Our Committee

It gives us great pleasure to give you the opportunity to meet our team. We are a young and energetic charity with ambitions to grow in order to provide quality education and support in underprivileged communities. Our committee in Ireland consists of eight individuals who have all visited Calcutta on numerous occasions and are passionate about bringing about real change in the lives of all the young people we help. The committee contains individuals who can draw on their experience from here in Ireland and India to contribute towards Calcutta Connect having the greatest impact possible in the communities we work and we meet regularly to discuss our current and future work. In Calcutta, we are lucky to have an excellent project manager in Baren Mondal who oversees all of our programmes for us throughout the year. Meet our team and those in the key positions in Calcutta Connect.

Meet Our Team

Chairperson: Brian Kelly

Having first traveled to Calcutta in 2002, Brian has returned to Calcutta on numerous occasions and he travels regularly to Calcutta working closely with the projects we support, our partner organisation and students we support. He completed a Masters in Human Rights in UCD in 2011 having previously done a Degree in Development Studies in Kimmage Development Studies Centre in 2010.

 

Alan first travelled to India in 2008 and returns to Calcutta every year to work with and grow the projects we support. Alan recently completed a course on global development and social justice issues, run by UCDVO in association with Comhlámh, and has assisted a number of student groups in preparing for trips to India. In his professional life, Alan works in the Payment Technology Industry.

Secretary: Ian Stuart-Trainor

Ian first traveled to India in 2003 and returned on two occasions since most recently as a group leader of the Coláiste Éanna India Immersion Project 2010. He is also founder and CEO of IST Systems a company specializing in Computer Networking and Hardware.

 

Emily Lyon

Emily graduated from UCD with an International Bachelor of Social Science in 2015 and completed a Masters in Women, Gender & Society in UCD in 2016. She has volunteered with UCD Volunteers Overseas in the Northeast India project as Student Leader in 2015 and as Team Leader in 2017. She visited Calcutta with Calcutta Connect committee members in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. Emily currently works in the development sector.

 

Having first travelled to India in 2006, Alan returns to Calcutta regularly to work with the projects and students we support in the city and surrounding areas, most recently in 2019. Alan recently completed a course on global development and social justice issues, run by UCDVO in association with Comhlámh, and has assisted a number of student groups in preparing for trips to India. Alan graduated from UCD with a Business and Law Degree in 2011 and currently practices as a solicitor in Dublin.

Ciarán Ahern

Ciarán first traveled to Calcutta in 2002 as a participant in the Coláiste Éanna India Immersion Project. He subsequently returned to Calcutta with the school in 2004 and 2008 as a group leader. Ciarán has a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics and currently practices as an employment solicitor in Dublin. In both 2016 & 2018 Ciarán returned to Calcutta to visit the projects supported by Calcutta Connect. Ciarán also serves on the committee of the Law Society’s Calcutta Run.

 

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Shay Ferris 
Shay participated in the India Immersion Project as a student in 2008 and returned as a supervisor in 2010. In 2013 he spent again time in Calcutta working closely with the projects we support and overseeing a number of improvements to our centres. Shay completed his Business Management Degree in 2016 and works for fire.com as a Corporate Sales Executive.

Emmet first travelled to India in 2010 as part of the Colaiste Eanna India Immersion Project. He returned in 2018 to visit the projects supported by Calcutta Connect. Emmet is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor and currently works overseas as an International Tax Advisor

In India

Baren has been working as our local manager since the beginning of 2018 and we have been very lucky to have him in this position. He has a great relationship with the management and staff of our partner organisation PRDS and he works tirelessly monitoring all the programmes we support. The many students we support have great respect for Baren and often to assist with problems they face and guidance in their studies. He is an invaluable part of our team and always on hand when our committee members and visitors are in Kolkata.