Welcome to the National Trail Conference Speakers Page, where inspiration meets expertise! As we navigate the vast terrain of knowledge and innovation, we are proud to present a select group of speakers who embody the spirit of excellence and leadership. Each speaker brings a wealth of experience and insight that promises to enlighten, engage, and empower our audience. From trailblazing entrepreneurs to visionary thought leaders, join us on a journey of discovery as we explore the forefront of ideas and inspiration. Explore our speakers’ profiles below and get ready to embark on an unforgettable expedition of learning and growth. More speakers coming soon!

Grainne Moynihan

Gráinne Moynihan is the Chairperson of St Declan’s Way, a 115km pilgrim walking trail from Cashel in Co Tipperary to Ardmore in Co Waterford, retracing the route St Declan took to meet St Patrick in Cashel in the fifth century. The trail passes through 12 towns, villages and hamlets in two counties and across a mountain range, before it meets the sea. Its’ success relies heavily on engagement with multiple stakeholders including landowners, community groups and State agencies.

Gráinne is an accountant by profession with a background in the drinks business and lived in Dublin, London and Prague for over 20 years. Now returned to her native Lismore in Waterford, she is a board member of Waterford Leader Partnership and Munster Vales and is also part of the Cappoquin Community Development team. As an avid outdoor adventuring enthusiast she is part of the Knockmealdown Active group who organise the annual St Declan’s Way walking pilgrimages and the Knock ME Down Adventure Race in the Knockmealdown Mountains.

Her passion is in trail development, in landowner engagement and in opening up our superb Irish countryside to new outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities.

Annemarie Sheehan

Annemarie Sheehan supports communities across the country in the creation and setup of new Sanctuary Runners groups. She has been working and volunteering in the charity sector for over 16 years supporting organisations with operations, digital marketing and IT and has been a Sanctuary Runner since 2018.

Sanctuary Runners is a solidarity-through-sport initiative which uses running, jogging and walking to bring together asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and all Irish residents. With groups across Ireland they are currently expanding internationally.

Jasper Winn

After a wild childhood in west Cork, Jasper Winn began embarking on long cycles, walks, horse journeys and kayak trips across five continents – adventures he’s decanted into books, magazine articles, radio and television documentaries. Jasper is an advocate of slow adventures by paddle, pedal, saddle, boat and sail. He has circumnavigated Ireland by kayak and cycled across the Sahara. Twice.


Ella McSweeney

Ella McSweeney is an Irish journalist and reporter. She works across radio, television and print for various broadcasters and publications, including RTE, BBC, The Guardian and the Irish Times. She’s presented a wide range of radio shows for RTE, including Shanks Mare, Documentary on One, Into the Deep, award-winning Mind Matters, Future Tense, Nature’s Web, The Green Light, Farm Week, Countrywide, and she has also guest-presented The Ryan Tubridy Show. For BBC, she has reported for and presented Farming Today, On Your Farm and The Food Programme on Radio 4, and documentaries on BBC World Service. She has presented RTE’s food and farming television series Ear to the Ground since 2009.

Dr. Karen Weekes

Dr. Karen Weekes specialises in effective, transferrable coping tools for managing challenges faced in business, sport and life. Her PhD focused on effective coping strategies and motivations of elite endurance athletes. Karen combines this solid base of knowledge with her own experiences from numerous ultra-endurance expeditions, which includes rowing 3,000 miles solo, and unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean.

More at: www.karenweekes.com