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Board of Directors

ENDA & EVELYN NEARY – Co-founders and Directors


Enda and Evelyn set up Cian’s Kennels in March 2020 in memory of their son Cian with the aim of bringing joy to sick children through interaction with their pets. The idea for the charity was based on their own experience of the positive impact Cian’s pet Cooper had on Cian while Cian was ill.

Evelyn has a background in accounting and HR while Enda works in park maintenance and digger hire. Together, Enda and Evelyn lead the PR side of Cian’s Kennels and Evelyn is currently Chair of the Board of Directors. They live in Killashee with their son Shane, their dogs Holly and of course Cooper, along with Luna the cat.

DECLAN KENNY – Director of Fundraising

Declan Kenny MA (Corporate Ethics), Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA), Dip Financial Crime Prevention.

Declan is an experienced senior leader in financial services having managed large teams across multiple jurisdictions for over 25 years. He has held roles such as President of the Staff Charity Fund, member of the Trócaire Audit Board, and Chairperson of the Enable Network (focused on inclusiveness for those living with a disability). He has been a Director of a number of companies in the financial services sector as well as raising funds for many deserving causes through his volunteering activity over the years. Declan is married with two grown up daughters and two not so grown up rough collies.



JOHN LYONS – Director of Finance and Compliance


John looks after the areas of Finance and Compliance for Cian’s Kennels.
He is a former partner of Grant Thornton and knows our Chair and Co-Founder, Evelyn well as they worked together for many years.

His years of experience and vast knowledge make him invaluable to the Cian’s Kennels team!




EMMA PLANT MVB – Director of Animal Welfare


Emma is our Director of Animal Welfare and with 23 years’ experience as a Veterinary Surgeon under her belt there’s nobody better qualified for the job!

The safety and comfort of pets in the care of Cian’s Kennels is of utmost importance to the team and Emma makes sure everyone is happy throughout the process of a family using our services for their pet.



JOE KENNY – Director of Communication/Family Liaison

Joe took on the role of CEO at The Ronald McDonald House Charities (Ireland) in 2021. He joined RMHC in 2014 in the role of Head of Operations, responsible for all fundraising and House operations.

Previous to this he is an experienced Hospitality and Catering Management Professional – he was awarded Catering Manager of the Year in 2010 by the Irish Hospitality Industry. Joe is still passionate about hospitality and loves to host family and friends at his family home in Shankill, with his wonderful wife Sarah and their 4 children.

Joe met the Neary family during their time based in the Ronald McDonald House and Evelyn asked him to come on board with Cian’s Kennels. We are so grateful to have him as both a family and hospital liaison!

Lead Volunteers


JOANNE SMYTH – Service Co-Ordinator


Joanne’s role involves overseeing the whole process of a pet staying in the DSPCA through Cian’s Kennels – registration, transport and checking in and out of the Pet Hotel.

Joanne met Cian and the Neary family during their time in St. John’s Ward when her son Daragh was receiving treatment at the same time as Cian. After seeing first-hand, the huge positive impact Cooper was on Cian, giving him a new focus and relief from all the medical treatment he was receiving, Daragh also got a puppy. Koby the Golden Retriever still lights up the Smyth household – enjoying mountain walks and sea swimming!



Breda O’Loughlin – Finance


Breda joined the team in early 2022 to assist John in relation to Finance and Compliance. Breda has been working as a bookkeeper for small, local businesses for over 20 years and loves her job and the variety of her work.
Breda is an animal lover – her Cocker Spaniels Murphy and Georgie, along with cat Suki can attest to this.




MARIE KENNY – Fundraising Admin


Working with a team of other volunteers – Marie is responsible for promoting our fundraising efforts and managing relationships with contributors, donors and other stakeholders.







Michaela came on board as a volunteer in late 2020, after holding a fundraiser for Cian’s Kennels and assists Enda and Evelyn with the PR sand social media aspect of the charity.

A true dog lover she brings an abundance of youth and enthusiasm to the Cian’s Kennels team. She has 2 dogs, Bramley and Rhubarb and takes every possible opportunity to spoil Cooper!