We are the Ireland Chapter of the International Coaching Federation, the global organisation dedicated to excellence in coaching

Professional Coach Thomas Leonard started the International Coaching Federation (ICF) as the International Coach Federation in 1995 as a non-profit organisation for fellow coaches to support each other and grow the profession. The following year, a president was appointed and a board of directors established. The first ICF Chapter was established, and by May 1996, there were more than 60 ICF Chapters worldwide.

With more than 35,000 professional personal and business coaches representing more than 143 countries, the ICF is the voice of the global coaching profession. ICF Ireland is a Chartered Chapter and plays an active role in helping our members to develop their coaching by putting on regular events, providing timely communications and creating regional networking opportunities.

Our Chapter is run according to the following Byelaws

2024 Team

Carmel Harney Director of CIO

Carmel Harney – Co-President

Carmel Harney is the Director of CH Coaching (https://crharney18.wixsite.com/chcoaching/). She is certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC): and Coach Supervisor with the ICF.

Carmel is also a Certified Systemic Team Coach accredited by AOEC and a Certified Practitioner in Emotional Intelligence, Genos International.

Carmel is passionate about empowering people and teams through coaching to embrace change and achieve new growth at individual, team, organisational and societal level. A value driven leader with a career-long commitment to making a difference at all levels, including partnering with more vulnerable groups and communities. Carmel is recognised for creating alliances for whole systems working to strengthen collective leadership, diverse and integrated working practices.

Carmel has more than 25 yrs experience of working in the HSC in NI., working cross-border and nationally. As a qualified Occupational Therapist she practised within Mental Health and Disability, incorporating research and quality improvement collaborations with both Ulster and Queen’s Universities Belfast.

She was the Co-Director for AHPs and Director of Mental Health and Disability Services within the SHSCT.

Carmel played a key role in supporting the culture, structures and professional practice for coaching across the SHSCT and HSE as part of a joint CAWT approach, promoting excellence in management, performance, professional development, an engaged and collective leadership culture, positioning our organisations well to thrive in a highly complex and ever-changing environment. She is one of the proud authors for the first Trust Coaching Strategy, Vision and Governance Policy promoting excellence in coaching practice. 

Carmel is:-

  • A Member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy. 
  • An Associate Consultant with The HSC Leadership Centre, NI.
  •  Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

As Co-President Carmel aims to:-

“strengthen the support to existing and new member organisations to build and enhance excellence in their coaching culture, optimise shared learning and development, expand our network for a thriving coaching society.”

Carmel’s philosophy holds that Coaching builds excellence, supports growth, understanding and acceptance for self and others;  it is truly empowering leading to life changing adaptations and behaviours at a personal and group level; reinforcing that each of us has within us the resources and potential for self-understanding and change”

Siobhan Bradley Director of External relations

Siobhán Bradley – Co-President

Siobhán Bradley as Principal Coach and Consultant in OpenTalk, brings over 20 years experience building leadership capacity and capability for change in individuals and organisations, initially in UCD Business School and then through executive education in the IPA. Siobhán has worked extensively across the public sector in Ireland, with a broad range of civil service, state agencies, local government, education and health organisations, augmented by work in various private sectors, e.g., engineering, professional and financial services.

Her experience leading cross government collaborations while in DFA; leading a flagship local government programme and designing the first cross agency collaborative programme for the whole Criminal Justice sector prompted her to establish OpenTalk, specifically to help organisations develop more open, collaborative and innovative ways of working, to deliver strategy and enable people to thrive through their work. Taking a systemic approach, she interweaves her qualifications in change and OD, HR Strategy and mediation/conflict with her experience and passion of supporting individuals, teams and organisations through a coaching approach.

Her previous career in PR and Communications consultancy (San Francisco) and marketing in entrepreneurial software companies in Ireland and the US developed her passion for impactful communications. She enjoys facilitation, teaching and contributing to research and has brought her experience to international work in South Africa, the Seychelles, EU and the UK.

She is accredited with ICF and EMCC and is a trained Mediator, qualified Conflict and also Well-Being Coach. She is also on the Board of the Mater Foundation.

Marianna Rolikova – Vice President and Strategic Engagement

Marianna has 13+ years of experience in transforming global businesses and bringing change through building and leading Centres of Excellence focusing on operational excellence, performance, lean, change & comms, and learning & development, incl. coaching and mentoring for individuals, teams, and leadership.

Marianna is a ICA Certified Transformation Coach & Group/Team Coach and Positive Intelligence Coach (Shirzad Chamine teachings). With passion for personal growth and development, Marianna’s focus lies at the intersection of learning & development, self-mastery, using understanding of neurodivergent gifts and benefits of many to understand how to shed legacy behaviours and build habits that have a transformative effect on us as individuals, teams and leaders.  

Marianna comes from Slovakia, yet is a blend of eastern & western sensibilities and perspectives. She has a cross-cultural international working experience with having worked in Slovakia, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Belgium, The Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland

Shashi Sopirala – Chief Operating Officer

Shashi, originally from India, has made Ireland his home for over two decades, crafting a career spanning 25 years across an array of industries. His professional journey encompasses pivotal senior management and leadership roles in Technology, Telecoms, Investment Banking, Healthcare, and Pharmaceuticals. Currently at the helm of a Consulting and Coaching company based in Ireland, Shashi extends its services throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Advocating introspection’s power, Shashi underscores its role in personal growth, liberation, and fostering global harmony. As a transformational enterprise coach well-versed in Scaled Agile methodologies, Coactive, and Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC), he guides individuals toward personal and professional development. Embracing the role of a Sherpa Coach, he navigates life’s challenges alongside others, enabling them to uncover hidden potential and conquer their personal ‘Everest.’

Beyond his professional pursuits, Shashi cherishes adventure and challenge. Skydiving, conquering the highest peaks, cycling, and even embarking on Antarctic expeditions fuel his explorative spirit.

A staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion, Shashi actively amplifies diverse voices, ensuring equitable representation for all perspectives. As Chief Operating Officer, he strives to fortify administrative and operational functions, overseeing internal affairs, finance, accounting, and IT systems management.

Shashi’s educational journey encompasses two postgraduate degrees—a Master of Computer Applications and a Master of Business Administration—coupled with a bachelor’s in Accounting and Business Law. This diverse educational background enriches his leadership approach, blending business proficiency with a profound understanding of human behaviour and organisational dynamics, shaping him into a multifaceted and empathetic leader.

Dr. Melissa Sayer – Director, Global and Member Relations

Melissa is the Managing Partner and one of the co-founders of 6 Team Conditions. She specializes in working with Senior Leadership Teams, and is an Adjunct Professor at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin.  

Melissa’s role as Managing Partner is to provide leadership for the scaling of the organization and to partner with client organizations to shape organizational development solutions. She has significant global experience of working with teams across a broad range of industries. She combines her early commercial background with expert scholar-practitioner knowledge and experience when working with executive teams. Melissa works in collaboration with clients across a diverse range of industry sectors and adds value at a strategic level by focusing on the team effectiveness of C-Suite, Senior Leadership and Mission Critical teams as the means to deliver organizational change, learning, and constructive behavioural change. Sector clients include; property, finance, pharma, technology, consumer goods, energy, professional services, healthcare, textiles and education.

Melissa began her career 25 years ago as a chartered surveyor in a top firm in London, gaining considerable experience in the client relationship management of key accounts and leading multi-disciplinary teams. She accelerated quickly and joined the senior management team responsible for a department of 135 people dispersed nationally, with responsibilities for a sizable investment property portfolio. You can learn more about Melissa at http://www.6TeamConditions.com and at linkedin.com/in/melissajsayer

Barbara Gilleran – Director, Learning and Development

Barbara is passionate about people and working in roles that empower others to achieve their personal and professional goals. Barbara is currently a Senior Director of Learning & Development and has been working in the technology space for 15  years, including facebook (Meta), LinkedIn, Quantcast and Coupa Software. She acts as an internal coach and has helped to embed coaching cultures and promote inclusive leadership.  One of her ambitions is to make coaching accessible to as many people as possible.

Barbara is a  life-long learner, and earned an MBA, BA in Human Resources, Diploma in Business, Certificate in Positive Psychology as well as becoming an accredited coach. She is currently pursuing her PCC (Professional Certified Coach). Barbara has also been accredited with various personality assessments including EQi, Insights Discovery, The Leadership Circle and Enneagram. She recently completed a Diploma in Broadcasting and Podcasting and hopes to use these newly acquired skills to good use in the coming year.

In her spare time Barbara loves travelling, the outdoors and keeping fit. She is (still) learning to play guitar, enjoys singing and takes the occasional acting class.

Fabio Garganego – Director, Innovation and Standards

Fabio is PCC ICF and EMCC EIA accredited coach, with a particular passion in Team Coach and Corporate Well-Being. He loves coaching teenagers and youth (pro bono). He has over 10 years experience in coaching and mentoring teams in different organisations. He has a Master degree in Electronic Engineering and a Master in Organization, Management and Innovation. He is involved in delivering coaching programmes in UKI, Italy and Europe.

Fabio has held various leadership roles in Ireland & Italy both in private industry and in state bodies. Fabio’s primary experience is in the IT industry particularly working with SaaS Companies. He led teams in Tech companies and public sectors also.

He knows the importance of belonging, diversity and unicity is a value! The love and passion in the care and maintenance of relationships with other people, the development of human potential in all its facets, brought him closer to coaching in a natural way.

Fabio is a Faculty Member with Kingstown College and has been developing the Italian market since 2020.

Fabio speaks fluent English, French and Italian. He has been living in Ireland since 2015.

In his position as the Director of Innovation and Standards, he aims to embrace new innovative initiatives with a steadfast commitment to ICF standards. His focus includes driving continuous innovation while upholding the highest standards set by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Additionally, he is dedicated to providing operational and governance support to the Irish Chapter and the Board.

Trish Blackshields – Director, Strategic Programmes

Trish Blackshields, an accredited Associated Certified Coach (ACC) with over 25 years of leadership experience in commercial, strategy, and change programs, joins the International Coaching Federation’s Ireland chapter as the Director of Strategic Programmes. In addition to her senior commercial leadership role with a leading Irish food and beverage wholesaler, Trish is an organisational coach.  

Trish completed her ICF Accredited Coaching Education Level 2 programme with Coaching Development in London, earning a Diploma in Coaching. As part of this programme, Trish has completed Developing Mastery and is working towards PCC accreditation. She holds an MBA in Retailing from the University of Stirling and has completed Introduction to Transactional Analysis (TA101) and Transactional Analysis Concepts (TA202). Additionally, she actively contributes as a Learning Mentor with Coaching Development on the Online Professional Coaching Skills programme, driven by her commitment to advancing coaching excellence.

The transformative impact of coaching resonates personally and professionally for Trish, inspiring her commitment to giving back to the coaching community. Her enthusiasm lies in empowering individuals to crystallize goals, gain insights, and craft actionable plans.

As the Director of Strategic Programmes, Trish is wholeheartedly dedicated to enhancing the growth and success of the ICF Ireland Chapter. She takes a proactive stance, ensuring that all projects and events align with strategic and operational goals while being implemented effectively. Her commitment extends to fostering strong connections with partners and members, ensuring the chapter remains vibrant and connected.

Sara Rochford Virtual assistant and business management

Sara Rochford – Virtual Support

Sara is a Virtual Assistant and Business Manager providing technical and administrative support to the board and members of ICF Ireland Chapter. Sara has a background in childcare where she worked in different roles, including management. Sara began her business as a Virtual Assistant in 2021.

Sara has a passion for supporting business owners with their ever growing workload so they can focus on the tasks that make their business tick.

Our Associates to the Board

Aisling Melia

Amy kiernan

Anu Goli

Brian Armstrong

Carly Sokhela

David O Grady

Dustyn Burwell

Margaret Murray

Ronan Daly


The Chapter was set up in 2003 by founding President Pemo Theodore.

Chapter Presidents

2003/4 Pemo Theodore
2004/5 Andy Harte
2005/6 Tom Hatton
2007/8/9 Monica Ross and John Reid
2010/11 Alasdar Browne
Presidency term changed to align with ICF Global
2012 Lily Murphy
2013 Mary O’Rafferty
2014 Mary Anna Wright
2015 Clodagh Swanson
2016 Eoin McCabe
2017 Eilish McKeown
2018 Orla Carolan and Siobhan Boucher
2019 Orla Carolan and Siobhan Boucher
2020 Michael Stafford
2021 Michael Stafford
2022 Paula O Kelly
2023 Eileen Jameson

ICF Ireland Mission

ICF Ireland exists to lead the Irish advancement of the coaching profession.

ICF Ireland Vision Statement

Coaching is an integral part of a thriving society in Ireland and every ICF Ireland Member represents the highest quality of professional coaching.

We are committed to advancing the science and practice of coaching. We work with the ICF definition of coaching, which is: To partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

ICF Ireland Strategic Goals

The ICF Ireland board has a strategic plan to help realise the vision set out above. This plan sets out objectives for the period 2024. It has three main goals:

Goal 1
Member-focused – To ensure we continue serving our members the best we can – for today as well as tomorrow.

Goal 2
Organizational – To manage and evolve ICF and the One ICF ecosystem for excellence and sustainability.

Goal 3
Empowerment – To enable human and societal development through coaching, as well as development of the coaching profession.

Within each main goal are smaller milestones that the board will focus on over this period.