About Us

Philanthropy Ireland (PI) is an independent association of philanthropic organisations and interests committed to the development of philanthropy and giving in Ireland. We provide a collective voice for philanthropy, actively supporting strategic giving for positive impact.

Since its foundation in 1998, PI has grown from a small informal network to a professional organisation counting a broad range of philanthropic interests. We work in collaboration and partnership with a cross section of organisations, both national and international.
Working in collaboration with a cross section of organisations, both national and international, we promote the concept of philanthropy, contribute to policy development, and advocate best practice for philanthropy and impactful giving.

PI’s ambition is for an active, vibrant philanthropic sector and culture in Ireland, comprised of various models of philanthropy, responding creatively to the many needs of the range of worthy causes. We seek to inspire regular, long-term contributions to good causes, building a dynamic community of engaged donors in Ireland.


Bernard Kirk - Chairperson - joined the Board in September 2014

Bernard is a former primary school teacher and is currently director of Galway Education Centre, the Department of Education & Skills funded provider of CPD for teachers.
Bernard co founded Africa Code Week, which is the largest digital literacy initiative in Africa, involving 35 countries and over 800,000 young people and teachers in 2017. Bernard is also co founder and a member of the Global Steering Group of Refugee Code Week.
In Ireland, Bernard organises the FIRST LEGO League, Junior LEGO League and EA Games Sumo Robotics competitions. He is also co founder of EXCITED the Digital Learning Movement. He has engaged closely with companies such as Medtronic, SAP, EA Games, Accenture, HP, SOS Ventures and Kuka Robotics in creating educational initiatives.
Bernard is a member of the Science Gallery Education Committee, a Science Gallery Emeritus Leonardo and Ashoka Change Nation - Change Leader. He is also an advisory board member of Changemaker Schools and The Digital Youth Council.
In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Masters in Science by National University of Ireland, Galway. The citation concluded: “NUI Galway now wishes to formally recognize and honour Bernard Kirk for his outstanding contribution to the education of our young people throughout his career by the award of a Master of Science.”

Colin McCrea - joined the Board in October 2007

Colin was a Senior Vice President of the Atlantic Philanthropies, a large international grant-making foundation, from 2002 to 2012. He serves on the boards of the European Foundation Centre in Brussels, Inner City Enterprises, Clann Credo and Philanthropy Ireland. He is a member of the Government’s Forum on Philanthropy and Fundraising. He was an Assistant Chief Executive of Coras Trachtala/Irish Trade Board from 1988 to 1996.

Eoghan Stack - joined the Board in October 2013

Eoghan is CEO of the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs which promotes and accelerates early stage entrepreneurship in Ireland. Eoghan previously worked as Director of Investment Impact with The One Foundation, a 10-year limited life Irish philanthropic foundation which ceased activity in 2013 as planned. Prior to joining "ONE", Eoghan worked for 8 years with a dotcom company in the datacomms industry. Eoghan has held positions on a number of varied non-profit & philanthropic Boards over the years. Eoghan has a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College Cork and a Masters in Innovation in Social Enterprise from Dublin City University.

Louise Oppermann - joined the Board in September 2014

Louise is a social entrepreneur specialising in Community Development which brings together business, voluntary, educational and social activities for their mutual benefit. Louise co-founded Community Timebank Cork in 2006 and Glanmire Business Network in 2011. She is currently responsible for Marketing and CSR for the Ryan Supervalu Group in Cork. Louise is a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee 2007, a former board member of the Wheel and a Governor of Midleton College Cork. Early in her career Louise spent two years as a VSO volunteer in Egypt and eight years working in France. Louise is a graduate of UCD, Mary Immaculate Training College and holds a Law Degree from UCC.

Alma Curran - joined the Board in June 2016

Alma is Corporate Affairs Manager for Ireland with Medtronic. She is responsible for Government Affairs, Communications and Philanthropy for the company in Ireland. She joined Covidien in 2010 following its Irish incorporation and managed outreach with the European Union and governments across the EMEA region. Prior to working with Covidien, Alma was employed by the Irish Government working in a variety of positions in research, communications and campaigns. Alma is from the west of Ireland and has a BA in Law and Politics from NUI Galway and an MA in Public Affairs and Political Communication from DIT.

Faye Walsh Drouillard - joined the Board in September 2016

Originally from Washington D.C., Faye is Founder and Board Chair of two collective giving foundations, The Giving Circle of Amsterdam and The Giving Circle of Ireland, whose aim is to inspire a new generation of philanthropists. Faye also consults for social enterprise, non-profit and philanthropy clients in Europe and the U.S. Formerly Executive Director of the Freedom Writers Foundation, she has experience providing strategy, management and fundraising guidance to start-ups and social purpose organizations moving to the next level of impact. She is a member of the Ashoka Support Network in Ireland, European Venture Philanthropy Association and The Ireland Funds Global Leadership Network. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Ronan Headon - joined the Board in September 2016

Ronan is Head of Finance at Social Finance Foundation, a lender to the community and voluntary sector and parent company of Microfinance Ireland. He worked for 36 years with Bank of Ireland in a variety of roles including; lending to SMEs, marketing, finance and general management. From 2011 he project managed the Government’s microfinance initiative and acted as Interim CEO of Microfinance Ireland until April 2013.
He is a director of National Traveller MABs and chairs its Audit Committee. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is a Qualified Financial Adviser.

Patricia Hunt- joined the Board in November 2016

Patricia works as Organisational Development Consultant supporting a wide variety of organisations develop corporate strategies, implement business plans, enhance governance capacity and carry out reviews. Patricia has over 25years experience of working with local government bodies, local development agencies and not-for-profits. Patricia has served as a director of a number of social enterprises and is currently a director of the Hunt Museums’ Trust. Patricia is a UCD Social Science graduate, a Human Resource Management graduate from TCD and holds a M.Sc. from DCU.


Chief Executive - Éilis Murray

Éilis’ primary responsibility is to work with the Board in planning and implementing strategy, providing leadership to achieve the PI Mission and objectives. A UCD business graduate, Éilis has over 25 years’ experience working in the Not-for-Profit Sector with a range of NGO’s. Prior to joining PI she worked as an Organisational Development Consultant, with particular experience in project development and management support. In an earlier role as Enterprise Development Manager with the local authority, she had responsibility for supporting a portfolio of social enterprise start-ups in West Dublin. A Director of Oakfield Trust, in 2018 Éilis completed a Masters in Philanthropy with the Centre of Philanthropy in Kent University.

Strategy & Engagement Manager - Thelma Harris

Thelma’s work is focused on building PI’s community of engaged donors. Thelma holds an MA in Media and International Conflict from UCD’s Clinton Institute, having focused on philanthropy (particularly in post-conflict areas), diaspora engagement, and media. Professionally, she has held a number of roles working in the areas of; philanthropy, diaspora engagement, inward investment, and communications. In 2018, she was selected for the Centre of Philanthropy and Civil Society’s Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program at The Graduate Center of The City University Of New York (CUNY), where her research focused on corporate philanthropy. Thelma also coordinates the Ireland India Business Association.