Our Representatives

Sinead McDonagh

Public Relations Officer (PRO) & Dublin County Representative

Manager of Sportsreach in Dublin South, Sinead holds a Masters in Education and a BA Degree in Theology and Arts. She has 14 years’ experience in the youth and education sectors and her passion to help young people realise their full potential is what drives her every single day. Sinead is the NAYC PRO and is a self-confessed foodie.

Youthreach in a tweet: Within Youthreach we have the potential to change young lives for the better by using the power of education.

Alan Larkin

Newsletter Editor

Manager of Ashbourne Youthreach, Alan holds a first-class honours degree in Education and Training. A carpenter by trade, Alan became a Woodwork teacher in 2001 and subsequently started working in a Youthreach setting where his vocational and academic background mix is perfectly placed. Alan wants to be a professional footballer or superstar singer when he grows up.

Youthreach in a tweet: Every learner is important to us. Every learner is unique.

Josephine Dempsey


Manager of the Youthreach Miltown Malbay programme, Josephine holds a BA Degree in Geography and Mathematics, a higher Diploma in Education, a Specialist Certificate in Health Promotion with NUIG,  a certificate in Health and Safety and a certificate in the teaching of Irish music. Josephine has 28  years’ experience in education and has a deep knowledge, and understanding of working with vulnerable young people. Josephine comes from a family steeped in traditional music and she fosters a passion for trad and Indie Trad music among all students who come through the Youthreach door.

Youthreach in a tweet: In Youthreach we bring out the very best in our students through education and skill-based learning. 

Dr. Sandra Buchanan

Northern Representative

Sandra is the Youthreach County Co-ordinator for Donegal ETB. She holds a PhD (conflict transformation), MA and Postgraduate Diploma (Peace Studies) and a B.A. (History and Politics). She has worked in Youthreach for 15 years, having previously worked for Co Monaghan VEC as their EU and International Projects Officer.  Sandra organised the NAYC conferences in 2004 and 2014 in Letterkenny, previously held the position of Newsletter Editor and now manages the NAYC Twitter account (@NAYCEXEC). Sandra is a published author and loves to travel.

Youthreach in a tweet: Youthreach strives to help young people reach their full education potential and be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Louise Cole

Communications Officer & Eastern Representative

Co-ordinator of Bray & North Wicklow Youthreach, Louise, holds a Postgraduate Diploma from Maynooth University in Adult and Community Education and a BA in Sociology and English. Louise is almost 10 years in Youthreach and prior to this she worked as a Client Service Director in Marketing and PR for over 10 years. Louise’s vision for Bray Youthreach is to create an environment for students and staff that is inclusive and progressive ensuring that their students not only reach their academic goals but also become both self-aware and socially minded ensuring they are ready for the next part of their lives. Louise is a huge Harry Potter fan, a closet trekkie and seriously into baking!

Youthreach in a tweet: Youthreach provides a challenging, caring and inclusive environment in which our students thrive both educationally and personally!

John Adams

Southern Representative

John completed his Master’s Degree in Education with Harvard University and he also holds an MA from NUI Maynooth in Adult and Community Education (after completing his undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame).

He has been co-ordinator of Killarney Youthreach since it was set up in 2001. John utilises motivational skills and insights into his team focused approach to lead his programme in implementing best practices with and on behalf of the young people he works for.

John was NAYC Chairperson from 2005 to 2008 and is currently the Southern Regional representative on the NAYC.

Youthreach in a tweet: In Youthreach, young people grow in self-confidence and build resilience; empowering them to take control of their futures.

Liam Keane

Mid Western Representative

Liam is Centre Manager of East Clare Youthreach and has worked with Youthreach for 18 years, eight as manager. He holds a B.A. in Industrial Design and has been teaching in the areas of craft, enterprise and design for most of that time. Currently the regional representative for the North Munster region covering Clare, Limerick and north Tipperary.

Youthreach in a tweet: Our agenda is to provide a safe and supportive environment where all learners can be empowered to grow personally and academically.

Laura O’Donovan


Laura is the Co-ordinator in Youthreach Bandon and is new to the Youthreach family.  Laura holds a Masters in Economic Policy and a Degree in Social Sciences. She has previously worked in economic and social policy, internationally and in Dublin, evaluating policy and recommending changes for people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups. More recently Laura has established and managed a thriving business in West Cork and has decided to try management in this fulfilling area; supporting the young people in Youthreach Bandon to reach their potential.

Youthreach in a tweet: Our centre engages with each student to increase their self-belief and realise their potential through strong relationships, hard work and good fun.

Stephen McCardle

North Eastern Representative

Stephen McArdle is the NAYC Representative for the North East Region (Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan). He has an MA in English and was Co-ordinator at Drogheda Youthreach before moving to Ardee to open the new centre there. Aside from family, Stephen’s great love outside of education is music. I love working in Youthreach. Not only is a Youthreach centre somewhere you can be yourself, it’s also somewhere you can also find out more about who you are

Youthreach in a tweet: I love working in Youthreach. Not only is a Youthreach centre somewhere you can be yourself, it’s also somewhere you can find out more about who you are.