About Us

Brigit’s Garden is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity in Ireland, CHY 20053758. The project was set up by Jenny Beale out of her passion for nature and education:

We live in a world where many people’s lives are increasingly detached from the natural world. My dream for Brigit’s Garden was to create a place where people of all ages could connect with nature in beautiful surroundings and find inspiration, delight, tranquillity and learning as they do so.

Theming the Gardens on the Celtic festivals is a natural extension of this vision as the Celtic calendar and stories provide a rich source of symbolism in relation to nature. This symbolism still has a strong resonance in the 21st century, and I hope Brigit’s Garden will play its own small part in helping to re-connect humankind with nature.’

Brigit’s Garden is run by the Board of Trustees, in cooperation with the Operations Director and staff team. Our mission statement, values and aims are as follows:

Mission statement

To offer Brigit’s Garden as a place of connection with nature, beauty and Celtic heritage and as a resource for education, reflection and creativity.

Our Values

Integrity
  • Ethical business practices
  • Respect, fairness and equality in all our dealings with staff, customers, volunteers, suppliers, other businesses and organisations, neighbours and community
  • Income is generated for the purpose of developing and sustaining the project
  • Good stewardship of the land.

Spirit of service

  • Creating space for people to connect with the place as they wish
  • Facilitating experiences of learning, reflection, participation and celebration
  • Honouring nature and Celtic heritage
Excellence
  • High quality in everything we do
Our Aims
  1. To welcome visitors and provide them with a high quality experience and a high standard of service
  2. To offer education programmes linked to the themes of the gardens
  3. To develop Brigit’s Garden as a centre for environmental sustainability
  4. To provide opportunities for community involvement in the project

Board of Trustees

Máire Ní Chionna

Máire Ní Chionna

Máire is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees. She worked for many years as an environmental engineer in Ireland, Malawi and Nepal, and is now involved in a number of community organisations.

Marion MacNeela

Marion MacNeela

Marion has been involved with Brigit’s Garden from its beginning and has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this ever evolving, organically developing project. She brings to the Board nearly forty years’ experience of working as an independent consultant in the Community, Voluntary and Education.

Aoife McNena

Aoife McNena

Aoife has over twenty years’ experience in management and senior HR positions across the public and private sector. She is a graduate of NUI Galway and has a Masters of Corporate Strategy and HR. Galway is home to Aoife, her husband and two children, and she loves spending time in nature and nurturing her own garden.

Caitriona Carlin

Caitriona Carlin

Caitriona is an ecologist and lecturer in Environmental Science in the University of Galway. She is also part of the GreenCampus committee and Community and University Sustainability Partnership. She is happiest when she is outdoors noticing nature, or engaging others in the world around us.

Ingrid McElroy

Ingrid McElroy

Ingrid McElroy is Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement with Children’s Health Ireland and responsible for the community benefit programme rolled out as part of the new national children’s hospital. Prior to this she worked for many years as a consultant in the not-for-profit sector. She has a strong interest in supporting social enterprises and a firm belief in the therapeutic power of nature.

Mary Halpin

Mary Halpin

Mary has been involved with Brigit’s Garden since helping to plant native trees on the newly acquired land in 2000. She subsequently joined the Board of Trustees to assist with strategic planning and develop best practice governance and served as Chair from 2015-2019.

She worked for many years as a Social Worker working with disadvantaged, marginalised young people and their families. In recent years she has been involved in a hospitality business and in complimentary health.

Colin Brown

Colin Brown

Colin Brown has been a volunteer with Brigit’s Garden from the start and is a former Chair of the Board. He is an Emeritus Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Galway and was Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research. He enjoys hill-walking, especially in Connemara.

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