By Liam Cosgrove
Dawna Concannon is a woman of many talents and they are all just pieces of the puzzle that go to make her career. Starting in the Department of Justice she went on to work for Supt O’Grady here in town. Many will know her from the time she ‘did the books’ for some of the oldest business names locally – including McKeowns, Benny Grehan, Harneys Locksmiths and Declan Bannerton and she was with the Chamber of Commerce when talk first began about town enhancement.
Around the millennium, Dawna joined Galway Rural Development where her work brought her into contact with the longterm unemployed but it was the recession that called for a major change in her focus. ”I met so many older men who had lost their jobs in construction – small farmers who depended on off-farm work to supplement their income – especially those who were too old to emigrate, broken by the e m i g r a t i o n of their own children and left with a loss of self-esteem and no hope for their own future,” states Dawna. Dawna could offer them a listening ear but her belief that she needed more professional skills led her to study for a degree in Adult Guidance and Counselling from NUI Maynooth which she completed on a part-time basis. In 2017 she took her degree in psychotherapy and now began for her a new career or, one could say, she had found her true calling as she is now a full-time psychotherapist with her own practice called - Breatheasy Counselling.
While Dawna works with all age groups she has a particular affinity with young people as those she worked with in a voluntary role in Clontuskert’s Faith and Fun club will attest. ‘Cool’ is how they describe her. She even found time to do a course in youth ministry with the Redemptorists which she says gave her ‘a deeper insight into the diverse talents and needs of young people.’
Her time with Youth Work Ireland also took her on some foreign projects in Europe and she has worked with her counterparts in Finland, Switzerland, Greece, and Sweden, where she recalls being ‘eaten alive’ by mosquitoes while refereeing a hurling match! Dawna also works in schools, mainly with Transition Year and she has recently engaged with groups within Comhairle na nŌg. She works out of Galway Community Counselling, Ballybane and The Dancing Soul in Athlone as well as at Ballinasloe and Portumna. While a lot of her work takes her into the saddest parts of the human experience Dawna herself is positive, optimistic and full of empathy and good humour. To spend time with her and listen to her stories and reminiscences is in itself a tonic. Contact Dawna at Breatheasy Counselling 087 4198195 or send an email to email@example.com
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