Our team

Meet the team behind Children's Books Ireland

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CEO of Children's Books Ireland, Elaina Ryan

Elaina Ryan, CEO

Elaina grew up in Wexford and Waterford. She holds a BA in Languages and Cultural Studies from University of Limerick and an MLitt in Publishing from University of Stirling. She has a background in children’s book publishing and is co-Artistic Director, with Niamh Sharkey, of Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival in Lismore, County Waterford. Elaina has led the team in Children’s Books Ireland since 2013.

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Deputy CEO of Children's Books Ireland, Jenny Murray

Jenny Murray, Deputy CEO

Jenny is from Sligo, and holds a BA in English, Sociology & Politics and a HDip in Arts Administration both from National University Ireland, Galway. Jenny has worked in the arts for over twenty years, and joined the team in 2004.

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Emma Larkin, Financial Controller for Children's Books Ireland

Emma Larkin, Financial Controller

Emma is from Cork originally and has lived in Kerry since 2006. Emma is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She has a BCL (Hons) degree and a Higher Diploma in Business and Financial Information Systems from University College Cork. Emma is also a children’s book writer, and joined the team in June 2022.

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Sarah Walsh, Administrator and Office Manager

Sarah Walsh, Administrator & Office Manager

Sarah hails from County Mayo and holds a BA in Music and Sociology, and a BMus from University College Dublin. She also holds an MA in Music and Management from the University of Leeds. Sarah has worked in various fields of arts management since graduating, and joined the team in June 2022.

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Emma Carville, Communications Manager

Emma Carville, Communications Manager

Emma is from County Down and lives in Dublin. She holds a BA in English from Liverpool John Moores University and a Professional Diploma in PR and Marketing from University College Dublin. Emma has a background centred in writing, communications and digital marketing. She joined the team in March 2024. 

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Áine O'Mahony, Development Manager at Children's Books Ireland

Áine O'Mahony, Development Manager

Áine is from Dublin and holds an MA in Business and Economics from Trinity College Dublin and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute. Áine has a background in business development, sponsorship, and event management in the arts and business and joined the team in September 2023.

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Emma Walsh, Development Manager at Children's Books Ireland

Emma Walsh, Development Manager

Emma holds a BA in English Literature & Philosophy and a MA in American Literature from University College Dublin, and a Diploma in Advertising from Technological University Dublin. She has a background in publishing and the book industry, and first worked with Children’s Books Ireland in 2003 when she ran the Children’s Book Festival. Emma joined the team again in September 2023.

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Aoife Murray, Children's Books Ireland

Aoife Murray, Programme & Events Manager

Aoife is from Co Louth and lives in Dublin. She holds an MPhil in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin and worked in public relations before joining Children’s Books Ireland in 2011.

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Ruth Concannon, photographed at the offices of Children's Books Ireland

Ruth Concannon, Publications Officer

Originally from Galway, Ruth holds a BA in English and History, an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama from University College Dublin and completed her MA in Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Dublin City University in 2019. Ruth has held roles in many areas of literature, publishing, and culture. Having previously worked as one of Children’s Books Ireland’s Book Doctors, Ruth joined the team permanently in April 2023.

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Aoife McDonnell, Book Gifting Manager at Children's Books Ireland

Aoife McDonnell, Book-gifting Manager

Aoife is from County Kildare. She holds a BA in English, Media & Cultural Studies from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology and a Higher Diploma in Public Relations from the Irish Academy of Public Relations. She has a background in charity retail, project management, event management and in the book trade as a book buyer and bookseller. Aoife joined the team in April 2023

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Ruth Ennis, Book Gifting Assistant

Ruth Ennis, Book-gifting Assistant

Ruth is from Kildare and holds a BA in English, Drama, and Music from University College Dublin and an MPhil in Children’s Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Ruth has worked in publishing, bookselling, and book festivals, and joined the team in May 2022.

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Ruth Ní Eidhin, Laureate na nÓg Project Manager

Ruth Ní Eidhin, Project Manager Laureate na nÓg

Ruth is from Dublin and holds a BA in English Literature & History from Trinity College Dublin, a Graduate Diploma in Information Technology from Dublin City University, and a Higher Diploma in Journalism & Communications from Griffith College, Dublin. She has a background in not-for-profit communications. Ruth joined the team in January 2022.

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Becky Long, Education Outreach Manager at Children's Books Ireland

Becky Long, Education Outreach Manager

Becky holds a BA in English Studies, an MPhil in Children’s Literature, and a Doctorate in Irish Children’s Literature from Trinity College Dublin. She has worked with Children’s Books Ireland in various capacities, including as a Book Doctor, since 2016, and has a background in youth facilitation and outreach work. She also lectures in children’s literature in Trinity College Dublin. Becky joined the team in September 2023.

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Marianne O'Kane Boal, Research Officer

Dr. Marianne O’Kane Boal, Research & Evaluation Officer

Marianne holds a BA in History of Art and English and an MA in American Literature from University College Dublin. She has a PhD in Social Research from Atlantic Technological University Sligo. Marianne is a curator and writer on art and architecture since 1998. She writes for the Irish Arts Review, Circa, Perspective, Living Design, Visual Artists newsletter and Architecture Ireland. Marianne joined the team in August 2021.

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Headshot of Conall Mac Dhonnagháin

Conall Mac Dhonnagáin, Oifigeach Gaeilge

Conall is from Dublin and graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in Irish and Economics. He has experience in Irish language media, having worked at Raidió na Gaeltachta for two years before coming to Children’s Books Ireland. He joined the team in July 2023.

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Dan Conroy

Dan Conroy, Social Media Officer

Dan is from Dublin and holds a BA in Visual Communication from National College of Art and Design. He has a long-standing interest in children’s literature with a background in illustration. Dan joined the team in May 2023.

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Mathilde Murray, Awards Administrator at Children's Books Ireland

Mathilde Murray, Awards Administrator

Mathilde Murray is from the Netherlands and holds a BA in Cultural Studies from the University of Amsterdam. She has worked as an Administrator in the Arts and Creative Industry for many years. She first joined the team in January 2023 and works seasonally on our KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards.

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