Our Education Team

Ned Brennan
Ned is Chief Executive Officer of Respond! Housing Association. Ned previously worked as Town Clerk with Youghal Town Council and as a Staff Officer with Kilkenny County Council. Ned was educated in Presentation College, Bray, University College Dublin, the Honourable Society of King’s Inns and holds a Masters Degree from University College Cork. Ned was a member of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Working Group for the Co-operative & Voluntary Sector from 2002 to 2009.

Deborah Butler 
Dr. Deborah Butler, Ed. D, M.A. (Econ.), is Registrar and Head of Education with responsibility for academic standards within Respond! College. Her professional Doctorate was completed in 2010 and focused on understanding “professionalism” in social housing provision and the role of academic qualifications in terms of career progression, experiences and recognition of housing professionals. She has worked with Respond! since 2000 and her remit as Registrar in Respond! College gives her the overall responsibility for all educational programmes provided by Respond! College which are accredited by QQI, CIH etc. Prior to joining Respond!, Deborah lectured for ten years in Economics/Finance and was involved in the accreditation of diploma, degree and MBA programmes. She spent two years working on a national crime awareness initiative which particularly targeted young people at risk within the community.

Lorcan Byrne
In February 2014 Dr. Lorcan Byrne, PhD, BSocSc, was appointed as Respond’s Education Coordinator for the South and South East. Lorcan has been working in the area of community, housing and homelessness since 1996. His research and teaching focuses on a range of interlinking topics such as housing, the home, dwelling, urban and suburban forms of life, urban culture, community studies, urban regeneration, the symbolic order, inequality, poverty, exclusion, deviance and stigma. Working within the interpretive tradition of the social sciences, his work draws from continental philosophy, cultural sociology, and cultural and political anthropology.  He has been tutoring and lecturing in UCC since 2010. Lorcan has worked on a range of research projects in both Cork and Limerick related to housing, regeneration and social exclusion. Having completed a doctorate in the Department of Sociology and the School of Applied Social Studies University College Cork, Lorcan has been appointed as programme leader for the Certificate in Community Studies.

Sarah Barron
Sarah Barron is the Education Resource officer for the Southern Region. She graduated in 2001 from NUI Maynooth with an Honours degree in History and Geography and went on to complete an Msc in Regional and Local Development with Dublin Institute of Technology in 2002. Since that time Sarah has worked in a variety of housing and community related roles with two Local Authorities and has been with Respond! for the last seven years. Her current role provides estate or cluster based education and training opportunities for residents. She currently tutors on the NFQ Level 7 NUI Maynooth Certificate in Community development in a Changing Ireland and the NFQ Level 5 Family Studies course.

Patrick Cogan, ofm (Founder Director)
Patrick, a Franciscan, is a founder-director of Respond! Housing Association
since 1982.  He served for three terms, as a Ministerial appointee, on the benchmarking Quality Action and Performance Verification Groups of the Local Authority sector and has completed four terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the Housing Finance Agency.

Lorraine Fleming – General Academic Administrator
Lorraine’s working background is in administration. Having joined Respond! as part of the Housing Department in 2013, Lorraine is now the General Academic Administrator in Respond! College. Her position will involve her liaising between students and College staff. She will also manage learner services and handle queries relating to student admissions, registration, examinations and graduations.

Richard Gallery – Independent External Academic
Richard Gallery is currently Registrar at Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Prior to that he was, for some 7 years, Head of Department of Engineering at ITB, and, prior to that, he was a Senior Lecturer in the Institute. Richard joined ITB as one of the initial staff members, and played a significant role through his time in the Institute in helping to establish and further develop the Engineering Dept. When established in 1999 ITB offered on Engineering qualification, a Higher Cert in Electronics and Computer Engineering, whereas by 2014 the Engineering Department offers 11 undergraduate programmes (from Higher Cert to Honours Degree), in addition having Masters and PhD students.    In his current role, Richard has responsibility for ensuring the academic integrity of the Institute, with areas of responsibility including exams, admissions, student services, library, quality assurance. Richard is also involved, in his role as Registrar, with the moves towards the creation of a Technological University in Dublin.

Eoin O’Sullivan – Independent External Academic
Dr. Eoin O’Sullivan is Head of the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin. Since 2004 he has sat on the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) as well as on the Rent Tribunal (2009-2015). With a Ph.D in Social Policy from University of Dublin, Trinity College (1999) he has strong interest in research. He has also externed for a number of colleges in academia areas relating to criminology, housing as well as social policy.

Kevin O’Farrell
Kevin holds a Masters in Social Science (Rights and Social Policy) and a BA in Community and Youth Work, both from Maynooth University. His dissertation focused on the issues of youth unemployment and youth homelessness.  He has a background in nursing, with specialities in the areas of mental health and intellectual difficulties. Kevin has a wealth of experience in community activism, working with a wide range of community groups and youth groups. He has also been involved in setting up a number of community, youth and environmental initiates within his local community including community allotments and a parent and toddler group. Currently he is the Course Co-Ordinator for the Certificate in Community Studies in Dublin and the lead tutor on the NFQ level 5 major award in Healthcare Support.

Anthony O’ Halloran
Dr. Anthony O’ Halloran holds a PhD in Government from University College Cork, an MA in Comparative Politics from University College Dublin and a BA in Law, Politics and Sociology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr. O’ Halloran currently lectures at the Dublin Campus of Champlain College Vermont, the Institute of Technology Carlow and University College Cork. He has been a visiting scholar at Southern Illinois University, California State University and Champlain College, Vermont. In Ireland he has previously lectured at University College Cork, University of Limerick and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Dr. O’ Halloran co-authored Politics in a Changing Ireland 1960-2007: A Tribute to Seamus Pattison, published by the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin in 2008. His monograph The Dáil in the 21st Century was published by Mercier Press, Cork in 2010.  His co-edited collection of essays Walls, Fences, Borders and Boundaries: Essays on Social Exclusion, Inclusion and Integration was published by Kendall Hunt, Iowa also in 2010

Seán Regan
Seán is from Kilrickle, Co. Galway.  He qualified with a B.E. in Industrial Engineering from University College Galway in 1980 and worked with Abbott Ireland Ltd.  He subsequently completed Masters degrees in Computer Aided Manufacturing (M.Eng.Sc.) and in Hydrology (M.Sc.) – both in UCG.   Having worked a number of years on aid projects in Rwanda and in Tanzania, Seán decided to change his career path.  In 1994 he completed an MA in Rural Development Planning with the University of East Anglia and moved into Development Work.  He worked on a number of EU programmes throughout Ireland and as Community Development Co-ordinator with the Conamara Gaeltacht Area Partnership.  Prior to joining Respond! in 2007 Seán worked as National Co-ordinator with the Community Worker’s Co-operative.