Who We Are

Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary is run by a highly skilled team of
directors who are committed to nature conservation, and with the support of
professional Advisors, including ecologists and native woodlands specialists.

Our Team

Advisors Panel

Vision, Mission & Values


you are contributing to buying
the land for the nature sanctuary,
restoring the oak forest, offsetting carbon emissions, and
protecting biodiversity.

Carole Guyett, MNIMH, MFSPM
Carole is a medical herbalist, an acclaimed author, teacher and healer specializing in plant medicine. She has worked with healing plants for over 30 years, and offers workshops and apprenticeships both internationally and at her school in Derrynagittah in East Clare.

Colm Hogan - Founding member
Colm is a cinematographer and passionate nature advocate. He has shot numerous films, documentaries and dramas, and has produced, together with Marina, Fis na Fuiseoige/The Lark’s View (2016) an award-winning documentary directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin, about the deep connection between the Irish people and the land. The film won Best Cinematography at the Earth Day Film Festival in San Francisco, and Best Documentary at the London Irish Film Festival. Colm lives in the Lough Grainey valley.

Aodh Ó Coileáin, BA, L.L.B, L.L.M - Chairperson
Aodh has made film documentaries on four continents. He has worked as a broadcaster with TG4, RTÉ, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and Radio Kerry, and teaches Media Law, Ethics, and Journalism through Irish at the University of Galway. He served as a board member and chairperson of an Taibhdhearc, Ireland's National Irish Language Theatre, during a period of transition and reform between 2016 and 2021. "In the wood, each thing in commune lives: species, ecosystems, habitats, all cornerstones of nature; each owns a house in my heart."

Marion Carey
Marion grew up in Clare and spent a lot of time in East Clare as a child. Now a linguist, herbal student and nature enthusiast, she is committed to protecting and preserving the natural landscapes and helping the land return to its ancient beauty and ecosystems.

Dr Eamonn O'Donoghue, MB, BCh, BAO (NUI), FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
Eamonn is Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Clinical Lecturer at University Hospital Galway. He has restored Claregalway Castle and uses it as a resource for cultural activities and festivals including the annual Galway Garden Festival, which provides a venue for international experts and speakers on matters relating to ecology, horticulture, gardening, and botanic art.


Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer:
Dr Marina Levitina, PhD, MA, AM, BA summa cum laude, MFSPM
Marina is a nature advocate, educator, and artist. Her academic background includes a doctorate in film history, she lectured at Trinity College Dublin for many years before making a decision to fully dedicate herself to nature education and protection of biodiversity. She is a member of the Heritage Council of Ireland’s Heritage in Schools Panel of Experts and is a certified Forest School leader.


Dr Kate McAney
Head of Conservation, Vincent Wildlife Trust (Ireland) https://www.vincentwildlife.ie/

Dr Caroline Sullivan
Project Manager, The Hen Harrier Project http://www.henharrierproject.ie/

Joe Gowran, MScBLUP
CEO Woodlands of Ireland https://www.woodlandsofireland.com

Áine Ni Fhlatharta MSc

Julie Ann O’Connor
Holistic Therapist

Bláithin and Grian O’Connor
(ages 8 and 11), representing schoolchildren

Emer Lyons

Ken O'Connor
Accountant, Kenneth O'Connor & Co.

Paul Brennan
Digital Media Designer

Betsy Scarborough
Documentary film-maker

John Scarborough
Financial adviser

Dr Maria Cullen
Director, Woodlands of Ireland

Vision, Mission & Values:

Our Vision is of a healthy and thriving land in the Lough Grainey Valley that is managed for biodiversity conservation, where trees, plants and animals, soil, and water are treated by humans with respect and allowed to thrive, and where humans and nature live in harmony.

Our Mission is:
• to be custodians of this beautiful land in the Lough Grainey Valley, to restore the oak forest that once grew here, and to protect the wild plants, trees, birds, animals, lake, and rivers in this valley in perpetuity, halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity;

• to restore, through planting trees and through natural regeneration, permanent non-commercial native oak woodland that once thrived in the area, and to contribute to offsetting emissions and climate change mitigation, in Ireland and globally;

• to inspire children to love and care for the land, through nature education and inspirational leadership.

Our Values are:

• Love and respect for the natural world and for fellow human beings
• Protection of biodiversity

• Harmony between humans and nature

• Community of like-minded people

• Respect for traditional knowledge and lore

• Innovation and openness to new ideas

• Inspiration for the future generation

At Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of governance, accountability and transparency.

Lough Grainey Nature Reserve CLG trading as Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary, is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, registered in the Republic of Ireland. Company number 658396. Registered Irish Charity Number 20205684.

Our Governance Framework:

Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary is governed by an independent, voluntary Board of Directors who are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of our organisation.

We comply with the governance recommendations set out in the Governance Code.
We aspire to apply for grants and funding to cover operational costs so that apart from exceptional circumstances, your donations can be used solely for advancing our purpose.

Click to view our Constitution
Click to view our Donors Charter
Click to view our Public Engagement Policy

We envision Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary to
become Ireland’s flagship project
in rewilding and protection of biodiversity.


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