Briarhill Veterinary Clinic is a dedicated small animal practice

We treat everything from Great Danes to dwarf hamsters and enjoy all of it! The practice was set up in 2009 by Riona Mac Eoin and Ruth Harkin who both graduated from the veterinary college in University College Dublin in 2001.

Ruth Harkin Briarhill Veterinary Clinic

Ruth Harkin

Ruth Harkin is a city girl who spent most of her school holidays on her grandparents’ farm in Portumna where she developed a strong love for animals. Reading James Herriot’s book “All creatures great and small” was what made her decide on a career in veterinary medicine.

Ruth spent many years in small animal practice in the UK before returning to Ireland and worked in the emergency clinic in University College Dublin before opening the clinic in Galway. Her interests include dentistry, dermatology and feline medicine. Outside work she likes yoga, reading, travelling and best of all hiking in Connemara with her husband and two dogs – Cooper and Oscar.

Riona Mac Eoin

Riona’s childhood dream was to be a vet. She always enjoyed taking care of the horses, dogs and cats at her home in Kinvara. Feeding the pet lambs on the farm across the road was a highlight of Springtime.

Riona qualified from UCD as a veterinary surgeon in 2001 and completed her certificate in small animal medicine in 2014.

She is currently studying for her certificate in veterinary dentistry with the European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS) and hopes to gain her qualification in 2023.  Riona is passionate/obsessed(!) about veterinary dentistry knowing that teeth are an area where many animals suffer in silence as their pain is rarely apparent.

Riona is the proud parent of a beautiful big ginger  cat called Tiger (7.4kg)!

Outside of work, Riona likes to swim, cycle, read, write and chill out with a challenging sodoku.

Fiona Comer & Bailey - Briarhill Vets

Fiona Comer

Fiona always wanted to be a vet.  She graduated from veterinary medicine at UCD in 2015 with first class honours and received scholarships for outstanding academic achievements. She spent two years working in Wales before coming home to her native Galway to join us in September 2017. Fiona’s favourite part of being a vet is performing surgery on her patients to fix their problems and she has a particular interest in diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound. She also loves to help out our local charity, Galway Cat Rescue.

Her little sidekick Bailey is never far from her side. Bailey has come a long way since being rescued by MADRA. She now comes to work everyday with Fiona and has learned loads of cool tricks!

Outside of work Fiona enjoys walks with Bailey, horse-riding and performing with her local musical society.

Orla Ryan

Orla is our head veterinary nurse here in Briarhill.  She hails from Ballinderreen and qualified from UCD in 2017.  After an intership in the veterinary hospital she started working in Briarhill in September 2017.  She is a real animal lover, with two horses, two dogs and a cat at home to mind.  She has a keen interest in emergency nursing and loves giving our sickest patients some much needed TLC.

Outside work Orla enjoys a range of sports including camogie and athletics.

Orla Ryan Veterinary Nurse - Briarhill Vets
Rebecca Brett - Briarhill Vets

Rebecca Brett

Rebecca (or as we call her, Becca), one of our veterinary nurses, joined the practice in 2019 after completing her nursing degree in Letterkenny.  Becca has a real love for her patients and never forgets a furry face! She is fur-mom to two amazing dogs -Pepper and Charlie – and enjoys teaching them new tricks!

Becca has a keen interest in nutrition and weight management as well as general nursing and provides free of charge weight clinics to pets.

Outside work Becca enjoys walking her dogs and meeting up with friends.

Patrycja Gontarska

Patrycja joined our practice in July 2020, after graduating with a veterinary nursing degree from
UCD. She had previously done her work experience with us when she was in college and she liked it so much, she just had to come back. She always knew that veterinary nursing was what she wanted to do.
Patrycja is interested in animal behaviour, nutrition and enjoys helping out with the many dental procedures we preform in Briarhill. Her fluency in English and Polish helps break any language barriers with our Polish clients.
Outside of work she enjoys long walks, cooking tasty meals and reading detective and mystery

Amy Stagg

Feline fanatic Amy is the latest additions to our wonderful nursing team. Amy obtained her Veterinary Nursing from UCD in 2019. The owner of 9 cats and 1 dog, Amy has been informally christened as the resident cat lady within the clinic!

After a long days work, she regularly takes home sickly kittens and nurses them back to health. Given her special love of cats, it is unsurprising that Amy has a keen interest in feline medicine.

Outside of work, she enjoys watching true crime, socializing with her friends and spending time with her cats.