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.


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.



Jason McCormack

Jason Mc Cormack first came to Sunyata in 2016 and has kept returning ever since, he moved to Clare from his home parish in county Wicklow and is delighted to be a Sangha member of Sunyata. At first he came to Sunyata for the food but then he stayed for the Dhamma. He wishes all beings freedom from suffering and is deeply inspired and grateful for all those past, present and future who have kept Sunyata sowing the seeds of Dhamma on the Emerald Isle!



Mark Byrne

Born in Ireland, was introduced to Buddhism while living in South Korea, and took part in several Zen retreats there. He gained an interest in Theravada Buddhism though listening to Dhamma talks by the Thai Forest monks and reading books from the tradition. He was very inspired by recordings of Ajaan Paññāvaddho. He met U Revata Sayadaw and Pa Auk Sayadaw while in Korea, and practiced for several months in Myanmar under their guidance. After returning to Ireland he has enjoyed spending time meditating in Sunyata when he can.