Our Staff

Gerard O’ Connor

Project Coordinator BRS Befriending North Cork

Gerard joined the Ballyhoura Rural Services in 2011 as Project Coordinator BRS Befriending North Cork. He has a Degree in Social Science Youth & Community Work. Gerard has worked in the area of community development for over 13 years having previously worked with Ballyhoura Development & also as a volunteer at community level. Gerard is particularly interested in the areas of community responses to social issues & capacity building within communities.

John Mac Namara


John is employed as a consultant on Doon Campus building projects.  He is the founder and current Chief Executive of BCM which specialises in Cost Reduction, Revenue Growth, eTendering and Business Franchising. Founded in 1993, BCM now has operations in 16 countries worldwide.

John is a former Senior Manager with Tellabs, a large hi-tech multinational where he was primarily used as a trouble-shooter setting up new departments and structures and turning around poorly performing functional areas. John held a total of 9 positions over a 10-year period in this regard. John also worked in various engineering and supervisory positions with Pako in Limerick and Westinghouse in the USA.

John has a Degree in Electronics Engineering from UL and also a Diploma in Business Studies. He is a strong innovator with exceptional project management skills and vast experience in start-ups of both small and medium sized organisations.

John is also very active in community development being the founder of his local Community Centre, Drama Society, Historical Society, Choir & more.

Notable Achievements:

2009 – Entrepreneur of the Year

2012 – Entrepreneur of the Year

2018 – Business Lifetime Achievement Award

2019 – Franchise Consultant of the Year

2020 – eTender Consultant Award Winner

Ongoing – Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Limerick Institute of Technology

Kay Kennedy

Project Coordinator BRS Befriending East Limerick

Kay joined the Ballyhoura Rural Services in 2011 as Project Coordinator BRS Befriending East Limerick. She began her career in Nursing and has worked for over 20 years as a Community Nurse in the East Limerick area. She also worked as a Care Manager with Care Bright being responsible for overseeing and inputting Home Care packages in the East Limerick area. Kay has also worked as Tutor with Limerick & Clare ETB delivering Homecare Support Modules. She joined the staff of Ballyhoura Rural Services as Project Co-Ordinator for East Limerick area. Kay is a Registered General Nurse and has a Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (University of Limerick). She also holds a Diploma in Supervisory Management (National College of Ireland) and is a qualified Manual Handling & Patient Moving Instructor.

Marian Clarke

Manager BRS – Doon Social Farm

Marian joined Doon Social Farm in December 2022 as Social Farm Manager. She has over 30 years of community development experience both in Ireland and Latin America, including family support work. She is a qualified horticulturalist, has tutored for the ETB and has run her own organic business. She is a qualified art therapist and clinical supervisor, working in schools and community centres for over 12 years. More recently she studied for an award in Social Therapeutic Horticulture (STH), giving her an understanding of green care therapies. Currently she is completing a post graduate diploma in Change Leadership, with a view to achieving a masters in this area.