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Member Profiles

John Connolly
From Kingsland near Boyle, L.C. St. Mary's College, Boyle. L.C. 1964. Worked in England for one year. U.C.G. 1965-69 B.A. Hons. Teaching in Ballaghaderreen 1968-70 and since then in Castlerea Convent of Mercy Secondary school, and Castlerea Community School since 1991. Assisted the delivery of extra mural courses for U.C.G as an Economics Teacher. Interested in Balanced Regional Development and equity in Social and Economic development for the BMW region.

Bishop Fleming
Born in Ardpatrick, Co. Limerick, educated at St Munchin's College, Limerick and St Patrick's College, Maynooth. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Limerick and worked as Diocesan Secretary in Limerick, as Rector of the Pontifical Irish College Rome and as Bishop of Killala since his ordination as bishop on April 7th 2002. He has published a number of books and is on a number of commissions for the Irish Bishops' Conference.


Michael McGarrigle
Resides near Ballyshannon. Employed by New Ireland Assurance as financial advisor and mortgage intermediare. Former national chair of Irish Sudden Infant Death Association and current chair of Cashelard Community Development Association; director of the Breesy Centre, Cashelard, Ballyshannon, and of Ulster Community Investment Trust. Has worked on a voluntary basis with the Bluestack Ramblers and The Breesy Centre to promote walking as a pastime/tourist attraction.


Diarmaid Mulcahy

Diarmaid is Executive Director of SDM Consulting, Moycullen Co Galway, a business consultancy company working with the SME and State sectors across Ireland .  He also has business interests in the training and water services industries. He has previously worked in the Agrifood  and seafood sectors.

Is very involved in the community and voluntary sector with bodies such as Moycullen Community Development Association, Galway County Community Forum, Galway Traveller Movement, Galway City Partnership and the Western Development Commission.

Diarmaid holds third level qualifications in both Science(UCC) and Business Administration(Oxford Brooks UK) and he also works extensively with young people in both music (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eirinn) and sport (soccer, gaelic football and rugby underage coaching).

Sean Sweeney
Lives at Deerpark, Manorhamilton. Was Principal of St. Clare's Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton until his recent retirement. He has always had wide involvement in voluntary and community affairs locally and throughout County Leitrim including County Leitrim CIS, MABS, the Leitrim Guardian and the Credit Union movement.

Co-ordinator Profile

Caroline Wilson

Co-ordinator for Council for the West and manages the office and secretariat since 2005 and is The Wheel Representative for Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Caroline is a native of Knockmore in Co. Mayo and is actively involved in many community and voluntary groups. She was the Mayo Outreach Champion for Community programmes; Digital Switchover (in 2012) and Eircode (in 2015) via The Wheel and the Department of Communications, Energy & National Resources..

Founder Members:



Bishop Jones (3 March 1936–18 May 2018)

Bishop Jones was a founder member of the Council for the West and member until 2018.

The former Bishop of Elphin 1994 to 2014. Born in Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon. Educated in Summerhill College, Sligo, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, U.C.G./U.C.D. Ordained priest in June 1962. Secondary teacher in St. Muredach's College, Ballina, Co. Mayo from 1962 to 1965 and in Summerhill College, Sligo from 1965 to 1971. Director of Sligo Social Service Council from 1971 to1987. Curate in Rosses Point from 1979 to 1987. Administrator in Cathedral parish, Sligo from 1987 to 1994.

In recognition of his long connection with Summerhill College as student, teacher and patron a new suite of rooms were named after him, and opened in his presence in 2016.

Seán Hannick (27 December 1943-30 January 2015)

Seán was a founding member of the Council for the West in 1994 and Chairman from 2002 -2015. Seán was one of the leading figures in the establishment of the Western Development Commission and campaigned for retention of Objective 1 Status for the region in 1997. Seán was a native of Killala and former Mayo Person of the Year. He was a successful businessman across a number of sectors, whose career spanned over fifty years, during which he has worked in, owned and successfully managed various businesses.

Bishop Finnegan (26 August 1925–25 December 2011)

The former Bishop of Killala from 1987-2002.

He was a founder member of the Council for the West. A native of Roscommon and former President of Summerhill College, Sligo, he also served as first chairperson of Meitheal Mhaigheo, the Mayo Area Partnership established by the Government in 1991 to tackle long-term unemployment. He was a founder member of the IRD Company, Moy Valley Resources. After the publication of the National Development Plan in 1991, Dr. Finnegan involved the Parish Councils of the Diocese in an ongoing audit of their parishes, resulting in two publications, Killala Diocese: Crusade for Survival 2000 and 2001.