Meet the Aura Team
Meet Our Team
At Aura Leisure, we are proud to have a team of passionate and dedicated professionals who are committed to providing the best possible fitness solutions for our customers. Our team consists of individuals from diverse backgrounds and with a range of skills and expertise, but we are all united by our shared passion for fitness and wellness.
Each member of our team plays a crucial role in our company’s success, and we are excited to introduce you to them. Everyone on our team is committed to providing exceptional service and helping our customers achieve their fitness goals.
We invite you to learn more about our team members and their individual roles in the company. We believe that by getting to know us better, you will see why Aura Leisure is the best choice for all your fitness needs.
Gar Holohan- Executive Chairman
Having established Holohan Architects and Holohan Leisure in the early 1980’s, in 1999 Gar founded Ireland’s first multi award-winning Contract Management Company ‘Aura’ to manage public swimming pools in partnership with local authorities.
Gar was appointed a ‘Fellow’ of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, in recognition of his work as a specialist sports and leisure consultant and has represented the International Union of Architects on the International Olympic Committee’s Working Group on Sustainability.
He has been a consultant to the Irish Government Departments responsible for Tourism and Sport for over 25 years and led consultant teams for the planning and design of over 30 public water-leisure projects, and the €200m Irish National Sports Campus in Abbottstown.
Finance & Operations Director
Derek Anderson – Finance & Operations Director
Derek is a Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a Member of the Irish Taxation Institute. He holds an MBA – from the Smurfit Business School, UCD (2015-2017). He was awarded an academic scholarship by the Smurfit Business School to complete the MBA there and achieved first class honours (1.1 grade). He also holds a Diploma in international Reporting Standards (Distinction Grade).
Derek has worked at a senior level in Ireland’s largest leisure centre operator, Aura Holohan Group, since 2009. Prior to this he worked in the Automotive (Manufacturing) Industry for 7 years and also in KPMG (Bermuda).
As Finance and Operations Director in Aura Holohan Group, Derek has overall responsibility for the successful operation of the Group. His duties include:
· Leading and managing the Operations and Finance teams, including Health & Safety, Property & Maintenance, and IT across the Group (Aura, DkIT Sport and Anytime Fitness)
· Ensuring that the Group’s everyday activities run efficiently and effectively.
· Benchmarking financial and operational performance of each leisure centre using audited and non-audited (management) financial and non-financial information
· Leading the Aura Holohan Group team to acquire and launch new leisure centres and clubs (including Aura DePaul, DKIT Sport and several Anytime Fitness clubs). This involves managing the full tender process, preparation of detailed financial projections, budgets and liaising with our bank to finance the capital costs of these operations.
Group Sales Director
Mark O’Brien – Group Sales Director
Mark has over 20 years’ experience in the health & fitness industry, coming straight into the industry from college. Mark has experience in every aspect of health clubs, including as a personal trainer, gym instructor, club operations manager, sales manager and sales adviser roles. In each of these positions, he quickly advanced to senior management positions.
In his role as Group Sales Director for the Aura Holohan Group, Mark primarily focuses on creating and advancing the group sales methodology in addition to managing and training the sales teams at all Aura / Anytime Fitness locations.
When Mark is not spending time with his family or chasing after his two energetic daughters, he likes watching Liverpool, working out, going on walks, and occasionally going for a quiet pint at his local.
Narcisa Popovici- HR Director
Since graduating with a Postgraduate Degree in Management, and qualifying in HR and Employment Law, Narcisa gained extensive experience working in the facilities/contract cleaning, healthcare and Leisure industry, where she has successfully implemented HR and business improvement initiatives and projects to drive engagement, performance and organisational growth, within a changing business environment.
In her current role, Narcisa has the overall responsibility for the people strategy, and partnering effectively across the business functions to implement plans and programs that support the company’s vision and strategy and facilitating an on-going enrichment of our culture.
When she is not keeping busy with family and work, you can find her hiking nature trails across the country or swimming.
Padraig Byrne – Property Director
Since graduating in Building Services Engineering from DIT Bolton Street , Padraig has over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. Padraig has worked on major commercial and industrial projects from design to installation before joining the Aura Holohan Group in 2010 where he heads up the property team. He has specialized in energy management and developed the award winning 5 point energy plan which has resulted in over 40% savings in energy consumption for the group. Padraig was made group property director in 2019 and continues to manage all preventative maintenance, energy management and building projects along with the facilities team.
As well as being married with 4 young children Padraig enjoys all sports, particularly GAA and Golf.
Garóg Holohan- Non-Executive Director
Since graduating with a master’s degree in IT, Garóg Holohan has spent his career working in the software industry, where he has contributed to significant projects in both the insurance and e-commerce sectors. This experience has led to working with clients based in Ireland as well as in the US, Australia and beyond.
Garóg’s current role is overseeing ‘trust and safety’ for a large international e-commerce company, covering both security aspects and marketplace integrity work such as fraud prevention, content moderation and sanctions/policy enforcement. This has included work on both small software projects and complex global systems.
Garóg is also a keen cyclist and musician, playing concerts regularly.
Bill Holohan- Non-Executive Director
Bill Holohan is a Solicitor and Senior Counsel, Notary Public and Expert Witness, uniquely in Ireland.
International Mediator/Arbitrator, problem solver/disputes resolver being qualified as an Irish Solicitor, Senior Counsel, Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths, Irish/European Union Trade Mark Agent/Practitioner.
He is an Accredited Mediator, (CEDR & CIARB, London UK) & a Fellow of the Centre of International Legal Studies, Salzburg Austria). Holder of 2 Irish Honours University degrees, he holds a First Class Honours Masters Degree in Advanced Legal Practice from Northumbria University in the UK and a Certificate in Professional Education from the Law Society of Ireland.
Tom Dowling – Non-Executive Director
Tom is a highly skilled, effective Chief Executive, Company and Project Chairperson, Qualified Chartered Director, Strategic Advisor, Lecturer, EMCC Accredited Executive Coach and Mentor with excellent emotional intelligence skills.
Tom is an experienced former local government Chief Executive with a coaching and motivational style of leadership, managing up to 1000 staff with a budget of over €2.75 billion over a ten-year period. He is an excellent strategic advisor on public/private sector relationships with extensive knowledge and insight of the National, Regional and Local Government sectors and community and business sector.
He is a great motivational speaker, trusted advisor and highly skilled in convincing organisations and people to support initiatives.
Majella Fitzpatrick – Non-Executive Director
Majella has spent the last 25 years or so as a Strategic Communications Influencer working in both the public and private sectors in Ireland. Her expertise lies in Corporate Affairs, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Reputation Management, Crisis Communications and Corporate Responsibility.
Majella has advised CEOs, C-Suite Teams, Ministers and Taoisigh in a wide variety of organisations including; eircom; O2 (now 3); Ibec; Fine Gael; Department of Health and Tesco.
Majella excels at building and maintaining relationships with key influencers and stakeholders and has a track record in leading and motivating people to drive high performance and to achieve their goals. Over the past two years, Majella has upskilled in the area of Health and Wellness, something she is passionate about.
She now holds a qualifications in Health Promotion, Wellness in the Workplace, from NUIG; Exercise and Health Fitness and an Advanced PT qualifications from NCEF/ UL. Her ambition is to bring her prior experience, together with her recently acquired qualifications, to help people live healthier, happier, longer lives.
George Robinson – Marketing Manager
George joined the Aura Holohan Group as Group Marketing Manager in 2019 and he has over 25 years’ experience in sales, customer service and marketing management across a variety of business sectors.
George leads the marketing team and is responsible for developing, implementing and executing the strategic marketing plans for the organisation. He and the team also assess the performance of all marketing activities to ensure that the strategic goals of the company are met.
In his spare time George enjoys spending time with his young family, listening to music, running outdoors or in the gym and reading a good thriller.
Graham Clarke – Fitness Manager
Graham has a degree in Sport Science from the University College Chester and he has worked in the leisure sector almost exclusively since graduating. Prior to joining the team at Aura Leisure, Graham had spent over 11 years in fitness club management – leading fitness teams, managing the day to day running of the facility and the delivery of customer service and fitness programmes to members.
He is currently the Group Fitness Manager for Aura Leisure, looking after staff training, monitoring the performance of our fitness teams across the group and running the Aura Fitness Academy.
Outside of work he spends a lot of time with his young family, coaching Gaelic football and he has a keen interest in running and multi-sport events.
Health & Safety Manager
Gerard Morgan – Health & Safety Manager
Gerard Morgan is the group health and safety manager and he joined the team at Aura in 2011. He also manages the Aura Training Academy. With qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety, Business Management and Quality, Gerard is also a qualified instructor to teach across a range of disciplines including Pool Plant, Manual Handling, First Aid and Lifeguard training.
His role includes reviewing, updating and implementing safety procedures, conducting safety audits, on-site training and he also trains the company’s Lifeguard TA’s on a quarterly basis. Gerard is supported in his role by an enthusiastic and committed team of safety reps to help support and implement safety across the different locations operated by the company.
Gerard’s main hobbies include Gaelic Football, Badminton and Golf.
Jack Murphy – Franchise Manager
Jack’s primary role in the business is to manage the operations and performance of the Anytime Fitness clubs as well as seeking out new properties to develop the brand across the Republic of Ireland. Qualified in Retail and Services Management, his responsibilities include the detailed assessment of local markets, design, construction and the management of new club openings.
Outside of work Jack has a keen interest in Padel – a racket sport which is currently growing rapidly across the world.
Head of IT
Nebojsa Mitrovic – Head of IT
Nebojsa Mitrovic, a Serbian IT professional hailing from Croatia has been part of the Aura team since 2017 and is the Group Head of IT.
Nebojsa is responsible for overseeing all IT functions of the company including daily operations of network and server infrastructure, the alignment of IT infrastructure and communications systems with the requirements of the business as well as the assessment and purchasing of new and replacement hardware.
His journey in IT began with fascination and it since evolved into a career he is very passionate about. Outside of work, Nebojsa has been pursuing a 17-year journey in Karate which allows him unwind and is great for the body and mind. He constantly strives for excellence in both his professional endeavours and in martial arts too.erard’s main hobbies include Gaelic Football, Badminton and Golf.
Aoife Dervan – Finance Manager
Aoife joined the team at Aura Leisure in 2008, initially in the role of Regional Accountant and now she is the company’s Finance Manager.
Aoife is responsible for ensuring that the management team have up-to-date financial information by reporting on the monthly management accounts, and the various income lines of the company including membership and swim lessons. She is also responsible for ensuring that all of our reporting obligations are met and liaises with Revenue and the company’s auditors in this regard.
When Aoife’s not busy with work she enjoys swimming in her local lake, walking her dog and reading a good book.