Elaine D’Alton – Chairperson

Elaine is originally from Dublin and now resides in County Clare. She has a long standing interest in meditation and in 2013 she began to volunteer with the Sunyata Buddhist Centre. Elaine has a strong affiliation to the Theravadan Thai Forest tradition of Buddhism and the methods used in this tradition has assisted her in developing her own Meditation and Mindfulness practice. Elaine joined the Board of Trustees in 2014. She manages retreats for visiting Monastics, teaches the Beginners Meditation Class and is the current Chairperson of the Centre.


Heike Griffin – Company Secretary

Heike was born in Germany and her wish for a more quiet and peaceful life brought her to rural Ireland in 1985. She became interested in meditation in her twenties. In 2012 she began visiting Sunyata Buddhist Centre and sitting retreats in the Thai Forest tradition at Sunyata as well as other centres. Heike has been helping at Sunyata in various roles since 2013, ie managing retreats, administration, and leading retreats. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.


Emer Ó Cearbhaill

Emer is originally from Dublin and has been regularly practicing Buddhist meditation since 2014. She began to volunteer with Sunyata Buddhist Centre in 2015-16. She has spent time living and practicing in both Thai Forest centres/monasteries as well as Zen monasteries. She was centre manager at Sunyata during 2020 and was chair of the 2021 Fundraising campaign committee. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2022. She is very inspired by the wisdom and teachings of Ajahn Chah and the practices of generosity and freely-giving found in monasteries and centres of his lineage.  She enjoys spending time with the nature and animals of Sunyata, supporting visiting monastics, and connecting with other members of the lay-community. In the last years, she has also worked with grassroots movements supporting migrants in Europe.


Colm Kavanagh

Originally from County Meath, Colm became interested in Buddhism at an early age. He spent several years living in Buddhist centres and monasteries of different traditions before coming to Sunyata in 2015. He lived at the centre until 2020 most of which time he served as manager. He considers Ajahn Sumedho and family life to be his main teachers. Colm now lives locally, working as a gardener, and serves as vice chairman on the board of trustees.


Stefanie Blech

Born in Germany, first came to Sunyata in 2018 and has been involved with different aspects of Sunyata since then.