Meet the Team

CARI Senior Management Team 

National Management

Mary Flaherty Mary Flaherty BA H Dip Ed, MSc in Psychoanalysis: Chief Executive

Having graduated from UCD with an Honours Degree in English and History, Mary worked for six years as a secondary school teacher in the Holy Faith Convent in Glasnevin. She became involved in Fine Gael and was elected to Dublin City Council in 1979 and continued as a councillor until her resignation in 1999. She was also elected to Dáil Éireann for the Constituency of Dublin North West in 1981 where she served through five Dáil terms until 1997 when she lost her seat and decided to retire. She married fellow politician Alexis FitzGerald, then Dublin’s Lord Mayor, in 1982 and by this time had four sons aged from two to twelve.

During her political tenure, Mary served as a Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare in 1981, where she commenced work on an integrated Children’s Bill. She served as a TD (Teachta Dála) for 16 years for Dublin North West constituency and latterly sponsored a campaign to ban physical punishment of children. Her interest in children’s issues remained a constant in her career and led to her next career move in 1999 having taken two years out with her family.

Mary joined CARI as National Director CARI in 1999 and has overall responsibility for the management and direction of CARI. In 2002, she became CARI’s first CEO in a new national structure. In that time, she oversaw a major expansion of the CARI organisation. Currently, she is focused on steering CARI through a time of cuts and rationalisation.

In 2005, Mary completed an MSc in Psychoanalytic Studies in DBS and went on to achieve an MSc in Psychoanalysis from UCD; having completed the course in St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin.

Mary was recently appointed by the Government to the Board of Directors of the Irish Red Cross Society.

Monica Murphy: Head of Therapy 

Monica Murphy has been working with CARI since 1997.  Monica started on the Helpline before moving into therapy.  Monica worked in CARI’s Cork therapy service for 12 years.  Monica has also been part of the outreach team providing training on the issue of child sexual abuse and child protection. She is an accredited psychotherapist and Supervisor with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (I.A.C.P.). Monica has a wide range of experience in the area of trauma and child sexual abuse.  Monica holds a Master of Arts in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (University of Limerick).  Monica also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Counselling and Social Studies (Cork Institute of Technology).  Monica has previously worked in pre-school education and private practice.

The CARI Team

Marie Byrne Marie Byrne: National Helpline Team Leader

Marie has worked on the CARI Helpline since 1999 and has been CARI’S National Helpline Team Leader since July 2006. Marie works closely with the therapy team, providing support to parents and carers affected by sexual abuse.

She successfully completed the NUI Diploma in Counselling in May 2001. Marie completed the Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from The Dublin School of Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2008. Outside of CARI Marie is a practicing psychotherapist. Marie has worked as part of the CARI Outreach Team, facilitating Training to Children, Adolescence and Adults. Marie set up and facilitated Child Protection Policy Training - both in house and for professionals working with children. Marie also has previous experience of working with groups of women who have experienced domestic violence in refuge settings and she has contributed to raising awareness of the issue. 


Our therapeutic team is made up of trained and experienced psychotherapists. Each client is offered an appropriate therapy/treatment plan for their specific needs. All therapeutic work is clinically supervised by an external consultant, and subject to clinical line management Our therapeutic team is made up of trained and experienced psychotherapists. Each client is offered an appropriate therapy/treatment plan for their specific needs. All therapeutic work is clinically supervised by an external consultant, and subject to clinical line management

Bonnie Kavanagh: Psychotherapist

Bonnie has been an accredited counsellor / psychotherapist with the IACP for several years. She is a qualified child art psychotherapist. Prior to joining CARI Bonnie worked with the HSE as counsellor / therapist for people who had physical disabilities as well as maintaining a private practice. She has worked with children with special needs in a school setting since 1999. Bonnie has completed a BSc. in Psychology and has qualifications in counselling, Gestalt Therapy and Art Psychotherapy.

Louise Patterson: Psychotherapist

Louise achieved her Psychology B.A in Dublin Business School in 2003. Since qualifying Louise has gained extensive experience of working with children with social emotional and behavioural difficulties.  Louise is an accredited member of IAPTP (Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy) where she currently holds the position of secretary to the board. Prior to working in CARI Louise volunteered for the I.S.P.C.C, and worked with children in residential care for the Home Again organisation. She was also employed by the drugs task force as a project worker offering therapeutic support to vulnerable children on a one to one and group basis in a National School.  

Louise holds a certificate in Addiction Studies along with qualifications in the Incredible Years Parent Training programme and a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy and Psychotherapy. Since joining CARI in 2010 Louise has facilitated trainings in working with both sexual abuse and sexualised behaviours.