Our Board

Bob Jull

Bob Jull

Bob Jull graduated in 1964 from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. After completing 3 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, he joined IBM and began a 30 year career in information technology.

In 1976, he progressed from the large corporate environment to a small Canadian IT consultancy. In 1982, as a partner, he later started their US subsidiary company in Boston and hired the first employees.

In 1985, he founded a Canadian software company specializing in electronic mail, which he sold to Microsoft in 1997.

In a further career progression, in late 1997 Bob moved to Dublin with the thought of funding small IT start up companies. He has since invested in a number of companies, some unrelated to IT.

In 2005, Bob moved from Dublin to Thomastown, where he now resides most of the year.

John O'Connor

John O’Connor

John holds a postgraduate Diploma in Special Education from Queen’s University Belfast, along with an M.A. Theology from DCU, Dublin. He also has a Certificate in Mental Health Studies from Maynooth University and a postgraduate Diploma in Speech and Language Impairment and Communication from Sheffield University, Sheffield.

John also holds a Certificate in Leadership from MVD Brink consultancy, Zeist, Holland.

John has also been a Director of Camphill Communities of Ireland for the past 14 years. Camphill Communities are providers of life-sharing communities for people with disabilities. John has been the co-ordinator (manager) of Camphill Community Jerpoint, with responsibility for supporting residents/day attendees to achieve their full potential and lead meaningful lives.

Part of John’s remit is ensuring that the community provides the best standard of care and support and complies with all current and future legislation, policies and best practice. He is challenged to manage the community within regulatory guidelines and financial constraints, while maintaining the Camphill ethos.

John has been involved with the School of Food project since its inception in April 2013. As a member of the local community of Thomastown and manager of Camphill Communities, John wants to develop pathways towards meaningful community participation, thus supporting job creation and training opportunities for people who are marginalised, school leavers who are not seeking degree courses and innovative food producers/processors.

John believes that the community garden, the farmers’ market and the range of training opportunities at the food hub will aim to explore inclusion opportunities for these and other people with disabilities.

Edwina St. Lawrence

Edwina St. Lawrence

Edwina spent much of her childhood in the warmth of the kitchens of Howth Castle under the feet of her Mother and Grandmother’s cooks. When one of these formidable cooks retired, Edwina then aged 15 began to cook in earnest and so started a lifelong love for food and cooking.

Her technical skills and food knowledge were gained at the Cordon Bleu School and after graduating she began her 25 year career in the restaurant business.

In the early eighties she worked for Justin de Blank, an influential figure at that time in London’s burgeoning food scene. A head cook at the age of 22, Edwina learnt her culinary skills alongside Nigel Slater, now a successful food writer, and developed her cooking style of producing simple, delicious food, made from quality ingredients.

Later in her career she joined Digby Trout Restaurants where she held both Senior Management and Development Chef Roles, and built successful catering businesses in many of London’s most prestigious landmarks including the British Museum, the National Gallery and Kensington Palace.

Edwina thoroughly enjoys sharing both the charm of the Castle’s kitchens and the joys of cooking great food with the Kitchen in the Castle’s clients and particularly loves teaching younger people and beginners about food.