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MEET OUR TEAM

Cork Harbour Waterkeeper

Christine O’Neill

Founder

Christine is originally from Ringaskiddy, and moved to New York in 1991, at the age of seventeen. Following receipt of her permanent resident status, Christine enrolled in business school while working two jobs and received her secretarial diploma in June of 1993. Since then, Christine has worked her way up from junior administrative roles to working for senior directors and managers within corporate organizations, high profile individuals and celebrities.

Christine’s career as an administrative professional spans over twenty-five years. Most recently, she was the Personal Assistant to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance.

While working with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Waterkeeper Alliance, Christine became very passionate about the cause. After numerous discussions with Mr. Kennedy, and with his support and direction, it became her goal to help Waterkeeper Alliance gain a presence in Ireland, which after a lot of work and determination, has now evolved into Cork Harbour Water Guardians, a Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate.

Noel Sheehan

Waterkeeper / Executive Director

Noel Sheehan is the full-time Executive Director of Cork Harbour Water Guardians.

Noel’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to; developing relationships with other organizations throughout Ireland with the possibility of recruiting them for the Waterkeeper Alliance movement, updating and maintaining the Cork Harbour Water Guardian’s website and all social media on a regular basis and fielding phone calls and emails from community residents reporting pollution in their areas.

Noel’s inspiration to be a part of Cork Harbour Water Guardians stems from his passion for the area in which he grew up and has lived in all his life and witnessing the pollution to Cork Harbour over the years and the detrimental health effects it has had on friends and local communities.

Nick Murphy

Skipper

Having served twenty-two years in the Irish Naval Service and reaching the rank of Petty Officer, Nick served on a few of the navel vessels performing various tasks, including sea rescues and armed boarding. Nick also served on Le Niamh for the Asian deployment trip for three months, which played host to many dignitaries in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, and many more.

Nick is a fully qualified sea survival instructor, armed boarding instructor, drill and weapons instructor and completed the Train the Trainer course.

After leaving the Naval Service, Nick took a position in security management and managed one of the leading retail environments in Cork.

In 2010, Nick began working in the anti-piracy protection field doing patrols in the Indian Ocean, where he was involved in vessel management, country manager, and an instructor of the C&G Maritime Security Operatives course based in Sri Lanka.

Gavin O'Gorman

Gavin O’Gorman

Volunteer

Gavin grew up and lived in Cork most of his life. After completing school, he spent three months studying in the National Maritime College in Cork Harbour, where he became an able sea man. Shortly thereafter, Gavin left Ireland and went to live in Canada, Australia and the UK where he worked on land based oil rigs for approximately four years.

As a young child, Gavin spent most of his summers in south Kerry, where he was heavily involved in fishing, jet skiing, swimming and regattas.

Gavin’s interest in becoming involved with Cork Harbour Water Guardians comes from his love of being on the water and wanting to do something productive, hoping to make a difference in protecting, preserving and restoring Cork Harbour to its natural beauty.

Sylvester Calnan

Volunteer

Sylvester is a local of the Cork Harbour area and runs his own small business renovating homes in Cork.

His passion for becoming involved with Cork Harbour Water Guardians comes from having spent his summers as a child enjoying the area beaches. Now having two young children and witnessing them swimming in areas where raw sewage is pumped on a daily basis, he would like to see them have the same enjoyment and not worry about them becoming ill.

Sylvester has a love for the area and would like to see it brought back to its natural beauty to afford everyone the opportunity to enjoy the harbour for all recreational activities, knowing that they are safe from contaminated waters.
He would like to see, and hopes to help hold those responsible, accountable for the damage they have done to the area and a clean-up of the harbour ensue.

Maurice McCabe

Volunteer

Maurice is a qualified sea survival instructor, drill weapons and power boat instructor. He served twenty-four years in the Irish Naval Service, where he reached the rank of Petty Officer on numerous navy vessels. During that time, he was deployed to South Lebanon for a period of six months.

Maurice has spent most of his life on the water and his passion for becoming involved with Cork Harbour Water Guardians comes from his belief that everyone should have the right to enjoy the beautiful area that Cork Harbour is without fear of becoming ill while doing so. He has watched for years how the waters of the harbour have been used as a dumping ground and would like to see those responsible for incessant pollution held accountable.

Gavin Murphy

Volunteer

Growing up with an emphatic interest in joining the navy, Gavin joined the Irish Naval Service Reserve Cork Unit in August 2014. In September of the same year he started studying Nautical Science in the National Maritime College of Ireland and was awarded a scholarship to train at sea with Princess Cruises. From September 2016 – January 2017, Gavin Sailed as a Deck cadet on the Rosslare – Pembroke passage, with Irish Ferries. Duties during his training phase included coastal navigation, ship stability, cargo operations and Ship safety equipment and system upkeep among others.

In October this year Gavin was promoted to the position of Leading seaman in the Naval Service Reserve and received the award of best Non-Commissioned Officer. The role is that of a Unit instructor covering topics such as seamanship and rhib handling. He, along with his colleagues are currently researching and producing Cork harbour specific documents, covering areas such as MARPOL contingency plans, harbour moorings and anchorages available for small craft and search and rescue procedures and methods within the harbour
Gavin is currently studying part time in the 1st Brigade Training Centre, Collins Barracks, Cork in a Specialised Instructors Course.

He completed two Patrols on board the LE Ciara, Irish Naval Service, during the months of June and July 2017

From 2014 – 2017, Gavin was employed part-time as a general operative in Marine Motors, Passage west, Cork, specialising in small marine engine diagnostics
Gavin has completed Department of Transport certified courses in Damage control and firefighting, sea survival, Essential First Aid and an enclosed spaces safety course including various other 2-3-day essential seamanship courses. All certificates and awards are available upon request

Josh Sheehan

Volunteer

Josh grew up around the coastal areas of Cork, spending his summers going to local beaches that were once beautiful and scenic. As a teenager, he and his younger brother were hospitalized for two weeks due to contaminated water at one of those beaches. Because of that experience, Josh developed a passion for environmental causes and would like to contribute by helping restore the beaches and the waters to ensure that they are safe for recreation and other activities.

Josh will hold the position of Social Media Coordinator for Cork Harbour Water Guardians, managing all social media pages and the Cork Harbour Water Guardians website. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with his ten years of working in the IT field and will be a great asset to the organization.

Zach Sheehan

Volunteer

Zach grew up around the coastal areas of Cork and spent many summers at local beaches, always noticing how polluted the water was. When he was a teenager, he contracted the Rotavirus from a stagnant pool of water at one of the local beaches that had been contaminated by manure flowing into the water from a local farmland and was hospitalized for two weeks.

Zach is a qualified first responder and has worked on ERT for the past four years. He currently works security at the Port of Cork and has extensive knowledge about the Cork Harbour area.

George Thompson

George Thompson

Volunteer

George Thompson has had a career spanning almost 4 decades in media, taking charge of the Navy’s photographic section during the 1980s/90s, a period of vast change and progression of the maritime branch of the Defence Forces, while also covering some of the more high profile events in the history of the Irish Naval Service. From here George went on to become a successful photojournalist, editor and sports editor having worked with some prominent photo agencies and publications both locally and globally.

George studied Public Relations at C.I.T.  and has worked on and created successful PR and Media campaigns for individuals, groups, industrial and social events. Crisis management and media communications are other areas of George’s expertise.