3rd Floor Ulysses House, Foley Street, Dublin 1
+353 1 437 0323
info@varietyireland.org

Our Team

Helping sick, disadvantaged and children with special needs since 1951.

Who We Are

Unlike many other charities, Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland has no paid directors or board members, thus ensuring that vital money raised goes directly to helping children. This way we can supply services, equipment and support to children across the whole of Ireland through our fundraising and donations given to our charity.

oUR PATRON

Simon Delaney

In December 2012 Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland announced Simon Delaney as our new Patron.
A renowned actor both here and Internationally, Simon is a well known face on stage and screen. Simon’s TV acting credits include Bachelor’s Walk, Roy, The Good Wife, Moone Boy, The Fall and more recently he even popped up on Coronation Street and Emmerdale!
Simon is also a regular presenter on Ireland:am. On the big screen he has appeared alongside Sean Penn in This Must Be The Place and with Vince Vaughn in The Delivery Man, as well as roles in Alan Partridge and The Conjuring 2.

We are so delighted to have Simon as part of our team!
OUR CHILD AMBASSADOR

Saoírse Ruane

In July 2021, Variety Ireland were thrilled to be able to welcome Saoírse on to our team, as our first ever Child Ambassador!
Since being diagnosed with a life threatening tumour, to which she lost her right leg, Saoírse continues to prove and act as an inspirational 9 year old. Following a year of intense chemo, Saoírse is not only back walking, but is also cycling, playing camogie and is even learning how to swim!
Many of you you will know Saoírse from her appearance on the Late Late Toy Show in 2020, where she showed everyone how she has learned to overcome the loss of her leg. She is very proud to be the inspiration behind the first ever Toy Show Appeal on the Late Late Show, where an amazing €6.6m euro was raised for various charities around Ireland. Truly amazing!

Our Board

Derek O’Neill

Director & CEO

Derek O’Neill is an Internationally acclaimed psychotherapist, motivational speaker, author, martial arts sensei and humanitarian. Derek has been involved with Variety in both Ireland and Internationally for many years, and has previously served on the Variety International board…
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…Derek inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life. In 2012, Derek was honoured as International Humanitarian of the Year by Variety International the Children’s Charity and many other humanitarian awards followed. CEO of many companies and founder of Creacon Wellness Retreat Centre in Wexford, Ireland, Derek continues to be of service to all walks of life in many facets of society.
Paul O’Neill

Director & Company Secretary

Paul O’Neill joined the board of Variety Ireland in January 2020, having previously served on the board of the A&C Foundation for two years and worked on dozens of fundraising projects with various Irish and international charities. 
Paul has built an extensive network of business contacts…
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…through his time as head of commercial, marketing and account management with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He has qualifications in marketing, business management and project management and has built a knowledge around GDPR and best business practice for database management, as both a data protection officer and a project manager.
Marianne Garvey-McMahon

Director

Marianne Garvey-McMahon was appointed to the Board of the Variety Ireland in October 2020. Marianne brings a wealth of personal and professional knowledge of Intellectual disability, Regulation, Law and policy. Marianne is graduate of the National University of Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons…
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…in Ireland, Leeds University, and Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital. Marianne is Currently a Disability Advocate, Board Director, Assoc. Med-Legal Society. Independent Consultant and has twenty years experience advocating for Autism and severe Intellectual disability with experience in compliance in relation to safe delivery to our most vulnerable cohort of people with Intellectual disability. Professional Qualifications: MSc. Law, MSc. Ethics, Fellow FFNMRCSI, BSc. (Healthcare Mgt.), HDip. Nursing, RGN, Hdip. (Psychology), HDip, (Counselling), Dip (ICC), Clinical Associate (Hon)FNMRCSI.
Geraldine Wall

Director

Geraldine Wall joined the board of Variety Ireland in November 2020, having previously served on the State Advisory Board for Irish Aid and on the Dublin Diocesan Advisory Committees for Jubilee 2000, Eucharistic Congress 2012 and the Papal Visit 2018. Qualified in relationship counselling…
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…with Accord and experienced in project management – having worked on projects and events with Irish and international charities and travelled extensively as part of her representative role.
Sean Corrigan

Director

Sean Corrigan joined the board of Variety Ireland in January 2020 has also worked with voluntary organisations in rural communities for over 15 years and as a father of two young daughters he is a board member…
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…of their local national school. Sean has an engineering background works in communications and corporate affairs, he is currently working on environmental projects that focus on improving water quality, biodiversity and climate action. The projects that Sean has developed and implemented have been recognised nationally and internationally.
Sean Kavanagh

Treasurer

Sean Kavanagh is based in Castlemaine Co Kerry. He is a self-employed accountant who runs his own general practice. Sean has a young family, with three children aged 9, 8 and 6.
He is keenly aware of the challenges faced…
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…by families and was delighted to be asked to join Variety in the role of Treasurer.
Jolanta Burke

Director

Doctor Jolanta Burke is a chartered psychologist (British Psychological Society)
specialising in applying Positive Psychology in Education and Leadership. Her mission is to help people live a better life…
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…Dr Jolanta is a vital team member of Variety Ireland who is working with Variety to develop several well-being and research programmes to help improve the lives of children and families living with various types of disabilities in Ireland. Jolanta is an Assistant Professor and researcher in the Department of Education at Maynooth University in Ireland who lectures in topics such as wellbeing, positive education, positive leadership and research. Jolanta works mainly with students completing their Masters, Ph.D. or Doctorate degrees. Dr Jolanta loves writing and has contributed to various academic journals, professional magazines, and other media. She is the current editor-in-chief for the Journal of Positive School Psychology and serves as a peer-reviewer of other academic journals. As well as her work with Variety Ireland, Jolanta is very passionate about research and loves collaborating with colleagues worldwide on various projects associated with wellbeing and leadership in schools. For her work on wellbeing, Jolanta has been acknowledged by the Irish Times as one of 30 people who make Ireland a better place.
Rachelle Gaskell

Director

Rachelle Gaskell joined the board of Variety Ireland in May 2021 and has over 15 years of Charity Volunteering Experience with Variety the Children’s Charity and numerous other children’s charities at a strategic level, as a…
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… fund-raiser and event organiser. Rachelle in 2021 also returns to the Variety International Board as a Director and Chair of Variety International Children’s Fund. Previously Rachelle served as a Variety International Board Director from 2013-2015 and Variety International Young Variety Ambassador from 2010-2013. A Troubleshooter and Business Transformation Leader across Sales, Marketing, Operations and Technology with experience in corporate, consumer and investment banking. Rachelle has an extensive global network and has worked across the UK and Asia, and lived and worked in USA working for major finance houses including Citi, GE Capital and Barclays. Rachelle has an Executive MBA from Henley Business School UK. Regarded in General Electric as “GE Top Talent” she was selected to join a class of 120 from over 300,000 global employees to participate in GE’s premier global sales and marketing experienced commercial leadership development program.

Our Team

Kevin O’Brien

Head of Marketing & Fundraising

Kevin O’Brien has been part of the Variety Ireland team for over 5 years. As a family man with children, Kevin has over 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing. This experience he uses to compile and implement…
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…fundraising initiatives and awareness campaigns that has become a voice for all the children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds that Variety help here in Ireland.
Sharon Wright

IT & Admin Manager

Sharon Wright joined Variety Ireland as a volunteer in 2007, developing and maintaining their online presence.
Since 2013, Sharon has been involved in the administration side of the charity and…
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…has been involved in developing new strategies and projects. Sharon has over 20 years experience in the IT industry, having previously managed an IT company. Sharon now runs her own business and is a proud mum of three.