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Our Team

Ciara McDonnell

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy; Coru-Registered


Could you introduce yourself?!

Hey there! My name is Ciara McDonnell (nee Fannon), and alongside being a Coru-registered Chartered Physiotherapist, I'm Gold Standard's Senior Cardiorespiratory Physio. 

What / where did you study?

Originally from Roscommon, I went to National School in a relatively small, rural place called Fourmilehouse (Kilbride) prior to attending the Convent of Mercy Secondary School in Roscommon Town.


Delighted to be offered a place on the much sought-after Physiotherapy and Performance Science Degree course in UCD after completing my Leaving Cert, I headed off to Dublin in 2005. (As you may have possibly guessed, this was where I met my now-husband / Gold Standard's Founding Member, Cian!).


Since graduating in 2009, I've undertaken a lot of Continuous Professional Development courses, many of which revolved around helping to treat, educate and advise patients who have problems with their lungs and their breathing.

What kind of clinical experience do you have?
As part of our degree course, we'd to gain 1,000+ hours of clinical practice, a considerable percentage of which I acquired in the USA. After graduating from UCD, I commenced work as a Chartered Physiotherapist in The Mater Hospital, Dublin. There, I worked in highly specialised Respiratory services (including post heart and lung transplants, post cardiothoracic surgery, and respiratory care in the National Spinal Injuries Unit, the ICU and HDU), as well as providing general medical and surgical respiratory care.

After four great years there, I moved down to Tipp, taking up a position with the University Limerick Hospitals Group as a Senior Respiratory Physiotherapist (with a focus on Adult and Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis).


Based in "The Regional" in Limerick for nine enjoyable years, I recently transferred to the ULHG Hospital in Nenagh to take up the role of Senior Physiotherapist in Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation there. Accepting it on a part-time basis has allowed me to dedicate even more time to Gold Standard's Cardiorespiratory patients.

What are your professional interests?

I'm particularly interested in the following lung conditions, all of which can hugely benefit from Respiratory Physiotherapy:

- Asthma

- Atelectasis

- Bronchiectasis

- Bronchitis / Chronic Bronchitis

- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

- COVID-19

- Cystic Fibrosis

- Emphysema

- Exacerbations of previous Lung Diseases

- Lung Cancer

- Pneumonia and

- Recurrent Chest Infections

- Respiratory Conditions Post-Operation

My other area of interest is Cardiac Rehabilitation and how Physiotherapy can:

- Help to regain / improve physical fitness and strength after a cardiac event*

- Offer secondary prevention education and support after a cardiac event*

* For your information, cardiac events can include:

- Heart Attacks (i.e. Myocardial Infarction)

- Undergone Angioplasty or Stenting

- Heart Surgery (such as Coronary Artery Bypass surgery)

- Valve Replacement

- Heart Transplants

- Angina

- Heart Failure

- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) surgery

What kind of personal interests do you have?

Spending time with family and friends in Tipp and Roscommon is an obvious starting point, I guess!

I'm quite into middle-distance running as well, which is typically performed on a treadmill whilst watching Grey's Anatomy (again!!).

I've also a life-long passion for Irish Dancing, playing the Piano and Horse-Riding, though with two young children (Ciadhla and Hugh) to attend to, finding the time to practice these is challenging to say the least! 

When things eventually quieten down in the evening, I like to tip away around the home and garden.

Shouting on "the Rossies" in Gaelic Football (not to mention my sisters who play with Kilbride's Ladies team!) is another very enjoyable pastime of mine!

Tell us one thing about yourself that others may not know?!

I can run a 10km distance a good 10 minutes faster than my husband can, haha!! :-P

Anything else you'd like to add?

Nothing other than if you ever feel you or yours might like to receive Respiratory Physiotherapy for any of the aforementioned conditions, I'd be only too glad to hear from you (the details listed below being the best way to get in touch).

Looking forward to potentially meeting you at some future stage,

Sincerely yours,


An Educational



University College Dublin


Undergraduate Degree in Physiotherapy and Performance Science

(CAO Entry Requirements: 550+ Points)

  • Grade: Graduated with a 1.1 Honours Degree with 1,000+ Clinical Hours Grade

  • Courses: Completed a Manual Handling Course through the UCD School of Physiotherapy.

  • Completed a First Aid Course through the UCD School of Physiotherapy.

  • Reports: Presented a report that was approved by University College Dublin.

Get in Touch with Us

085 - 783 66 33

Gold Standard Physiotherapy - Nenagh Clinic: Lisbunny, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. E45 C578

Gold Standard Physiotherapy - Kiladangan Clinic: Kiladangan GAA Club, Puckane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, E45 DN47

Gold Standard Physiotherapy - Newport Clinic: Arrabawn Retail Centre, Jail Street, Newport, Co. Tipperary, V94 T327

Tel: 085 - 783 66 33

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