The Geopark Team, now located in one central office in the MacNean Resource Centre in Blacklion, is made up of a dedicated Manager, four Officers, two Assistant Officers, one Lead Ranger and two Rangers.

Grainne O'Connor

Role: Geopark Manager

Responsibilities: I’ve worked in the Geopark since 2013. My educational background is in Environmental Planning and Sustainable Tourism, and I’ve spent time working in counties Clare, Sligo, and Antrim and now here in Cavan and Fermanagh. I took on the role of Manager back in late 2019 and have been involved in the restructuring process as the Geopark continues its transition to our new identity of Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark. I have three boys under six and I am passionate about exploring the outdoors and travelling. Also, I love cheese…. 😊

5 words to describe myself: Enthusiastic, ambitious, caring, adventurous, and loyal

What is your favourite thing about working with the Geopark?

The variety of people and projects you encounter. As the Geopark embraces the changes over the last number of years it amazing to see projects with local communities and business networks come to fruition. The ethos of the team we work within and how they have embraced the change with such enthusiasm and dedication has been really motivating.

Grainne Harte

Role: Project Manager – Shannon Pot Discovery Centre and Cavan Burren Park Project

Responsibilities: I joined the Geopark Team in 2022 to deliver the Shannon Pot Discovery Centre and Cavan Burren Park Project funded under Failte Irelands Platforms for Growth Investment Grants Scheme. As Project Manager I have overall operational responsibility for the project. I am the main point of contact for the Clients Project Team on a day-to-day basis and report on performance and progress. I am also responsible for ensuring the project is delivered under a model of continuous community and stakeholder engagement which values their contribution and involvement in the project. I’m also involved in regeneration projects in my local community, and I am passionate about rural regeneration through sustainable economic and social development.

5 words to describe myself: Innovative, Ambitious, Meticulous, Caring, Dedicated

What is your favourite thing about working with the Geopark?

Working with impassioned colleagues and having the Geopark itself as my workplace. The Geopark landscape is a special and sacred place with prehistoric megalithic tombs, myths and legends and underwater caves. Being in the outdoors is such a multi-sensory experience, the sights, sounds and smells, each changing throughout the seasons, with ever changing weather conditions.

Grainne Harte

Tara Smith

Currently on leave.

Clarissa Beacom

Role: Assistant Development Officer – Tourism and Business

Responsibilities: To assist and provide support to the Development Officer in all things related to tourism and business. This includes the roll out of our Business Sustainability Programme. A programme which offers local businesses the opportunity to learn about waste management and in return helps their business become more sustainable. As well as working on the promotion of the Geopark to both locals and visitors to the area, to help make the most out of their visit and make it as memorable as possible. The aim is to spread the word about how amazing the Geopark is in the hope for return visits and new visitors in a sustainable way.

5 words to describe myself: Honest, Positive, Dependable, Hardworking, and Friendly

What is your favourite thing about working with the Geopark?  

I love travelling and exploring different countries around the world, but the Geopark is on par with some of the nicest places I have visited. The landscape and views (especially on a good day) remind me how lucky I am to not only live here but to also call sites such as Lough Navar Forest, Cavan Burren Park, and Ely Lodge Forest my office.

Clarissa Beacom

Julie Armstong

Role: Development Officer – Partnerships and Engagement

Responsibilities: To support and develop engagement with key stakeholders and cultivate strong mutually beneficial working relationships. This includes working with statutory agencies, local community groups and businesses. I am also responsible for the development and delivery of the education programme and events within the Geopark. This involves delivering environmental education and outdoor learning with pre-school, primary, secondary, tertiary, further education, and lifelong learning.

5 words to describe myself: Active, creative, dedicated, quiet, and honest

What is your favourite thing about working with the Geopark?

We are so, so lucky to have this amazing natural heritage right on our doorstep. It can be very easy to take it all for granted, especially when you have grown up in Fermanagh or Cavan. Working in the Geopark has reminded me to appreciate the beauty and history of the area.

Julie Armstrong

Ben Huddleston

Role: Assistant Development Officer – Partnerships and Engagement

Responsibilities: I assist with the planning of educational outreach to schools and events across the Geopark sites and I make sure that the events we host allow members of the public to engage with our local geology and natural history in an accessible and sustainable way. I work with our Geopark Guides to help organise and promote fantastic events that showcase the natural beauty of the landscapes in Fermanagh and Cavan that make up the Geopark.

Five words to describe myself: Kind, reliable, supportive, direct, and curious

Have you encountered any wildlife during your time at the Geopark?

When I worked at the Marble Arch Caves, I spent a lot of time in the Cladagh Glen, and on the slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain. These areas have many interesting animals such as Dor Beetles, Red Squirrels, Pine Martins and even Woodpeckers, but the most memorable animal that I have seen in the Geopark is wild Viviparous Lizards. Many people don’t think Ireland has any native reptiles, so I feel rather fortunate to have seen them in the wild (even though they’re also known as Common Lizards they can be very tricky to spot)!

Ben Huddleston

Martina O'Neill

Martina O'Neill

The Rangers

Darren Farrell

Role: Lead Ranger

Responsibilities: I am responsible for managing the Ranger Team. Scheduling work, organising materials, and ensuring the smooth operational function of the Geopark. I plan for the maintenance of sites and deal with emergency repairs when required. Working with the Management Team I discuss and develop new features and bring these to reality alongside the skilled Ranger Team.

Five words to describe myself: Resourceful, determined, calm, trustworthy, and ambitious

What is your favourite site within the Geopark?

We work in so many varied yet spectacular sites that it is hard to choose. However, I think it is Lough Erne lapping up against the shores of the rocky bays and native woodlands lining the path that make old Castle Archdale Forest my favourite site. The history of Plantation Castles and the World War Air base really add to the area, if only the ancient trees could talk.

 

Michael Dolan

Role: Ranger

Responsibilities: Our role is to maintain, inspect and develop the sites and features within the Geopark. Some examples of our work include path repairs, installing signage, fixing site furniture, grass cutting, litter picking, leaf blowing, fencing and construction work.

Five words to describe myself: Thoughtful, hardworking, jovial, friendly, and honest

What is your favourite thing about working with the Geopark? 

I enjoy working in the outdoors and overcoming new challenges that we face regularly. I also enjoy the great variety of work which we carry out to develop and maintain the sites.

 

Gareth Bowles

Role: Ranger

Responsibilities: Our role is to maintain, inspect and develop the sites and features within the Geopark. Some examples of our work include path repairs, installing signage, fixing site furniture, grass cutting, litter picking, leaf blowing, fencing and construction work.

Five words to describe myself: Adaptable, punctual, approachable, modest, and helpful

Have you any tips for being a better geo-tourist?

People visit the Geopark and are amazed at its beauty. When planning your trip allow enough time to enjoy and take in the landscapes which form the Geopark.

The Rangers
What is a Geopark?

What is a Geopark?

A Geopark holds history, community and progression at the heart of its definitio...

Our Mission

Our Mission

Our mission is to nurture and protect our place to ensure it provides a social, ...

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The Geopark Team inow located in one central office in the MacNean Resource Cent...

Careers & Volunteering

Careers & Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way for passionate members of our local community to get...