Our team

Meet the team behind Children's Books Ireland

CEO of Children's Books Ireland, Elaina Ryan

Elaina Ryan, CEO

Elaina Ryan has a background in children's publishing: she holds an MLitt in Publishing from University of Stirling and is former Managing Editor of Little Island books, where she worked closely with Ireland's inaugural Laureate na nÓg, Siobhán Parkinson. She is co-Artistic Director, with Niamh Sharkey, of Towers and Tales, the Lismore Story Festival in County Waterford. Elaina Ryan joined Children's Books Ireland in 2013.

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Deputy CEO of Children's Books Ireland, Jenny Murray

Jenny Murray, Deputy CEO

Jenny Murray, originally from Co. Sligo, holds a BA arts degree and a HDip in arts administration both from National University Ireland, Galway. She has worked in the arts for over twenty years, and has worked in Children's Books Ireland in various capacities since 2004. She is currently the Deputy CEO of the organisation. 

Projects: Print publications including Inis Magazine, themed reading lists and recommended reading guides

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Aoife Murray, Children's Books Ireland

Aoife Murray, Programme and Events Manager 

Aoife Murray holds an MPhil in Popular Literature from Trinity College. She has worked at Children's Books Ireland since 2012, working in public relations previously. Aoife lives in Dublin with her husband and son. She is currently Programme and Events Manager at the organisation.

Projects: Book Clinics, Children's Books Ireland International Conference, Events for All, #Properbook and Tyrone Guthrie Residencies

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Gráinne Kennedy, Fundraising Manager Children's Books ireland

Gráinne Kennedy, Development Manager

Gráinne has over fourteen years experience in the Irish fundraising sector. She has worked for some of Irelands leading charities and has honed her professional skills in Corporate Partnerships and Major Giving. She has a real grá and passion for working with companies and individuals to create impactable projects which showcase the true meaning of ‘Giving for Impact’. Gráinne holds a BA in Public and Social Policy and PG Dip in Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is a mum to three amazing girls and in her spare time usually has her head in a book!

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Claire Hourihane, Communications Manager Children's Books Ireland

Claire Hourihane, Communications Manager

Cork native Claire Hourihane joined the team in July, 2021. Claire holds a BA in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin, a postgraduate diploma in Journalism & Media Studies from Dublin Business School and has a background in fundraising and digital marketing. Claire works as the Communications Manager for the organisation.

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Ruth Ennis, Book Gifting Assistant

Ruth Ennis, Book Gifting Assistant

Ruth Ennis is from Kildare. She has an M.Phil. in Children’s Literature from Trinity College Dublin. She has experience in publishing, literary festivals and bookselling. She is an aspiring writer of children’s books. She has worked with Children’s Books Ireland in different capacities since 2018 and is now working as Book Gifting Assistant.

Projects: Book gifting projects including Every Child A Reader, Bookbag, Bookseed, corporate schools book gifting projects and The Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries

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Sarah Walsh, Administrator and Office Manager

Sarah Walsh, Administrator and Office Manager

Sarah hails from Co. Mayo and has been working in arts administration and management since completing her MA in Music & Management at the University of Leeds in 2015. She holds a BA and a BMus from University College Dublin. Sarah joined the team as Administrator & Office Manager in June 2022.

Photo of Marianne O’Kane Boal, Research Officer

Marianne O’Kane Boal, Research Officer

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 holds a B.A. in History of Art and English and an M.A. in American Literature from University College Dublin. She is currently completing a PhD in Social Research at IT Sligo. Marianne joined the team in August 2021.

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Ruth Ní Eidhin, Laureate na nÓg Project Manager

Ruth Ní Eidhin, Project Manager Laureate na nÓg

Ruth 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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Photo of Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh, Irish Language Officer

Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh, Oifigeach Gaeilge

Tagann Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh go Leabhar Pháistí Éireann ó earnáil na foilsitheoireachta Gaeilge, agus roimhe sin, ón earnáil tríú leibhéal. Tá Ard-Dioplóma aici san aistriúchán ó Institiúid Teicneolaíochta na Gaillimhe-Maigh Eo agus dochtúireacht i stair na healaíne ó Ollscoil Londan. Is Oifigeach Gaeilge í le Leabhar Pháistí Éireann.

Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh comes to Children's Books Ireland from Irish-language publishing and, previously, the higher education sector. She has a HDip in translation from Galway Mayo Institute Technology and a PhD in art history from the University of London. She holds the role of Irish Language Officer with Children's Books Ireland.

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Emma Larkin, Financial Controller for Children's Books Ireland

Emma Larkin, Financial Controller

Emma Larkin is from Cork but has been living in Kerry since 2006. Emma is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She has a degree in law from UCC and a higher diploma in Business and Financial Information Systems, also from UCC. Emma completed her training as a chartered accountant in Ernst & Young in Cork. Emma is also a children’s book writer. Emma joined the team in June 2022.

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Mathilde Murray, Awards Administrator at Children's Books Ireland

Mathilde Murray, Awards Administrator

Mathilde Murray 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. At home she manages three wildlings while in her free time you can find her on the rugby pitch or in the sea. She is currently the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards Administrator.

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