New Cyclist.ie Executive Committee 2021-2023
Cyclist.ie has a new Executive Committee following its Annual Members’ Meeting of Wednesday 1st December 2021. It comprises some members who were on last year’s Executive Committee (EC) and some brand new faces. All in all, we have great regional and gender balance on the new EC – and terrific expertise and experience on board.
We are also delighted to announce that we have a new Chairperson, Neasa Bheilbigh from Galway, and a new Vice-Chairperson, Dave Tobin from Limerick.
We wish them both the very best, and indeed all of the new EC members. You can read more about each of the EC members below.
Neasa Bheilbigh (Galway Cycling Campaign) – Chairperson
I am the Chairperson of Cyclist.ie, a member of the Galway Cycling Campaign and the Galway Cycle Bus. I have seen the impact active travel can have on children’s physical, social and emotional well-being and am passionate about creating an environment in which children can travel to school safely and independently. I see cycling advocacy as something that should be inclusive and believe strongly that those of all ages and abilities should be enabled to cycle. I have two young children and we love going for spins together on our cargo bike.
Dave Tobin (Limerick Cycling Campaign) – Vice-Chairperson
I am the current Public Relations Officer of Limerick Cycling Campaign. I am a primary school teacher in a suburban Limerick school, and also act as treasurer and board member for the Northside Family Resource Centre in Moyross, Limerick. Additionally, I currently represent the environmental pillar of the Limerick PPN on the Limerick Local Community Development Committee (LCDC). I have a strong focus on social inclusion both in terms of prioritising infrastructure projects in our city communities that have been historically left behind, and also ensuring that voices from all sections of our community are integral to the work of our group.
Dave Anderson (Navan Cycling Initiative)
I am a founding member and Secretary of Navan Cycling Initiative and have played a key role organising events, creating maps and encouraging the cycling ecosystem. While new to cycling advocacy, I have been a keen cyclist for a number of years, though I draw the line at wearing lycra. In my day, I am a freelance software product consultant, and have a background in IT and software development. I previously helped organise Agile Lean Ireland, Ireland’s largest Agile-Lean conference, and was a member of Fintech Ireland where I organised events, created maps and encouraged the Irish Financial Technology ecosystem.
Will Andrews (Dublin Cycling Campaign)
Will is a dyed-in-the-wool Dub who started commuting by bike in Dublin in 1983. An architect from East Wall, he has worked in the transport and cycling sector in various ways. He was honoured to serve as chair of Dublin Cycling from 2009 to 2012. Will lived in New Zealand for many years and also served as chairperson of the national Cycling Action Network there. He’s worked on training kids and adults in confident cycling, helping engage HGV drivers in structured training that increased their empathy for cyclists, and has run bike parades and ride-outs.
Will has a keen interest in cities that are vibrant and sustainable and, as part of an M.Sc. course on ‘Urban Environment’ in UCD’s School of Geography, looked at the public health impacts of the proposed permanent Liffey Cycle Route, finding them to potentially offer savings in health costs of over €200 million. Will feels strongly that the long-term health impacts of our transport and urban planning systems in Dublin aren’t adequately taken into account, and that this needs to change if we’re to live up to our climate objectives and achieve a just transition to sustainability.
Katleen Bell-Bonjean (Gort Cycle Trails)
Originally from Belgium, I live out in South Galway bordering North Clare, and advocated for the greenway to come via Gort. We don’t know the end result yet, but we do know that because of the campaigning we did, we had the largest amount of submissions! I started a Facebook Group shortly after the pandemic called Gort Cycle trails and have well over 600 members. People are very keen to go cycling around here, they just don’t know where to go.
During the pandemic I obtained my diploma in Digital Marketing via the Digital marketing Institute . I also recently completed the safe cycling course cycleright by cycling Ireland, and hope, over time, to set up cycling classes. My working background is in multilingual customer support, project management and customer service/customer satisfaction/customer experience.
Until a few months ago I was secretary of a community group here in South Galway/North Clare called Burren Lowlands CLG, and helped to hire an enterprise development manager. This manager is now in place and runs an innovative Co-Working space.
I am very interested in the working groups too – probably the customer orientated ones are of interest to me, but also governance/funding. Open to suggestions, as there may be oversubscribed workshops, others less so.
Prasanna Ramaswamy (Cork Cycling Campaign)
I have been living and using a bicycle as my primary means of transport in Cork since 2013. After a two year stint living in the Netherlands, moving back to Cork in 2020 made me realise that everyday cycling in Cork could be made a lot safer. I then joined the Cork Cycling Campaign as a volunteer in the summer of 2020 where I have been helping organise events, writing submissions for public consultations and creating maps.
Siobhán McNamara (Dublin Cycling Campaign)
Cycling is my primary means of transport because it’s quick and reliable. It’s also cheap, efficient, non-polluting, and good for physical and mental health. When more people cycle, there are benefits for everyone: cleaner air, less noise, safer roads, less traffic congestion.
For a long time I was too nervous to cycle, and I still sometimes take significant detours to avoid certain roads or junctions. But getting back on my bike a few years ago was one of the best things I ever did. Taking part in community initiatives such as Monthly Cycles and Crumlin Community Cycles has helped me feel more connected to my neighbours and my city.
I have seen in other countries that creating the right conditions for cycling means that people of all ages and abilities can feel safe and confident while travelling on two or three wheels. That is why I advocate for top-quality infrastructure which would make cycling a viable and attractive transport option for more people, of all ages and abilities, in urban and rural areas.
Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator)
I have held the Cyclist.ie National Cycling Coordinator post since 2013, a position shared with An Taisce. My current focus is in supporting Cyclist.ie’s 35 member groups and advancing the strategic aims of our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.
I worked in the transportation and mobilities space in the private sector for over 20 years, and completed my doctoral research exploring transitions in mobility systems in 2015 (in Trinity College Dublin). I am currently also an Evaluator and Steering Committee member for research projects under the EPA Research Programme Annual Call under the pillars of Climate and Sustainability.
I spent five years on the board of the European Cyclists’ Federation (2016-2021), and in 2020 I was appointed to the board of Transport Infrastructure Ireland following a Public Appointments Service process. I enjoy music, gigs, DIY and adventures!
Jo Sachs-Eldridge (Leitrim Cycling Festival)
I started Leitrim Cycling Festival to celebrate bicycles and communities and to find other people who also think cycling might be the answer to so many questions. I’m so pleased to have discovered this proactive, committed, growing group of cycling advocates – it makes change seem much more possible. Before I returned home to Leitrim I worked as a Transport Planner in the UK where I specialised in active travel and believe asking the right people the right questions (and really listening!) is the key to the development of good quality, useful routes.
Mary Sinnott (Waterford Bicycle User Group)
I am a recreational cyclist, also I drive a motorised vehicle. I have cycled as a means of transport since I was 14 in Waterford city. Since then, it has troubled me that it has become less safe to cycle.
I have lived for quite a few years, in a more bike-friendly country, where sustainability, economy, health and accessibility being more in focus, mean that cycling is significantly more popular. It receives significantly more local and central government support.
I returned to Waterford 2 years ago and recently joined the WBUGS, a cycling lobby group, where members have a wealth of experience, passion and knowledge. My interest is in changing the perception of cycling and implementing practical, incremental measures to make sustainable transport attractive in my community: slow motorised traffic, prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, retrieve the space lost to motorised transport and provide community supports to use and maintain bikes.
You can contact any of our Executive Committee members by dropping a line to us here.
To see details of the 2020-21 Executive Committee, click here.