The Co Wicklow PPN Secretariat provides a coordinating and oversight function for the PPN. 

In particular its role is to:

  • Facilitate the implementation of decisions of the PPN
  • Ensure the proper functioning of the PPN between plenary meetings
  • Coordinate the activities of the PPN
  • Communicate extensively and regularly with all PPN members and disseminate information concerning all PPN activities as widely as possible
  • Manage and support PPN staff

The Secretariat is made up of one representative from each of the Co Wicklow Municipal Districts i.e. Arklow, Baltinglass, Bray, and Greystones, and one representative from member groups which have a co-wide remit.  Two representatives from each of the PPN sectors (colleges) i.e. Community & Voluntary College, Social Inclusion College and Environmental College.  As well as one representative of the PPN host organisation (Wicklow Travellers Group).

Municipal Area & College Representatives to the Secretariat

Gerorda Stamps

Baltinglass Municipal District Representative to the Secretariat

Gerorda got involved in local community activity with Foroige and served as Chair in 1979/80.  She started a Junior Chamber organisation and the St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival in Baltinglass in the mid-1980s. Gerorda moved away from the area in 1991 on returning to Baltinglass in 2005 she joined the Local Forum and the Tidy Towns Group.  Gerorda runs the Facebook and Twitter pages for the Forum

Helen Kinsella

Helen Kinsella

Bray Municipal Area Representative to the Secretariat

Helen has a wealth of experience both a as paid worker and volunteer in the field of Community Development.  Helen is currently employed by Bray Family Resource & Development Project as a senior Community development worker. Helen currently represents the PPN on Bray Local Drugs Task Force.  Helen is also actively involved in a number of community initiatives including Oldcourt Estate Forum and Bray Seniors Annual Christmas Party. 

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Ruth Prenderville

Wicklow Municipal District Representative to the Secretariat

Ruth is embedded in community life through her involvement as secretary of Newtownmountkennedy Community Forum, Newtownmountkennedy Town Team as well as positions on the committees of Newtown Community Centre St. Patrick's parade and the local pony club.   Her position as community CEO supervisor plus her voluntary roles in the community give her a unique connection within communities up and down the district.



Stephen Kearon

Arklow Municipal District Representative to the Secretariat

Stephen has been actively involved in various community groups over 30 years, a founder member of WITC, a charity that provided IT training and assistance in Wicklow.   Former chair of the charity Wicklow Dementia Support.  Former member of the PPN Secretariat.   Appointed Peace Commissioner in 2010 and current member of the Co. Wicklow Joint Policing Committee.

Michael Conlon

Co-wide Groups Representative to the Secretariat

Michael has been involved with Wicklow League for over 25 years as Secretary & currently as Chair.   Michael is also Secretary of Leinster Football Assoc. & FAI Assembly member.  He has served on four Commercial Board as a Sales/Commercial Director including currently BoscaSports. He now generally works for himself as a consultant.  Michael is an experienced negotiator & problem solver at both voluntary and commercial level.

Diana Galagher

Diana Gallagher

Community & Voluntary College Representative to the Secretariat

Diana has been an active member of Lacken Community Development Association since 2016 and is now Chairperson of the committee. She has been very active in her community over many years supporting all community fundraising activities, volunteering and supporting the tidy villages committee. Diana has served on the Parent fundraising committee at Gaelscoil na Lochanna Blessington. She is currently studying Business & Tourism at Blessington Further Education & Training Centre.

Phyllis Farrell

Phyllis Farrell

Community & Voluntary College Representative to the Secretariat

Phyllis Farrell has been an active member of Community Games for many years. Phyllis is currently the area secretary for Ashford/Glenealy Community Games and PRO for the County Community Games organisation. She is also provincial secretary for Leinster and a Board Director of NEAC.  Phyllis is currently a PPN Representative on the Co Wicklow Local Sports and Recreation Partnership.

Eleanor Phillips

Eleanor Phillips

Social Inclusion College Representative to the Secretariat

Eleanor is a founding member and director of Signal Arts Centre which was set up over 30 years ago.  Since its inception Signal has provided an inclusive space where people from all walks of life and abilities can co-create together.  

Eleanor has also worked professionally as a community artist.  Programmes included a two year programme with the Traveller community in Northern Ireland; working with a homeless project in St Louis, USA and facilitating creative thinking for the transgender community.   Additionally, Eleanor has worked for a number of years with Blue Drum as Project Leader.   Blue Drum where the arts support agency for Family Resource Centres.  Eleanor has served one term on the Wicklow PPN Secretariat and would be delighted to continue to do so for a second term.

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Social Inclusion College Representative to the Secretariat


Carina Holmes

Greystones Municipal District Representative to the Secretariat  

Carina Holmes is a member of Wicklow Planning Alliance (WPA) and Delgany Community Council (DCC).   She has become increasingly involved and concerned about the substantial and imminent threats to the natural and built environment, in particular, the detrimental impact that climate change is having on wildlife habitats, water resources, air quality, biodiversity and woodlands/forests, and the need to preserve and protect both the environment and built heritage.   She is keen to contribute to the Public Participation Network (PPN) in Wicklow having worked on national economic, financial and fiscal policies in both the Central Bank of Ireland and H.M. Treasury in London.  Her career as an economist in the public sector has spanned over 30 years where she has represented both the Irish Central Bank and British Government at EU and other international meetings, which have included IMF/World Bank meetings where Ireland’s progress on the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been discussed.  She believes that the attainment of the SDGs requires strong national and local objectives and joined-up/integrated plans and policies across all levels of government.  She believes that the best policy results and actions are achieved when all stakeholders, in particular, those in the community and in voluntary groups and organisations are consulted, engaged and their legitimate concerns are incorporated into policies and actions.  This inclusion enables buy-in and helps to build long-term trust and respect among all stakeholders.   She has always been strongly motivated to serve the public interest and has led economic teams to find solutions to national economic, financial and fiscal problems.   She has also led in the preparation of economic projections and forecasts of national macroeconomic aggregates (e.g. income, employment, inflation, housing and public finances).   Carina is very interested in being able to contribute to local economic and environmental planning and development in Wicklow.

Emma Smith

Environment College Representative to the Secretariat  

Emma is a committee member of West Wicklow Environmental Network (WWEN). She is active in the work of the WWEN, participating in network events, responding to consultation papers and writing articles about network events. She manages the WWEN facebook page. Over the years, she has been involved with numerous school parents’ associations and was on the Board of Management at Dunlavin Community
College for a number of years. She is a writer and lives in Hollywood, Co Wicklow.

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Ashleigh Downey

Environment College Representative to the Secretariat  

Ashleigh Downey is an environmental artist, curator, educator, and socially engaged practitioner.   Over 20 years in the cultural sector Ashleigh works across disciplines as visual artist, researcher, facilitator, project manager and event organiser.  Taking an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to her practice Ashleigh develops environmental and community focused events such as Blooming Bunting (2015 to 2017) and the Wild Acres Week series celebrating biodiversity (2021 and 2022)

Ashleigh is a member of the Wicklow Sustainable Energy Community.  A Climate Reality Leader trained with former U.S. President Al Gore and Climate Ambassador with An Taisce.   She holds a Masters from LIT in ‘Social Practice and the Creative Environment’ and a postgraduate diploma in ‘Design Thinking for Sustainability’ from UCD Innovation Academy.

A member of the education panel at the National Gallery on Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane.  The Environmental Arts Coordinator for Green Sod Ireland Land Trust and Founder of Greenhouse Culture in 2021 Ashleigh set up Ireland's first Biodiversity Ambassador programme.  For more information visit:

Conor Kirwan

Host Organisation Representative to the Secretariat


Minutes of our Secretariat Meetings: