Joan O'Leary
26 years in Wellspring

A sense of belonging and connection

“When you have a girl in your presence, when she is sitting with you, even if you’re having a cup of tea or having dinner, she is with you now, so let now be a nice time.” Sr. Joan O Leary – August 2020
Sr Joan O’ Leary established Wellsprings in 1995. Through her work as a nurse in the Mercy Hospital Cork, Joan identified a gap in services for young women who presented with little family or community support upon discharge. Joan dreamt of offering young women a homely environment where they could experience a lifelong connection and a sense of belonging. She envisioned Wellsprings as a source of nourishment; a place where needs are met based upon building meaningful and respectful relationships between the young women and the staff. Joan wished to provide a discreet service in Cork city centre delivering both security and safety to the young women.
Say hello to "Ben"

Our most adored canine friend

Ben has resided in Wellsprings since 2018 and is full of personality. He is a beagle mix with the most beautiful brown and black colouring. He has deep brown eyes with black markings. Ben’s passion in life is playing catch, running on the beach and in open fields. He has expert fetch skills and loves to learn new tricks.

He is a beautiful companion dog for our young women in Wellsprings and in times of stress and loneliness he has offered endless cuddles and love helping young people regulate and self-sooth. He is a master at relaxation and most days can be found lying around on bean bags with a ball or soft toy. He is super friendly and always excitedly welcomes each person who walks through the door of Wellsprings.

Meet our dedicated team

Quality of care and intervention offered to our young people

Valerie McDonnell

BA in Social Care with 19 years experience in public, private & disability sector

Orlaith Hayes

Person in Charge
BA in Social Care with 20+ years experience in social sector

Pat Mullins

Board Director
Solicitor/Partner O’Flynn Exhams LLP Solicitors

Dr. Nicola O'Sullivan

Board Director
Associate Lecturer Tavistock & Portman NHS foundation Trust

Stacey Walsh

Board Director
Marketing and Business Development Co-ordinator

Sr Patricia O'Donovan

Board Director
Religious Sister of Mercy School Chaplain

Tom Hayes

Board Director
Retired Garda Chief Superintendent

Micheal Murphy

Board Director
Deputy Principal Carrigaline Community School

Ellen Duhig

Board Director
Finance and Taxation Services
Your testimonials

Lovely things you say about us

"An oasis and safe place in Cork for young women and older teens. The personalised service is practical, down to earth, kind and therapeutic."
Counselling Psychologist
Safe space & direction
“You lead the way, lets you be who you really are, with support and encouragement and a listening ear-that’s the goal of Wellsprings.”
Former Resident
Making lifelong connections
"Thank you for continuing the birthday cards to the outreach girls. It is lovely to be known and thought of for the past 21 years."
Former Resident
Happy memories

Continuing to travel with the young people on a hopeful journey

We are honoured to be a part of each young person’s journey, to enhance their existing resilience, helping them adapt to the daily challenges that life can send their way.

help & support

+353 (021) 4318953

Join with us and help our vulnerable young women