Meet the Board

Patricia Golden


Patricia Golden is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and joined the board of Blossom Ireland in 2015. She was appointed Chairperson in 2018. Along with her financial expertise Patricia brings strong corporate governance experience to Blossom Ireland.

She currently works as Director of Corporate Services in the National Gallery of Ireland where her remit includes commercial operations, infrastructure and governance. She sits on several boards – private, State and voluntary and recently was Chairman of the CIE Group Audit & Risk Committee. She holds an economics degree from Trinity College Dublin and a Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School.

“What drew me to Blossom Ireland was the fact they did not think of themselves as a small organisation – they always had big ambitions placing the children and teenagers with ID at the centre of all their innovative programming”.

John Byrne


John Byrne joined the board of Blossom Ireland in 2017 and became Secretary in 2020. John is currently Chief of staff with RSA Insurance Ireland. Previously John was Head of Communications in Insurance Ireland and worked as a Senior Account Manager in Drury Porter Novelli along with Policy and Communications Advisor in the Labour Party.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in History & Geography and a Masters of Regional and Urban Planning from UCD; He completed an MBA in 2017.

“I really enjoy being involved with Blossom as it’s a fantastic organisation that is focused on the best outcomes for those who avail of its services. Every aspect of what Blossom does is informed by best practices and this gives it the structures to deliver exceptional services. The staff in Blossom are highly motivated and innovative and that sense of purpose is great to see. Blossom is also an ambitious organisation and this is justified given how far it has come and its capacity to do even more for greater numbers of people”.

Peter Clancy


Peter Clancy has been a board member of Blossom Ireland since 2012 bringing a broad and varied range of experience and knowledge with him. He holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree from UCD along with an MBA from Smurfit School of Business, UCD. He has worked in engineering, commercial and leadership positions for businesses of varying sizes from start-ups through to multinationals, and in various sectors. For the last number of years Peter has led a start-up business establishing the Lough Ree Distillery brand.

“I’ve been involved on the board since the early stages, when meetings were around Auveen’s kitchen table. To see what Blossom Ireland has become from those humble beginnings is just amazing, and in reality it’s a testament to the vision, drive, resilience and energy of Auveen and the team. And as a board member, to have witnessed that massive and continuing evolution over a period of years, and to know you played a very small part in it, is hugely rewarding”.

Shane Hamill


Shane Hamill has been a board member since January 2019. Shane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from DCU and a Master’s in Business Sustainability from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Shane Hamill is the Strategic Projects Manager at Bord Bia, leading a number of priority programmes, including the state agency’s response to Brexit. Other experience includes working for the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome along with time spent in Brussels where he advised leading food & drink multinationals on EU policy and regulation. Shane sits on the Steering Committee of the 30% Club Ireland, a voluntary international movement of companies which are committed to better gender balance at all levels of business.

“What I like most about being a board member for Blossom Ireland is the opportunity to help young people reach their full potential. Blossom Ireland’s programme participants are active, social teenagers with a lot to offer their local communities and workplaces – I really enjoy helping to make that happen”.

Tony Bell

Company Secretary

Tony Bell has been a director of Blossom Ireland since the early days and took up the position of Company Secretary in 2016 after the organisation became incorporated. Tony is self-employed and runs a number of businesses in the agri-sector along with managing a tillage farm in County Dublin. He has also spent several years developing export markets and sales for Irish companies in mainland Europe.

Tony places a lot of emphasis on sustainability and also in challenging the norm in terms of how things are done within the sector. This questioning and challenging is something he brings to the board in Blossom Ireland to constantly seek ways to improve the service/model.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (hons) from UCD.

“My son has special needs and benefits from the service Blossom Ireland offers. This gives me first hand insight into the impact of the services offered. I cannot overemphasise the benefits to Rory. The independence and self-confidence he has gained over the years is immeasurable. To help in a small way move Blossom Ireland forward and to provide this service for many more people is really the essence of why I’m involved”.

Geraldine Connolly


Geraldine is currently a special school principal. She has a background in mainstream primary teaching. Having achieved an M.Ed. from Trinity University in 2008, she works on a part time basis with the University of Limerick and with St. Angela’s Centre for Special Educational Needs Inclusion and Diversity, Sligo.

“It is a privilege for me to be associated with Blossom Ireland as it scaffolds and nurtures the dreams of students and their families. The creativity of the team is combined with a commitment to authenticity of experience. This ensures that their work for real inclusion is uniquely transformative.” 

Dannie Hanna


Dannie Hanna joined the board of Blossom Ireland in 2021. Dannie is a qualified solicitor and senior associate at Arthur Cox. Dannie holds a BCL from NUI Galway and an LLM from the University of Cambridge. He practices primarily in commercial law and corporate governance, and has a strong knowledge and interest in human rights with a particular focus on people with intellectual disabilities.

Want to join our board?

We are currently looking to expand our board. If you believe you can support us as we grow and scale the organisation and/or as we develop our educational curriculum we would love to hear from you. Individuals with experience of education programme development; sustainable models of scaling are of particular interest currently. Please send expression of interest to Auveen Bell at

Time Commitment

Approx. 6-10 hours per month including attendance at board meetings held approximately every 2 months in a city centre location.