Arc Mediation was founded in 2010 by Dr 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.


Dr. Roisin O’Shea – Dip, BA (Hons Law), Ph.D. BL
Dr Róisín O’Shea has significant experience as a mediator completing hundreds of cases both face-to-face and online since 2009, including: Work-place mediations for SME’s, State, Semi-State and International organisations, Personal Injury disputes, Family (consent agreements for separation, divorce, parenting, maintenance),Farm family disputes, Succession Disputes, Wards of Court and EPA (Enduring power of attorney) disputes and Contract disputes. Many of these cases were referred to Róisín after legal proceedings had been initiated, the majority of which subsequently came to a mutually satisfactory agreement. Dr O’Shea is a former Director of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII), having held roles as Family Mediation & Workplace Mediation Sector Liaisons.

She is an award-winning former Irish Research Council scholar and was awarded a PhD in 2014 for her work “Judicial Separation and Divorce in the Circuit Court”. She is an accredited Skillnet trainer and is a peer-reviewed researcher and legal academic. She presents at conferences and seminars nationally and internationally, has been invited as an expert to participate in Government fora on the topic of mediation and family law. Róisín’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice & Equality on the subject of Family Law Reform is available here.

Róisín is frequently invited as an expert guest on Irish radio and has authored opinion editorials for national newspapers, discussing legal issues, particularly in relation to mediation. She co-authored with Dr Sinead Conneely a review of family mediation in Ireland for the Bloomsbury Professional publication, Family Mediation, Contemporary Issues.

Roisin has acted as a independent industry expert for QQI evaluation of Certificate in Mediation at Griffith College and is the Principal Investigator of the Family Mediation Project at Waterford Institute of Technology. She has undertaken Child Inclusive Mediation training provided by the UK Family Mediation Association. Roisin completed the Barrister-at-Law degree of the Kings Inns in 2021 and was admitted to the bar that year.

Roisin is a member of the following professional bodies:

  • Chairperson of the Irish Professional Mediators Organisation (the IPMO)
  • Certified Member of the International Mediator’s Institute (IMI)
  • Associate member of GEMME (Groupement Européen des Magistrats pour la Mediation), the European association for judges interested in mediation
  • Family Lawyers Association of Ireland
  • Member of the AFCC, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. International Committee member from 2016-2018
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 two thousand hours of mediations since ARC was founded, with over two hundred agreements in family, workplace and commercial cases. Shane 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 research projects in the South East of Ireland. He has co-authored papers for the Irish Journal of Family Law with empirical analysis of family law applications in the Irish District Court including: Domestic Violence applications, Maintenance applications & the use of Family Mediation. He is a Certified member of the International Mediators’ Institute (IMI) and a member of the Irish Commercial Mediation Association (ICMA). He is the Treasurer of the Irish Professional Mediators’ Organisation

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. BL
Sinead has spent nearly 2 decades working as a lecturer in academic institutions, mostly Waterford Institute of Technology, teaching a wide variety of legal courses including modules involving employment law, family law, child 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 five years. Sinead is the lead Academic Consultant to the Family Mediation Project, a public private partnership between WIT and ARC Mediation.

Sinead has published articles on Child Law, Constitutional Law, Family Mediation, Domestic Violence Law and Child Maintenance in the Irish Journal of Family Law and the Family Law Journal. Sinead was awarded the degree of Barrister-at-Law from the Kings Inns in 2000.

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.

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. He has significant experience in drafting and negotiating franchise agreements. 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.

Michael Dempsey – FCMA, CGMA, FIB
Michael Dempsey has over 4 decades experience of governance, strategy, management, finance & accounting in a diverse range of industries and organisations including PLCs, multinationals and not-for-profit entities. He has served in senior roles including executive director, deputy chief executive and management consultant in sectors ranging from textiles, advanced manufacturing and food/agribusiness to professional education for Financial Services. Michael held leadership positions for business transformation, strategy formulation, mergers & acquisitions, building organisational capacity, competitiveness and financial performance. Additionally he had executive responsibility for financial planning, reporting, capital markets funding, investor relations, Information Technology & corporate governance.

Michael is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA), a Chartered General Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers (FIB). He qualified as a commercial & civil mediator with Friary Law in 2016.

Marie Dennehy – BCL, Qualified Solicitor & Mediator
Marie Dennehy is a qualified solicitor and professional mediator, specialising in conflict resolution in the areas of Probate, Farm Families, Succession, Property and Commercial Mediation.

Marie graduated with a BCL from UCD and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1981, and has worked since then in private practice specialising in conveyancing (both private and commercial), Landlord and Tenant Law, Probate and Family law. Marie has always had a keen interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution and trained as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2007, going on to train in Civil & Commercial mediation with Friarylaw ADR Ltd.

She brings her in-depth & practical knowledge of the law and litigation to her work as a mediator. Marie joined the ARC Mediation team in 2019.

Laura La’Brooy, Mediator.
Laura has over 20 years’ experience working in the private sector in both Australia and Ireland. She has acquired an extensive skill set across the Insurance, Finance and Recruitment 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 as a mediator having successfully gained International Mediation Institute (IMI) certification in February 2013. Since then, Laura has worked with families and community groups to overcome conflict, building their trust, facilitating communication between all parties enabling them to reach practical solutions. Laura has significant experience as a family mediator and practices in ARC’s Kilkenny offices.


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.