Meet The Team
Mountain Training Board Ireland

Our Staff

Our success as an NGB is defined by the long-standing committed staff who have been on this journey to bring Mountaineering Ireland to where we are today. If you share our passion for mountaineering, hiking, climbing, then join us. We would love to see you!  

Helen Lawless

Acting CEO / Access & Conservation Officer

Helen considers herself to be in the really lucky position of being able to combine her love of mountains with her work for Mountaineering Ireland. Her job is focused on maintaining and improving our ability to get access to the places where we walk and climb, and helping to protect the mountains we all enjoy. Outside of work, she is an active hillwalker, with a passion for wild and rugged landscapes, and a curiosity about all aspects of the mountain environment. She holds both the Mountain Leader and International Mountain Leader awards.

Siobhán Quinn

Administration Officer

Siobhán joined Mountaineering Ireland in 2017 as Administration Officer and also took on the role of Company Secretary in 2022. She first discovered the satisfaction of working with members, volunteers and committees who are passionate about their activities while working for the Canadian Avalanche Association in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. Siobhán enjoys getting out in the hills in her native Tipperary and is equally happy spending a Sunday on a good jigsaw puzzle.

Michael Duffy

Climbing Development Officer

Having started climbing at the age of 12, Michael has always felt a strong connection to the Irish climbing community. In his climbing career he has had the opportunity to develop many climbing areas around Ireland, establishing climbs of the highest quality, and discovering new places along the way. Be it trad, bouldering or sport climbing, he aims to further support the development of all forms of climbing in Ireland, especially in the area of high-performance youth climbing.

Ruth Whelan

Hillwalking Development Officer

Ruth considers herself to be one of the lucky ones, getting to marry her passion with her day job and having the opportunity to share her love for the mountains with others. Ruth has a degree in Sports Management and she completed a research masters on the perception of women leaders in sport. Ruth’s current focus is on the development of hillwalking and supporting all our hillwalking members, and she is the staff lead for Women With Altitude. She has walked and climbed mountain ranges in Scotland, Africa, and in the French, Italian and Austrian Alps, however the Irish hills will always be closest to her heart for their rugged charm and wild beauty. 

Ricky Bell

Youth Development Officer Northern Ireland

Ricky has been pulling down and enjoying climbing in Ireland for nearly 30 years. He is passionate about rock climbing and our mountain environments. He likes to share the things he’s learnt, and he loves seeing people enjoying their climbing. Ricky loves his role because it gives him the opportunity to work with young people and help develop the sport of climbing in Northern Ireland.

Laura Griffin

Digital Engagement & Programme Officer

Laura joined the Mountaineering Ireland team in 2018 as a Training Administrator and has since taken on new responsibilities in membership support and other areas. Originally hailing from Finland, Laura was introduced to hiking after moving to Ireland in 2002. She has since tried her hand at climbing as well. Laura is a lover of dogs, photography and a Finnish delicacy of salted liquorice, which none of her Irish friends or family have yet come around to!

Jane Carney

Training Officer

Jane has been an Outdoor Education and Science Teacher and Instructor for 30 years, and has been Mountaineering Ireland’s Training Officer for the last 10 years. She is a qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, Winter Mountain Leader, Summer Mountain Leader, and Rock Climbing Instructor. Jane was a trainer and assessor of all Mountain Training Climbing and Walking Awards and Schemes for 15 years. She is the Chair of UIAA Youth Innovation Panel and she is a UIAA Youth Commission member. Jane is a member of the board of Mountain Rescue Ireland.

Catherine Hibbitt

Child Safeguarding Officer

Catherine is the new National Children’s Officer working part-time with Mountaineering Ireland. Catherine’s background includes over ten years’ experience working in the early years sector, both as a leader for inclusion and most recently, as a Tutor. Her current focus is to renew and build upon Mountaineering Ireland’s safeguarding commitment, particularly through the provision of support to our clubs, training providers and coaches. Catherine’s aim is to ensure we promote, adopt and implement an inclusive culture encompassing children’s voices and their right to meaningful participation in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Julie Carolan

Training Administrator

Julie joined the Mountaineering Ireland team in January 2024 as our new Training Administrator. Prior to joining Mountaineering Ireland, Julie divided her time between running her own small physical therapy and pilates business and looking after her young family. She was previously employed in the IT industry. Julie has always been a lover of sport and the outdoors and keeps fit with jogging/walking, cycling and pilates. She also likes to spend time working in her garden.

Caoilainn McDaid


Caoilainn joined the Mountaineering Ireland team in 2023 in the new role of Administrator, in which she provides administrative support to the Hillwalking Development Officer, the Access and Conservation Officer, and the Administration Officer. She is an avid hiker and is currently training towards her Mountain Leader Award. In 2022, she completed a six-month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in the US. When she’s not out on the hills, Caoilainn enjoys climbing, sea swimming, and playing tag rugby. 

Jason King

National Programme Manager, Get Ireland Walking

Jason is passionate about promoting Physical Activity and Health. His academic qualifications provide me with a wide skillset and expertise in Exercise, Health and Physical Activity Promotion, Community Education and Leadership and Management. In my spare time between work, travelling and family, I have a fond love for walking, research and running off road on trails and open mountains.

Linda Sankey

Communications & Administrative Officer, Get Ireland Walking

Linda joined Get Ireland Walking in 2019 as the first Communications Officer with the initiative. Her original career was in Television Production and she then moved into working in Communications in the charity section. Outside of work Linda enjoys walking, cycling and climbing.

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