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Meet the Team

Staff at Our Residential Rehab Centre, Smarmore Clinic

Dominic McCann
Dominic is CEO of Smarmore Castle and Castle Craig Hospital, and is also a founder and Director of Stockholms beroendeklinik and CATCH Recovery, London. A member of the McCann family who founded Castle Craig, Smarmore Castle and Clouds House - Dominic joined Castle Craig in 2009 as Development Manager and Direcor. In this role Dominic has overseen the enhancement of Castle Craig's services, and the launch of new clinics in Ireland, Sweden and London. In 2018 he led a successful campaign to highlight abuses of the Google Ads platform, and other unethical business practices in the sector. Dominic was previously the Chief Executive of Smarmore Castle from 2017 to 2019. Dominic previously spent several years working with charities in the UK, Eastern Europe and in Africa. This work encompassed child-care, learning disabilities, disaster relief and development, NGO resource building and primary healthcare services.
Peter McCann
After studying economics and psychology at Trinity College Dublin, and a career in the City of London, Peter McCann established the Life Anew Trust in 1981 alongside his wife, Dr Margaret Ann McCann. Life Anew was a charity that promoted Minnesota Model addiction treatment in the UK at a time when this treatment approach was virtually non-existent. In 1982 Peter and Margaret Ann founded Clouds House, a drug and alcohol treatment centre in Wiltshire. After successfully running Clouds for five years when it gained an international reputation, they moved to Peeblesshire in Scotland where they in turn opened Castle Craig in 1988. Clouds, in partnership with its associated charities, has recently received the royal patronage of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. In 2015, Peter led the opening of Smarmore Castle, bringing the Castle Craig model of care to Ireland. Peter has presented at many conferences in the field of addiction, written papers on addiction and belongs to a number of professional organisations. In the early 1990s Peter founded EATA (European Addiction Treatment Agency) and five years ago Peter was elected on to the Board of the International Council of Alcohol and Addictions. He is an expert on cross-border EU Healthcare and is currently pioneering the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatment in addiction care.
Dr. Hugh Gallagher
Medical Director, General Practitioner, Substance Misuse Specialist
Dr. Gallagher is a General Practitioner specialising in addiction medicine. He has worked exclusively in the field of addiction for the past fifteen years and has served as a GP Coordinator in the HSE Addiction Service in Dublin North. Dr Gallagher is a member of the National Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Implementation Committee and the National Methadone Protocol Implementation Committee and on a subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol. Hugh is particularly interested in the science of addiction, recovery capital, peer support in addiction recovery, family support in the area of addiction, dual diagnosis and alcohol related brain injury.
Professor Gerard Lynch
Consultant Psychiatrist, MD FRCPsych
Professor Gerard Lynch is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. Professor Lynch has been a consultant psychiatrist since 1994 and has worked in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. He has worked in many areas of general adult psychiatry and has been involved in numerous service developments during his time as a consultant. This includes setting up of crisis resolution and recruitment teams, the reorganisation of community mental health and inpatients teams and the development of mental health liaison services. He continues to be a Clinical Director of Northern Trust since 2003. Dr Lynch has recently been appointed as Chair of the Northern Ireland division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Keith Cassidy
Clinic Manager
Keith is Clinic Manager for Smarmore Castle and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the therapy team and operations. Before joining Smarmore Castle, Keith worked as a private psychotherapist and has four years' solid experience as the manager of another Irish treatment centre. He also has two decades of hospitality experience plus 20 years of his own recovery, as well as a firm belief in the 12-step model. On top of this he is a doctoral candidate, in psychotherapy, at Dublin University. On joining Smarmore Castle, he said: “I’m very excited to be appointed the clinic manager of Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. I have always been impressed by the multidisciplinary approach offered at Smarmore Castle and look forward to working with the very professional and dedicated team, who work tirelessly to provide quality of care to all patients”.
Dr John Mulroy
MB FRCGP Dr John Mulroy is a doctor at Smarmore Castle.
Philip Grant
Specialist Addictions Counsellor
Philip studied for two years to gain a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Supervision from the Kinharvie Institute of Facilitation. He is particularly interested in Inner Child Therapy and leads the facilitation of group therapy for the Adult Children of Alcoholics group. Philip leads the Therapeutic Drumming Circle at Smarmore Castle. He began training in 2003 at the Arthur Hull week long training course in London, and he has also attended a training course on drumming and group dynamics led by The Therapeutic Drum Foundation in Nottingham. To Phil, drumming is not only a means of facilitating the self-efficacy of the individual and of helping to positively empower the community of Smarmore Castle, it is a hobby and a way of life. In 2010 Phil also completed a 10 day mentorship programme with Arthur Hull and Village Music Circles who were training in the UK. Philip trained and worked at Castle Craig Hospital since 1998 before moving to Smarmore Castle in 2015.
Colman Ronayne
BA(Hons) M.A.C.I Colman is an addiction therapist at Smarmore Castle.
Paul McAnespie
Staff Nurse
Qualifying as a Staff Nurse in 1997, Paul has worked in the field of intellectual disabilities nursing for over 20 years. Obtaining a Post Graduate Degree in Behaviours that Challenge in 2006, he has been involved in meeting the complex medical and mental health needs of individuals in care and utilising his expertise to help support positive changes in the client population. Paul has gained extensive experience in working as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team in the support of individuals with dual diagnosis and behavioural issues. Paul joined Smarmore Castle nursing team in 2018 and has been an integral part of the day staff since joining. His background and knowledge of health assessments and the complexities of behaviour has proved supportive in aiding the recovery of our patient population. Paul has also integrated his lifelong musical skills in facilitating regular group music therapy sessions within the clinic that has proved both rewarding and motivational in the recovery of the patient population.
Glenda Hoey
Healthcare Assistant
Nicola Judge
Health Care Assistant
Nicola joined the team in 2015 as a HCA, bringing many years’ experience with her in front-facing people oriented fields, and with her calm demeanour her soothing Indian Head Massage skills are very much in demand. She is a keen, well read, thoughtful self improver and has attended the School of Philosophy & Economics for over five years. Her distinctive passionately caring manner and extensive people skills are solidly backed by full certification as a FETAC – level 5 Carer.
Debbie Murphy
Aromatherapist / HCA
Debbie joined Smarmore in 2016. She became a HCA in 2008 and has worked as a carer for over 10 years. Debbie has an interest in alternative therapies. Debbie is the Aromatherapist in Smarmore. She has also does Indian Head massage. She is also continuing to study more holistic treatments to add to Smarmore.
Lauraine Walsh
Senior healthcare Assistant and fire warden
Laurine has a QQI level 5 in community health studies from Drogheda institute of Further education and Pre paramedic fire and ambulance with Emergency Services Training Ireland. Her hobbies include reading and volunteering with st John Ambulance.
Niamh Mullen
Equine Therapist
Niamh is an EAGALA certified equine therapist. She believes that what happens in the arena with the horses is a metaphor for what is happening outside in patients' everyday lives and gives people the opportunity to practise the new therapeutic skills they have learned in treatment.
Rachael Buckley
Fitness & wellbeing Trainer
Rachael has 25 years experience in the fitness & wellbeing industry. She has graduated as a fitness instructor in 1995. She managed a number of gyms over the years & was self employed for a period of time. She enjoyed holding classes for the local community. Commenced employment in Smarmore Castle in March 2016 as the fitness trainer. Rachel’s passion in life is her family, people & their wellbeing. She enjoys running, walking, swimming, badminton, reading & mindfulness. “Your body holds deep wisdom. Trust in it. Learn from it. Nourish it. Watch your life transform and be healthy.”
Anthony Deegan
Recovery Advocate
In recovery for three years after a long and traumatic journey from addiction to recovery, Anthony is a real inspiration to people in our addiction rehab programme. Anthony is open about this journey from addiction to recovery in an effort to reduce the stigma and shame that surrounds drug addiction and prevents people from reaching out for help. Anthony says: “When someone comes into Smarmore Castle with addiction, there's nothing more powerful than for them to see someone else who was here in their shoes, to hear your story and to know that if I can do this, they can."
Edwina Smith
Recovery Advocate
Carly Coonagh
Recovery Advocate
Val Ward
Recovery Advocate
Connor Byrne
Recovery Advocate
Ann Marie Commins
Finance Administrator
Ann Marie is a native of Smarmore, Ardee. She studied accounting and has worked in an office environment for over 25 years. She enjoys challenges and believes in the treatment program offered at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. Ann Marie is responsible for all the administration at the clinic. She is very involved in her local community and church. In her free time Ann Marie enjoys being with her family and children. Ann Marie has competed in the World Irish Dancing Championships and enjoys swimming and skiing.
Ciara Kirk
Admissions Assistant
Ciara Kirk is originally from Dundalk Co Louth where she grew up and was educated at St Vincent’sSecondary School and Dundalk Regional College, now DKIT. For the past number of years Ciara has lived in Knockbridge Co Louth with her husband where they have raised their 3 children. Ciara joined the Smarmore Team in July 2017 as Admissions Assistant. Ciara has over 12 years’experience of addiction and recovery with the individual and the family. In 2011 she did a brief training course in group facilitation and has worked, on a voluntary basis, as a facilitator, with recovery groups for the last eight years. She is passionate about recovery for the individual and within the family and has a great understanding of how the 12 Step programme can work. Ciara enjoys swimming, Pilate’s, travelling to Europe, eating out and catch up time with her 2 daughters, son and husband.
Fiona Shekleton
Administrator Assistant
Fiona is a native of Kingscourt, Co Cavan. She looks after the administration at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. Her career has been very varied throughout her working life, gaining invaluable experience working in many overseas countries and running her own business for a number of years. She believes in the treatment programme offered at Smarmore Castle Private Clinic. In her free time, Fiona enjoys yoga and walking in nature with her dog. She is passionate about meditation and it’s positive affects in bringing well-being and harmony to one’s self. She regularly goes on silent meditation retreats.
Sean Flemming
Alan Green
Joanna Zajac
Kitchen Assistant

Last updated & clinically assessed 16 February, 2022