Directory of friends and trusted service providers that can make your retreat extra special

Helen Holt

Helen Holt

Yoga Teacher, Solicitor, Poet
retreat leader, yoga, meditation Owner: Avondale Retreat

In between writing poems, sea-swimming and raising two young daughters, I work as a solicitor and legal cost accountant in medical negligence, teach regular yoga classes and now lead, as well as host retreats in Avondale Retreat.  I qualified as a yoga teacher over 10 years ago, doing more than 500 hours of teacher training and training in various healing modalities.

I set up Avondale Retreat with my husband David in 2013 and we have been blessed to help host some phenomenal events with amazing retreat leaders and collaborators.

Notwithstanding or perhaps as a consequence of all of the above, I find myself drawn to consciously create space for women to come into their power, through their connection to the moon, the elements, each other and themselves.

I lead empowering retreats and workshops for participants on their individuals journey to bountiful and healthy living in both body and mind. I make every effort to commit always to my own truth as a mother wife, sister, friend and mentor and am truly excited to create more magic at Avondale, sharing and living the amazing journey with many who are on the same path.

I endeavour to help people open space for darkness to come to the surface, be dislodged and move in to your most true version of themselves, always trusting the innate power of the body to renew itself and the mind to possess and ignite itself into its most unique and beautiful version. Namaste.

Colm Keegan is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. Since 2005, he has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction, and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. His first book “Don’t Go There” was released to critical acclaim in 2012. His latest collection “Randomer” is out now and available from Salmon poetry.

In 2014 he was awarded a residency in the LexIcon, Ireland’s largest public library. He has developed numerous creative writing projects for schools and colleges across the country. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project, a writing initiative for young writers.

He was a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival.

In 2011, he co-wrote “Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About” – which toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris. His short play “The Process” was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays 2017. His debut full-length play “For Saoirse” was staged in Axis Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe 2018, and was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award. He also writes for television.

Colm Keegan

Writer, Poet, Playwright
KingFisher Writers Retreat Book: Randomer Play: For Saoirse


Mountaineer, Adventure enthusiast
Leader of Galz Gone Wild

Melissa Mc Dermott aka Mountain Mel/Mountain Mam is an outdoor adventure enthusiast, mountain guide and GGW’s Community Founder.

Harnassing her personal experience with mental health and depression she embarked on her journey of reconnecting to the wild in 2017 as a means to heal. She completed her Mountain Skills 1 & 2 training and became Remote Emergency Care First Aid Certified.

One day on a solo hike in the Wicklow Mountains, an idea sparked ‘An all female lead community that encourages and grows the confidence of women via guided outdoor adventures, getaways, workshops and mountain skills training’… GGW was born.

Melissa is truly passionate about the outdoors and as a mental health advocate she wants to share the positive beneifts nature can have on your mental health and wellbeing. She’s also a self proclaimed chocoholic and lover of death metal music

Investigating, exploring and working with the human mind-body condition has been my full time occupation for 22 years. I dove into practices of body and mind as a necessity, to ease issues of both physiological and psychological origins within myself; a journey that’s brought me 2250 contact hours of training; in yoga, meditation, trauma & emotional release therapy, nutrition, energy medicine, stress release, breathwork, and shamanism; as well as a BA and MA in Fine Arts & Virtual Reality; all in an ongoing endeavour to engage meaningfully and authentically with myself; a sense of truth in life; with others; and the intelligent life-force inherent in all of us.

I only ever teach from my own direct experience and a deep embodiment of that, originating in extensive personal inner exploration, practice and experience. Thankfully life has provided me with ample opportunity and necessity for shadow work and ancestral healing, unflinching self-reflection and self-responsibility, self-healing, stress and trauma recovery. I am truly blessed with angels as loving friends and family.

Modalities along the way, outside of yoga and meditation trainings and retreats, include Journey Work Therapist (Cellular/emotional healing process / therapy) Awaken your Light-body Teacher (extensive meditation and conscious use of energy, over 2.5 years) Nutrition, Breathwork & Shamanism.
I have the highest Yoga Alliance US E-RYT 500hrs, and the highest Yoga Alliance UK Senior Yoga Teacher certification.

My only interest with this work is truth, the awakening of the intelligent function that creates life, in each human being. You cannot have body-mind-soul health without truth. Truth is Love. It cuts through everything that is not contributing to the expression and experience of Vital Health in our Biology.

Veronica Larrson

Yoga Teacher
Yoga, Nutrition, Breathwork, Shamanism
yesim flynn

Yesim Flynn

Ecologist, NVC & TEPP practitioner
Yoga, NVC, TEPP, Ecology PhD, Dance, Somatic Movement.

Yesim has explored a diverse range of practices over the last 14 years, including yoga, mindfulness practices, somatic movement, free style dance and most recently Taoist practices, contact improvisation and embodied presence process (TEPP) that have played important roles in her own embodiment journey.

In recent years, she has trained in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), also known as the language of compassion and has done various deep nature-based soul work. She weaves together these unique combination of practices, enabling people to feel more embodied, more alive and more connected.

Yesim also received a PhD in Ecology from Trinity College Dublin and currently lives in Co. Wicklow with her partner, Darragh and lovely puppy Suki.

Originally from Dublin but living in Sligo since 2006 with my husband and our 3 children. These beautiful children are my main preoccupation and in their own way, my constant teachers who have taught me more about life and the practise of yoga than I could have ever imagined. I have been teaching yoga in Sligo since 2010 and more recently also working as a Life Coach.

I can honestly say that the practice of yoga has changed my life. Yoga is known by many as a way to relax, improve balance, flexibility, strength etc but you’ve heard all that before! Yoga has become so much more than just these things to me. It has become a way of living. A different mindset or attitude to apply to my whole life. Practicing and studying yoga has helped to increase my awareness of not only the physical body but the mental, emotional and subtle body, to name but a few areas. This increased awareness has enhanced every part of my life. Yoga is not just something to be practiced on the mat. Union of body, mind and spirit, although challenging, can be applied to everyday life, everyday routines, situations or activities. It has taught me to be more present, conscious and to listen or notice things, whether the subtle effects in the body, thoughts in the mind or my reactions to certain situations. In a physical way, it has taught me to tune in, respect and care for my body. Mentally it has helped me to notice some of the patterns I fall into in times of stress, reminding me to stop, slow-down, breathe and take care of myself.


Ann-Marie Southcombe

Yoga Instructor, Life Coach
Yoga, Perinatal Yoga, Life Coaching Owner YogaMeon
mandelei medicine

Mandelei Kuhn

Womb Awakening
retreat leader, yoga, meditation, sound healing

I gave up my job as a high paid international lawyer to serve people in connecting to their inner world to find peace, happiness and healing. I do one one on one energy medicine treatments and privately coach individuals in mindfulness, spirituality and self love. I teach yoga and meditation and my favourite part of my work is holding sacred cacao ceremonies in which I facilitate people in deep inward journeys to the heart and womb space (men, post-menopausal women and those with women with hysterectomies all have a womb space). I began learning about the power of womb healing after a cervical cancer scare and subsequently being diagnosed with dangerous uterine fibroids 5 years ago, being recommended a hysterectomy and told I may never have children. This news turned my life upside down because it meant my fertility and thus the future I had painted for myself was decidedly uncertain. I completely lost myself and then I found my womb.

I didn’t know it had a name, I just knew I needed to heal so I got intimate with my chakras, trained in Reiki, started meditating daily, found sound healing, NLP, traditional Chinese medicine and psychotherapy…I got lost naked in nature, enrolled in shamanic courses, read countless books and spent 7 months between Peru and Nepal working with jungle shamans, medicine women and Tibetan monks. What I found for us women is that all our pain, all the subconscious stuff holding us back from rising up and fulfilling our life wishes can be traced back to our womb space and WE ourselves can heal this. While in Peru, I also received the “Rite of the Womb – the 13th Rite of the Munay Ki” which I’ve been give permission to pass on and which you have the option of receiving in your retreat.

I began practicing yoga in 2003, was awarded my first 200h cert in 2013 and have been teaching and studying since. I’ve almost 1000 hours of training and 6 years teaching, specialising in meditation, yoga Nidra, yin yoga, chakra and pregnancy. I’ve had the honour of teaching so many people, from children through to adults, beginners to trainee teachers, special needs, pre and post natal, and more.

I believe the body is a gateway to the sacred quiet space within, which in turn connects us to each other, and our environment.  I am particularly passionate about breath and meditation in Yoga as important keys for opening these doors.  By weaving Yoga into our every day lives we can access the tools we need to navigate the sometimes stormy seas of life and discover a way home to ourselves.

Ahimsa Yoga Ireland embodies Aoife’s unique way of sharing Yoga with her students.
Ahimsa is the first principle of Yoga, and it means non-harming, non-violence, gentle.  
Ahimsa expresses the essence of Aoife’s approach to teaching – gently challenging her students to explore their mind, body and soul, guiding them towards their own inner teacher, the wise voice within the heart. For Aoife, the principle of Ahimsa encourages us to embrace all of creation.

Aoife Ní Mhurchu

Yoga Teacher
Yin, Yoga Nidra, Hatha Teacher Owner: Ahimsa Yoga


Wild Sage Bakery
Vegan Chef, Owner: Wild Sage Bakery

Selena is the creator of Wild Sage Bakery, a plant based food company which specialises in making healthy vegan cakes, treats and savoury items. Her love for culinary, plant-based alchemy grew during five years which she spent living, travelling and learning abroad. Her passion is creating food which is nourishing for the body, mind, soul and earth. She has recently teamed up with Cornucopia, Dublin’s oldest vegan and vegetarian restaurant, and is currently developing some new menus for them.

I think the Dalai Lama said it best when he declared that life’s purpose is to be happy. Man, I don’t know about you guys but that works for me.

When I stay in that mindset, I’m much much much kinder and more useful to others and myself. I do my best to keep myself charged so I tap into love, connection, creativity and nature. Nature is a BIG one,  though I’ve been a city girl my whole life. The sea, the stars, the clouds, the wind, the rain, the soil, the trees, fire, I make sure to lose myself in them when I can, and I come out buzzed and ready for action.
Flooding my heart with happiness has given me a gift. It’s a weird gift but has come in handy. I have a huge comfort zone. Uncertainty and disequilibrium and I are all pals. Though I love lightness and laughter and sunshine, I don’t shy away from the dark stuff. That means I never change the subject. I never say “look on the bright side”.  I never feel drained from someone’s “negativity”. There is nothing I can’t listen to. I’ve seen some shit.
So that’s me – I dance, I practice yoga, I compose music, I draw, I write, I ski, I swim, I can walk for days, I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I’m a witch, I’m an angry feminist, I’m an egalitarian, I’m an ear and a fixer,  I’ve been working my ass off as a carer/educator for 20 years,  I’m a messer, I’m a learner, I’m doing a MSc in Emerging Technologies and I can listen to ANYTHING.
And I flippin love being happy.

Sarah Waters

Care Worker, Lecturer
Early Education, Writer, Carer, Lecturer

Dorene Palmer

Vegetarian, Vegan Chef Owner Divine Foods

Dorene Palmer has a innate appreciation and passion for food and
cooking, which she delights in sharing with others. She combines a
creative and nurturing approach with an emphasis on the energetic
qualities of food and their healing potential. This approach is very much
incorporated when designing menus for retreats and workshops.
With her own business, Divine Foods, she has guided individual clients,
catered for retreats and offered a range of her own courses over 30 years

Her experience in Cranks of London, Bananas and Golden Dawn in
Dublin has given her a wide repertoire from gourmet vegetarian\vegan
cooking, raw to macrobiotics. She also is very much self-taught and
follows her intuition on taste, flavours, using what’s in season and
drawing on the best quality produce around including using organic

She draws on a background in Shiatsu when guiding those who hope to
make dietary changes.
Having spent a decade with the Happy Pear (2006-2016) where she
played a key part in setting up the kitchen in Greystones she is now ready
to move on to focussing more on her business as a free- lance caterer to
retreats and workshops where she too feels nourished by the environment.

After the hospital and the football field, the kitchen is generally where you will find chartered physiotherapist, Gaelic footballer, food blogger, cookbook author and private caterer, Sinéad Delahunty. 

A passionate lover of all food, she shares her kitchen creations through her food blog – DELALICIOUS. Her blog and debut cookbook focuses on inspiring others to fuel their lives through healthy, wholesome and real food made from scratch and suitable for all dietary preferences. With a passion for travel and sport, her recipes are influenced by foreign cultures with a focus on Irish seasonally produced ingredients and sporting success.
Sinéad loves nothing more than being in the kitchen and getting to share her passion for food, exercise and health! She has experience of cooking for overnight, weekend and week long retreats in Ireland and abroad.

Expect lots of colour, fresh flavours and seasonally led dishes when Sinéad is cooking!
Check out her blog, for more recipe inspiration or follow her on social media for more Delalicious delights.


Sinead Delahunty

Physio, Author, Food blogger
Chef, physiotherapy, cookbook author,caterer Owner:

Sarah Butler

Living Foods Creator & Instructor

Having graduated from the Irish school of herbal medicine. Currently working towards becoming a community herbalist.

I’ve been on the healing journey many years, trained in many healing therapies. always working with living in my heart.

Geraldine Kavanagh grew up in Wicklow and spent most of her time outdoors as a child, she has an innate knowledge and a great love of plants and nature.
Commonly known wild foods such as blackberries, nettles, wild raspberries, beech leaves and sloes were familiar to Geraldine in the early years . She spent a number of years working in organic farming and in artisan food retail, she was manager at award winning Marc Michel Organic Life and The Good Food Store.

Two very cold Winters inspired her to look deeper into the world of wild food foraging – the soil was still cold in May and the vegetable garden was yet to produce any food whilst the hedgerows were abundant with greens, Geraldine began to learn which ones were edible and tasty, she now grows only a small amount preferring to spent her time foraging, wild foods are now part of her family’s daily diet.

“Geraldine is happy to share her knowledge of wild foods, especially with her own children who are very enthusiastic foragers. She feels it is so important to pass on this ancient skill to future generations, after all these are the foods that we lived on for most of human history.”

Geraldine Kavanagh

Professional Forager
Foraging, Wild cookery demos, plant and herb expert,
"May you live every day of your life." - Jonathan Swift