Colm O’Reilly

Dr. Colm O’Reilly is the Director of the Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) at Dublin City University. CTYI provides fast paced classes for academically talented students aged 6 – 16 years from all over Ireland and overseas. Currently the Centre caters for over 5000 students per annum and it is the only recognised teaching centre for gifted children in the Republic of Ireland.

Colm has worked in the area of gifted and talented education for the last 19 years and has written articles and presented papers at numerous conferences around Europe and worldwide. He has published in many gifted education journals in Europe and America. He published the first commissioned report on teachers attitudes to gifted students in Ireland. He published a book ‘Gifted research in Ireland and the United States’ with cooperation from the Center for Gifted Education in College of William and Mary and is about to publish a research themed collaborative book called ‘Provisions for Gifted Students’.
He has experience in teacher training for gifted students and is responsible for the implementation of many classes and initiatives for gifted children in the Republic of Ireland.

As the proposed ECHA 2018 Conference Chair, Dr Colm O’Reilly brings a wealth of expertise and experience in organising conferences to the committee. Along with his chosen local organising committee, Dr O’Reilly promises a fruitful and engaging conference from start to finish.

Orla Dunne

Orla Dunne is currently Residential Coordinator and Garda Vetting Officer at Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland. Orla has worked in various part time positions in CTYI since 2014 and has been a member of full time staff since 2016, her main area of interest is the psychosocial needs of exceptionally able students and she currently acts as CTYI’s designated Equality Officer. Before joining CTYI, Orla worked promoting educational events and competitions for schools around Ireland, including campaigns with the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She also holds a master’s degree in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Orla will act as CTYI’s representative on the ECHA2018 Organising Committee.

Daryl Hanberry

Daryl Hanberry is a Tax Partner and leader of the Global Employer Services Department in Deloitte Ireland. Daryl deals with the provision of services to clients across a broad range of industries, including the consumer business, manufacturing and technology sectors. Daryl holds a first class Bachelor of Commerce (International) degree and a Master of Accounting both from University College Dublin. Daryl is a Chartered Accountant (ACA), Tax Consultant (AITI) and is also a qualified member (CTA) of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in the UK, having received exam prizes in both tax and accounting. Daryl has held a number of roles with the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland, from 1994 to date and is currently a member of the academic advisory board, where he leads Deloitte’s sponsorship of various courses and scholarships for the 12 – 17 year old summer programme.

Sheila Gilheany

Sheila Gilheany is currently Policy Adviser with the Institute of Physics in Ireland. The Institute is the professional body for physics and works to support physicists and promote a greater understanding of the subject at all levels. Recent projects have included a study of the economic impact of physics in Irish economy, careers materials for school and colleges, workshops for teachers and exhibitions and a bus advertising campaign throughout Ireland. She studied at Queen’s University Belfast, obtaining a PhD in Astrophysics and then moved to Armagh Planetarium working in the area of multimedia astronomy shows and materials. In 1993 she took up the position of Director at the Irish Centre for Talented Youth, developing international educational programmes for exceptionally able children. In 2004 she was appointed to her present position. She has publications in areas as diverse as research astrophysics, education, and popular astronomy.

Christine Bohan

Christine Bohan is the deputy editor of, one of the biggest news websites in Ireland. Since 2011, she has helped lead the newsroom in social media, breaking stories, innovation, and storytelling. Before that, she worked at The Guardian on the comment desk and as a freelance features journalist for The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune. She is an occasional lecturer in journalism at Dublin City University and is a frequent contributor to national radio and television shows. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in social policy and has a master’s degree in journalism from Dublin City University.

Peter Brabazon

Peter is an electrical engineer with a diploma in business. After 5 years in telecoms he took up a role in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Next, he led a national programme with Discover Science and Engineering, promoting the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to young people. Since 2013 Peter has been the General Manager of Specialisterne Ireland working to place people with autism in employment. It has placed employees in SAP, Microsoft, Kerry Foods, Frontline Defenders, Intuition, Bank of Ireland and EA Games and is seeking further partnerships with similar companies.

Joe O’Hara

Joe O’Hara is the inaugural Professor of Education at the DCU Institute of Education and is Director of EQI- The Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection. A qualified secondary school teacher, Joe worked in Harare, Zimbabwe prior to joining Dublin City University. Drawing on his varied experiences, Joe’s specific areas of interest include educational evaluation, quality assurance, leadership, Initial Teacher Education and gifted education. Joe O’Hara is a past president of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland and was a member of The Teaching Council of Ireland from 2012-2016. He represented Ireland on the Council of the European Educational Research Association from 2008 to 2013 and is a member of the CTYI Advisory Board.

Yvanne Kennedy

Yvanne Kennedy has worked with the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland since 2011 in a variety of roles, most recently as Acting Academic Coordinator. A former student of the Centre, Yvanne has taught Law and Criminology on both the older and younger student programmes, instructed on the Law and Politics course of the Early University Entrance programme, and tutored correspondence courses in Legal Studies. A Law graduate of University College Dublin, and master’s candidate at Queen’s University Belfast, at the time of ECHA2018 she will be completing professional legal training in Dublin.

Karen McCarthy

Karen served as both Secretary and Chairperson of the Irish Association for Gifted Children until 2008. Recognising the continuing need for parent support and advocacy, she and Catherine Riordan founded The Irish Gifted Education Blog as an online resource, and subsequently set up a local parent support group in Wicklow/South Dublin, called Gifted Advocacy and Support. Following from this, an umbrella organisation, Gifted Ireland, was formed to raise awareness of the needs of gifted children within the education system and provide a platform for parents to source information and support. Karen continues to serve as Chairperson of Gifted Ireland.











Professor Karine Vershueren

Karine Verschueren is full professor and head of the research unit School Psychology and Development in Context at KU Leuven, Belgium. In 1996 she obtained her PhD in the domain of developmental psychology. In 2000 she was appointed as professor in school psychology. She investigates the psychosocial and academic development of children and adolescents in schools (e.g., self-esteem, academic engagement), and the risk and protective factors for this development. Specifically, she focuses on the role of teacher-student and peer interactions as contexts for child and adolescent development. She investigates these processes not only in general student populations, but more recently also among highly able students. Her teaching involves developmental and school psychology, including school psychological assessment.


Professor Francoys Gagne

Professor Françoys Gagné is from Montreal, Quebec, born October 6, 1940. After skipping three grades, he obtained his M.A. in Philosophy (Psychology) in 1962 and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1966, both from the University of Montreal. Dr. Gagné has spent most of his professional career (1978-2001) in the Department of Psychology, at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. After a decade of research on student evaluations of teaching (1967-1977), he became interested in talent development in the late 1970s. Although his research brought him to study a variety of subjects within the field of gifted education, he is best known internationally for his theory of talent development, the Differentiating Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT), which has been endorsed by various educational authorities as their framework to define their target population and plan intervention provisions. Professor Gagné has won major awards in the field of gifted education, among them NAGC’s prestigious Distinguished Scholar Award (1996), and two awards from the Mensa Society. Although retired from his UQAM professorship since 2001, Dr. Gagné maintains international publishing and keynoting activities.


David Cuartielles



Professor Heidrun Stoeger

Professor Heidrun Stoeger, PhD, is full professor for educational sciences at the University of Regensburg, Germany. She holds the Chair for School Research, School Development, and Evaluation. She is vice president of the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE). She is also a member of the editorial board of the German journal Talent Development and served from 2007 to 2014 as editor in chief of the journal High Ability Studies. She has published more than 250 articles, chapters, and books on giftedness, self-regulated learning, motivation, fine motor skills, and teacher education. She is a member of several national and international scientific boards and expert commissions in the field of giftedness research and gifted education.


Professor Anne Looney

Anne has recently taken up the post of Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s new Institute of Education. From 2001 until 2016 she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland. She held the position of Interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority until March of this year. A former teacher, she completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education in University College London. In 2014/2015 she was Professorial Research Fellow at the Learning Science Institute Australia, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Her current research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, teacher identity and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy. She has conducted reviews for the OECD on school quality and assessment systems. She is a member of the boards of Early Childhood Ireland, and the Ark Cultural Centre for Children.