People


Arc Mediation was founded in 2010 by Roisin O’Shea and Shane Dempsey. Since then we have been joined by talented and experienced mediation and legal professionals, forming what is probably the largest and most experienced mediation practice in Ireland.
Click on links below to see profiles of our Partners and Associates.

 


 

Dr. Roisin O’Shea – Dip, BA (Hons Law), Ph.D.

Dr. Róisín O’ Shea is an award winning Irish Research Council scholar and mediator, who was awarded a Ph.D. in March 2014. She is a council member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland (MII)

She is currently a senior partner in Arc Mediation, Dispute Resolution and Employment Law consultants; is an expert in Family Law and Employment Law, and has significant experience as a family mediator and work place mediator. She is also an Employment Law consultant and trainer to private and public sector companies, with a specialism in conflict management, and has carried out workplace investigations, chaired disciplinary hearings and created staff handbooks and policies for client companies.

Roisin is peer reviewed in relevant journals including the International Family Law Journals, June 2014; She has been invited to present papers at The International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014 University of Bonn, and the International Foster Care Organisation Annual Conference 2014 at W.I.T. Waterford.

In 2012 she was also the Principal Investigator for an International Family Law Workshop funded by the Irish Research Council, and in November the same year was awarded joint 2nd place with the Brooklyn School of Law NY, in the Innovative Ideas category, by the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of law. She was selected as a researcher with a special interest in the best interests of the child, and received a bursary in 2011, awarded by UCC and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Roisin co-presented a paper with Canadian Supreme Court Judge, R.J. Williams, at the Canadian-Irish Family law conference in 2010, and in the same year received the HEA/Irish Independent Innovation in Research Award.

Roisin is passionate about making a contribution to the reform of Family Law in Ireland and is coordinating Phase II of a self-sustaining Family mediation pilot project commencing in September 2014 in Kilkenny, Ireland, in collaboration with Waterford Institute of Technology. She hopes to work with specialists to develop global solutions and to bring appropriate models and technologies to inter-jurisdictional mediations and family courts.

Additional to her knowledge of employment and family law, Roisin is very knowledgable about environmental law, has written reports on the environmental impact of planning applications for An Taisce, having successfully completed 3rd year environmental law modules in UCC in 1995 with no prior legal qualifications.

Roisin has been an invited expert on radio with Sean O’Rourke, Pat Kenny, George Hook’s Newstalk radio, Richard Curran’s Business Saturday, Billy Mc Carthy’s WLRfm, the Sunday Review WLRfm, RTE’s Drivetime, The Late Debate RTE, and has written several opinion editorials for national newspapers, discussing legal issues.

Shane Dempsey – Dip, BSc, MSc

Shane Dempsey is a trained and practising mediator since 2008, and is a founding partner of ARC mediation established in 2010. Shane has completed over a thousand hours of mediations since ARC was founded, with over a hundred agreements in family, workplace and commercial cases. He has developed “Dempsey’s Rule” a Game Theory algorithm for the fair distribution of moveable assets upon the dissolution of a partnership. The term “partnership” meaning business partnerships, civil unions and marriages. The rule can also be applied to the division of moveable assets amongst family members, not specifically allocated in a will.

Shane Dempsey holds a BSc (1st class hns) in Industrial Computing from W.I.T. and an MSc in telecommunications software engineering. He has worked as a contract software developer, IT consultant and professional researcher for 14 years. He has been a technical board member of several multi-million Euro European Research projects and has published and reviewed in respected IEEE journals and conferences. He has also spoken at international ICT conferences targeted to both industrial and academic audiences. His interests include the impact of technological change on the law, particularly data privacy.

Shane has conducted research and presented at international conferences on measurement of the effectiveness of the mediation process in terms of results, time, effort & cost. He is responsible for data analysis on the ARC-WIT family mediation research projects in the South East of Ireland.

Chris Uys – Environmental Officer, Mediator

A native of Namibia, Chris’s career of 30 years involves public relations/corporate communications, marketing, general management, as well as business support and development. He has work experience in the educational, FMCG manufacturing, environmental services and community sectors. For the last 16 years Chris has been living and working in Ireland.

His educational background is in Communication. In 2012, Chris trained and qualified as a mediator and is a certified member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland. He volunteered as a mediator with the Community Law & Mediation Centre in both Dublin and Limerick. Chris was also instrumental in the establishment of the Community Mediation Service based in the south Midlands area.

Chris has been actively involved in community based projects and social entrepreneurship all his working life. He is currently an Environmental Pillar Nominee to the Board of Laois Partnership Company, and recently nominated to the Board of Irish Rural Link.

Neil van Dokkum – B.SocSc, LL.B,  LL.M, P.G.C. Con LitNeil van Dokkum

Neil is an extremely experienced mediator and legal professional having worked as a solicitor, barrister and a mediator for workplace, commercial and community disputes in South Africa. Neil started his academic career by obtaining a Bachelor’s in Social Science from the University of Rhodes in Grahamstown, South Africa. He then went on to complete LLB and and LLM degrees in the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.  He also completed a Post-Graduate course in Constitutional Litigation.

Neil practiced as a solicitor in international Law firm, Deneys Reitz Attorneys (now Norton Rose), in South Africa from 1987-1992. From 1992-2002 he practiced as a barrister, specialising in employment and family law. During this time he was also a senior lecturer in the University of Natal, teaching mediation and arbitration, employment law, education law, family law and medical law. Neil was active and well known as a mediation and arbitration expert in South Africa, having served on numerous boards and panels of mediators for workplace, commercial and community dispute resolution. These include:

  • Commissioner at the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration
  • Panelist for the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (Community ADR)
  • Panelist on the Safety and Security Labour Relations Council (Workplace/Public Sector ADR)
  • Senior Mediator and Arbitrator at the Bargaining Council for the Road Freight Industry (Commercial & Workplace ADR)
  • Mediator and Arbitrator on panel of Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Commercial ADR).

From 2002 to present he has worked as a law lecturer in Waterford Institute of Technology teaching employment law, medical law, law of evidence, family law, child protection, education law, construction law, arbitration and mediation. Neil is a practicing member of the MII and has also completed Friary Law’s accredited commercial and workplace mediator programme.

Dr. Teresa Graham – BA (Psychology), MA (Sociology), Ph.D., Mediator

Teresa works in private practice as a Counselling Psychologist. She has a degree in Psychology and Sociology from University College Cork, an MA in Sociology from WIT a PHD in Sociology from the University of Limerick, a Diploma in Counselling from the Institute of Counselling in Glasgow, and a Diploma in Psychology from the Open University. She belongs to the British Psychological Association, and is qualified to carry out psychometric assessments.

Teresa is a Certified Mediator, specialising in family mediation, and mediation through separation and divorce. She is a council member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland (MII).

Teresa lectures in Sociology at degree level for DCU and Counselling at foundation and degree level for PCI College, Dublin. She has been accepted by the Court Services as being qualified to do child assessments in Family Law cases and has been doing this work for thirteen years.

Teresa is a patient advocate and her research interests include health care and personal development.

Dr. Sinead Conneely – BA (Soc Sc.), LL.M, LL.B, PhD.
Sinead has spent the last 15 years working as a lecturer in academic institutions, mostly Waterford Institute of Technology, teaching a wide variety of legal courses including modules involving employment law and mediation. Sinead has extensive course leadership experience involving dispute resolution (and dispute avoidance!).Sinead completed her Masters at the University of Cambridge, examining commercial insurance law, corporate finance law and insolvency law. Her Ph.D was undertaken at Trinity College Dublin. Her thesis outlines the origins and development of family mediation internationally and then comparatively analyses the adoption and process of family mediation in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is considered to be an authorative work on the subject. See google books for more information.

Sinead completed Friary Law’s Civil & Commercial Mediation course in 2012. She is the Chairperson of the Board of Management of a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder for the past two years. Sinead was made a Consulting Partner in January 2014.

Walter O’Leary – BA, MA, Dip Soc Study, ACIArb
Walter worked from 1975 until 1982 as a manager in the construction sector where he handled contracts and general project management. From 1982 until 1998 he worked as the MD of his family’s private construction business. During this time he also studied for various legal qualifications in WIT including the BA (ordinary) in Legal Studies which he received in 1994, the BA (hons) in Legal Studies with Business which he received in 1997 and the MA (law) which he received in 1999. Additionally, Walter qualified as an arbitrator in 2001and is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.Walter has worked in all areas and number of different capacities within the Construction Industry. In this way he has gained invaluable experience with regard to dispute resolution within this sector. As an arbitrator, he has undertaken and successfully resolved a number of disputes through this ADR mechanism.

Walter completed Friary Law’s Civil & Commercial Mediation course in 2012. He is familiar with employment law regulations in the public sector and serves as the Vice-Chairman of Waterford Institute of Technoloy’s Disciplinary Committee.

John Lawless- B.Sc., BD., BA, Dip. AMA, Dip Change Mgt., Nat. Dip. Computing

John holds a wide range of qualifications including degrees in Physics (NUI), Theology and Philosophy (Maynooth University), Counselling and Psychometric Testing (Irish College of Humanities and Applied Science) and Diplomas in Advanced Community Development Consultancy (Combat Poverty Agency), National Diploma in Computing (WIT), NUI Diploma in Change Management (Institute of Public Administration) and Advanced Diploma in Money Advice Practice (University of Ulster).

He has 40 years experience working in the community sector with over 20 years experience working as a counsellor. As a former professional youth worker and 2nd level teacher he has a keen interest and specialist knowledge in protecting the rights of young people within the context of family separation. His managerial and supervisory experience equips him to understand the dynamics of workplace conflict. For the past 21 years he has worked full time in the area of debt advice and brings his knowledge of both financial settlement and the Irish legal system into his mediation work with separating couples. In 2010 he qualified as a mediator and is a practicing member of MII.

Dr. Michael Howlett- BSc, BD, STL, ThD, PhD.
Michael Howlett BSc, BD, STL, ThD, PhD holds primary degrees in both Science and Theology. He was awarded a doctorate in Theology by the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy for research in to the anthropological dimension of the writings of the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh in 1991, and a PhD in English by the NUI (UCD) for research in to the religious dimension of James Joyce’s writings in 1998.
His research interests lie in the interacting relationships between literature, society and religion. He has published in Irish and European Theological journals.Dr. Howlett originated and developed the Interdisciplinary Arts degree within Waterford Institute of Technology, the only such programme in an Institute of Technology and unique in Higher Education in Ireland. He informally honed his mediation skills as the Head of the Department of Applied Arts in WIT and formally completed his accredited mediation training from Friary Law in 2012. Within ARC, Michael applies his knowledge of theology and mediation to the area of clerical mediation.

Sean Ormonde- BBL, HDip (Marketing), Solicitor
Seán is a qualified solicitor with a Higher Diploma in Marketing Practice from the UCD Michael Smurfit graduate School of Business. Seán also holds Diplomas in Employment Law, Commercial Law, the Law of eCommerce and Insolvency from the Law Society.Currently a Director and shareholder of Ireland’s largest fitness chain and the owner of the master franchise for Ireland for the énergie fitness club brand and operation in Ireland. As a master franchisor Seán has been involved in negotiating many franchise agreements as well as the negotiations of two master franchise agreements.

Having grown a number of commercial brands within Ireland, Seán has been tasked with many commercial and legal negotiations and in particular has significant expertise in employment law and resolving employment disputes. He runs the popular Employment Matters website which provides advice on employment law issues.

Matt Spinks- Community Worker, Mediator
Matt worked as an account manager for HFC bank dealing in debt consolidation then for Zurich Financial Services as a Sales Executive in the intermediary sales of insurance, pensions and investments. In 1999 he left to pursue a passion for adventure sports. It was through coaching a group of young offenders to kayak that he ventured on to a new career of working with people in conflictHe has worked in crisis intervention, residential child care with Social Care Solutions in Wales and with the homeless for Focus Ireland in Dublin. In 2002 he began developing and delivering unique programmes that utilised a blended-learning approach in order to engage at-risk young people through outdoor activity. These programmes aimed to address and develop skills for participants in anger management, behaviour modification, conflict resolution problem solving, communication skills and teamwork. He delivered these programmes to projects funded by The Irish Youth Justice Service, HSE, Dept Education and Science, Probation Service, Forogie and FAS.

For the last 4 years Matt has been working exclusively for a community-based project funded by the Irish Youth Justice Service and managed by An Garda Siochanna through the Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Service; that works with young offenders and their families to assist them to change their behavior in order to enjoy their lives without hurting themselves or other people. Matt has been trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Restorative Practices. Matt certified as a mediator in 2013.

Margaret Martyn (QFA), Dip. Financial Services, Mediator.
Margaret has recently retired from a 15 year banking career with A.I.B. Prior to joining the bank Margaret successfully ran her own business in the retail sector. Whilst with A.I.B., Margaret rose to management within a very short timeframe to become a Financial Planning Manager after just 6 years. This regional role involved Margaret having full responsibility for the development and management of a direct portfolio of the banks High Net Worth clients.Whilst this management role was primarily advisory and relationship based, it encompassed not only the design and delivery of financial solutions to her direct portfolio of clients but also the delivery of appropriate training to the banks retail network, in addition to developing and maintaining relationships with Key Business Influencers. During her banking career Margaret enjoyed excellent client relationships as evidenced by client testimonials and her winning of several National Awards for both Customer Service and Quality of Business.

Margaret exited banking in December 2012 to pursue a new career in mediation. Since leaving, she has completed training with both the Mediation Foundation of Ireland and Friary Law. Margaret has extensive experience in dealing with commercial issues and draws on her wealth of banking experience and business acumen to specialise in civil and commercial mediation. Margaret is a member of the Institute of Bankers, the Mediation Institute of Ireland and is also a volunteer with the Community Mediation Service based in Portlaoise.

Laura La’Brooy, Mediator.
Laura has over 17 years’ experience working in the private sector in both Australia and Ireland. She has acquired an extensive skill set across the Insurance, Finance and Retail sectors. It was through her experiences in management and handling organisational conflict that led Laura to take a career break in 2012 and pursue her studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution.Laura began her career in the formal process of Mediation having successfully gained certification in February 2013. Since earning her Mediation qualification, Laura has worked with families and community groups experiencing negative conflict, building their trust and facilitating communication between all parties enabling them to reach their common sense solutions.

Laura is accredited by and a member of the International Mediation Institute. She was made a consulting partner in March 2015.

Experts
Arc Mediators use the services of other experts where necessary as part of an integrated approach to dispute resolution. We can recommend professionals in the following areas:

  • Financial advisors with expertise in tax accountancy, financial planning and pension valuation;
  • Independent legal experts including barristers and academics;
  • Auctioneers, surveyors and other property experts;
  • Solicitors who practice collaborative law and whose services we have determined are cost-effective for our clients;
  • Psychologists, counsellors and other psychotherapeutic professionals who can help clients and their families cope with stressful circumstances.