Core team members

Dr. Ruth Mc Menamin is a co-lead for the PPI Ignite Network @ NUI Galway.  
She has been a member of the PPI Ignite steering committee and a PPI catalyst @ NUI Galway since 2018. Ruth’s experience and expertise of connecting and empowering people to develop PPI practice in research and scholarship make her particularly suited to co-lead work package 1 (Building national PPI capacity across communities) with colleagues in DCU and HRCI. In collaboration with PPI contributors and other colleagues, Ruth has co-designed, co-delivered, and co-evaluated PPI training locally, nationally and internationally. This training and the structured PPI PhD module at NUI Galway is supporting researchers to embed PPI in their research and become PPI influencers in their own networks.
Ruth is a member of the Executive Committee of the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CATs) which includes 253 members from 40 countries, representing 43 languages. As the Early Stage and Junior Stage Research officer Ruth is responsible for offering networking and training opportunities for 140 members. This work and her current role as a guest editor on a special issue in the journal Aphasiology is providing collated resources and good examples related to PPI in aphasia research and scholarship to an international audience.   
Professor Martin O'Halloran is a co-lead for the PPI Ignite Network @ NUI Galway.  
Professor Martin O’Halloran is also a European Research Council (ERC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator at the National University of Ireland Galway. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of his research, he holds a joint affiliation with the College of Engineering and Informatics; and the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, and leads the Translational Medical Device Laboratory in the Lambe Institute, maintaining a strong link between PPI in NUI Galway and the Research Office.  
As Director of the BioInnovate and Health Innovation Hub Programmes at NUI Galway, and Co-PI at the CURAM Centre for Medical Devices, Prof. O’Halloran embeds PPI principles in medtech research and development.   
He has received over 30 national and international research awards and was recently awarded SFI’s Early-Stage Researcher of the Year, Engineers Ireland Chartered Engineer of the Year, and the European Research Council’s Starting Investigator Grant. He was a co-proposer of a European COST Action (entitled “MiMED”) and is now leading a network of over 180 medical device researchers from 24 countries, focused on the clinical evaluation and commercialisation of novel medical devices in Europe. 
Martha Killilea is the Programme Manager of the PPI Ignite Network @ NUI GalwayMartha has been involved with PPI Ignite since 2018, and became the programme manager in April 2021. Martha contributes to each of the work packages within the PPI Ignite Network. She also works with researchers and the public and patients to ensure that the voice of the patient shapes and influences our health and social care research, enhancing the quality, relevance and impact of the research being conducted in NUI GalwayMartha completed an undergraduate degree in Public and Social Policy at NUI Galway in 2016, she continued her studies in NUI Galway and graduated with a master’s degree in Health Economics in 2017.  


Casey Donaghey works as a research assistant, dividing her time between the National Office of the PPI Ignite Network and for the programme office of the PPI Ignite Network @ NUI Galway. She has been a PPI contributor for the Public Advisory Panel at NUI Galway since 2018, contributing to various research studies in Galway. Casey has aided in the training of PPI researchers using her own experience of contribution. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and with her obtaining a masters degree in psychotherapy, she draws on the combination of involvement and research skills to work with the PPI Ignite team.