of charity and NGO boards in the Mid-West region and have 25 years’ experience of working in the Community Voluntary Sector. Currently, I am managing a programme for long term unemployed people in a Regeneration Area of Limerick city. I have been awarded a Masters in Partnership Studies (inc. Governance) from the University of Limerick and my specialties/ research interests include: Community Sector, Partnership, Governance, Social inclusion, Community Development, Poverty, Irish Social Policy and Citizen Participation. I am married to Pat and have one grown up son. When not working I enjoy volunteering with various not for profit groups and catching up with pals for chats and coffee.
For almost twenty years I worked as a maintenance and contracts electrician in Cork, London and Waterford before becoming the owner and Managing Director of Germar Electrical Ltd up to 2019. The company employs up to 30 employees working for major industrial and construction companies in Ireland. Over the years, I have been active on a number of fronts - as a member of Association of Electrical Contractors of Ireland (AECI), an employer representative at National negotiations on pay etc, I authored a submission to Oireachtas committee on state of Electrical Contractor Industry and was elected President of AECI from 2002 to 2004.
My aims for the HAI involves all of its members through utilisation of the national groups framework in promoting their ideas to national and international Forums. I would like to change the financial base of the Association to make it less dependent on income (greatly appreciated) from the work of celebrants and to focus more toward event and membership management. In the long term I aim to tabulate and advance all the agreed ideals of the members.
I have been a HAI member since 2018 but have been an avid humanist for many years before that. One of my passions around humanism is enjoying life and inspiring people to learn, engage and listen. This is especially so as we seek to unite our members more around the humanist values we cherish and want to see enhanced in this time of great change, socially and ecologically, across all ages and social groups within the humanist community. My aim as a Board member is to help create more local, regional events and to develop this concept with all our members and also promoting one day having a wider global humanist Ireland event. I support wider communication and regulatory compliance for the association and have already been working through these topics with the board. Besides being a committed Humanist, I am also a linguist speaking fluent Irish, Spanish, German and some French and Polish too. I am an avid open water swimmer and have recently qualified as an Open Water Level 2 swimming coach.
As member of the HAI since 2018, I was delighted to join the HAI Board in 2021. I’m hugely passionate about facilitating and supporting mindset change and equipping people to think differently and am looking forward to contributing to the further development, growth, and success of the HAI in the future.
I was brought up in a non-religious family and attended one of Ireland’s first Educate Together schools. I was always encouraged to be curious, to question and think critically while understanding other points of view. I’m originally a Biomedical Science graduate and more recently a postgraduate in Creativity Innovation & Leadership and have developed a career as a consultant, change strategist, communicator, coach, facilitator and trainer. I have over two decades of experience supporting and developing organisational goals and driving continuous improvement across a wide range of corporate businesses and charities. I’ve worked with many executive boards and bring with me a working knowledge of a Board’s organisational, legal and regulatory responsibilities and the Charities Governance Code.
I believe strongly in an individual’s right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. I’m committed to the protection of Human Rights and defending the right for everyone to choose their beliefs, values and lifestyles (subject only to them not interfering with other people’s rights). I am committed to the mission and values of the HAI and have a specific interest in the areas of secular education especially since becoming a mum. I was married in a Humanist ceremony and live with my husband, son, dogs, and pet sheep on a farm in the Dublin foothills. I’m a Jaffa Cake aficionado, expert parallel parker, and lover of cheese.
Dara Hogan, Finance Director
I’m a retired Chartered Management Accountant with extensive, board-level experience in the logistics and FMCG sectors. The last 7 years of my career were in social enterprise at An Cosán in Tallaght West where I devised the award-winning Fledglings Early Years group of 8 crèches / pre-schools for families in areas of deprivation.
I have had a life-long commitment to the sport and not-for-profit sectors. In the 1970s I was a volunteer soup-runner for the Simon Community and Treasurer of the Irish Underwater Council. More recently I chaired the Irish Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (IHPA) for more than a decade and I have been Director / Treasurer of the National Aero Club of Ireland (NACI) since 2006.
I’m a HAI member since 2005 and in May 2018 I responded to HAI’s appeal for a director with finance skills. Since my appointment, I registered HAI with Revenue and set up payroll and monthly management accounts in the cloud. I have also built an integrated database in QuickBooks for celebrants’ ceremonies.
I’m a husband, father and grandfather who loves having time with Mary (also retired) and my family. I’m also an active paraglider pilot and a musician.
Brought up in an atheist and humanist family, yet within the societal structure of a strict religious community and school, I have always been acutely aware of the contradictions and judgement on those who did not conform. This has formed a drive and determination in me to help educate the youth that there is a community that they can relate to, be part of and will speak for them - a group that puts honesty, kindness, respect and logical-thought at its core.
My area of core expertise is in being a driver of projects – sculpting group thinking into actionable plans and then working with teams to drive them forward. That is how I hope to work with the board to add value to the HAI community. My professional background in the UK was and is still as a founder/CEO of a corporate wellness company and co-founder/director of a blue-sky FMCG innovations agency. These have given me a background in team growth and management, direct and cross selling, online and offline marketing, idea-formation, and quantitative and qualitative research.
I joined the HAI several years ago after my mother had a humanist funeral. This gave me great comfort – the wisdom and honesty that the celebrant brought to the occasion was one I felt that so many people deeply appreciate and respect.
I have been working as part of the Advocacy and Education Team and am energised by the level of skill and commitment not only within the team but the response from the members of the HAI when called to advise or to action.
Chief Executive Officer
Jillian joined the Humanist Association of Ireland as Operations Manager in July 2020 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in July 2021. Prior to joining the HAI, she worked as Operations Manager and Project Manager across financial services and the public sector. Jillian has a BA in Communication Studies, an MSc in Management of Library and Information Services and a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Design and Development. Jillian is committed to the goal of promoting and developing the HAI and to delivering meaningful services to Humanists in Ireland.
Administrator and Company Secretary
Kilda joined the HAI in 2012 and shortly after secured the position of Administrator, which has kept her busy ever since! Apart from overall administration and support for the Chair and the Board, she has more recently been helping to develop and implement a new training programme for celebrants. Her background is a wide variety of jobs in the Civil Service – as a training specialist, and in policy roles in a number of government departments where my work was very varied and interesting – including advising Ministers, writing speeches, drafting regulations, representing Ireland’s interests on EU working groups, and overseeing state bodies. Kilda is a TCD graduate - B.A. Mod., H. Dip. Ed and M.Phil - and also holds an M. Ed in Training and Development from Sheffield University.
A keen nature enthusiast, Kilda enjoys nature, and participates in a monthly bumblebee survey for the National Biodiversity Centre. She also enjoys classical music, literature, and lively discussions about things like equality and the evils of the patriarchy.
Valerie McDonogh Gliffe
Membership and Website Coordinator
Valerie has been working on a part-time basis with the HAI since November 2019. Her role involves dealing with membership queries and she has been heavily involved with the roll-out of the current website and CRM system. Previously, Valerie held a number of different roles with Apple Operations Europe from Customer Service, Call Centre Operations and finally Workforce Management. Valerie is technically very capable, but would not describe herself as an expert in any one particular field. She holds a BSC from the University of Limerick and Master of Business Systems from University College Cork both which were gained as a mature student while parenting two small boys. That time gave her a good insight into how busy people’s lives can be for a variety of reasons and why Valerie expresses the utmost respect for people who serve on our Board in a voluntary capacity in addition to other demands on their time. Together with her co-workers, members of the Board and our Celebrants, she hopes we can make the HAI thrive and promote humanist philosophy in Ireland.
Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Sylvia joined the Humanist Association of Ireland as Advocacy and Communications Coordinator in January 2022. Prior to this, she worked in a rape crisis centre in the North West as a development and research officer. Sylvia holds an MA in English and Psychology, and LLM in International Human Rights Law. She is currently undertaking her PhD studies in International Law at the Queen’s University Belfast. Sylvia believes in promoting equality and upholding human rights of non-religious people. She is a keen reader and feminist.