I’ve set up EmigrantManifesto as part of my bid for election to the Seanad in 2016 Seanad.
I’m running for election on the National University of Ireland panel to make sure the Irish abroad finally have a say in Irish politics and to address the social and economic challenges that drive emigration.
Born in Ballinasloe, Galway and brought up just over the border in Roscommon, I’m the youngest of two boys to Johnny and Pat, local teachers.
I was educated at Creagh N.S. and St Joseph’s College Garbally before going on to study psychology at NUI Galway and further degrees at the University of London and Dublin City University .
After a stint at the Department of Justice I joined Amnesty International Ireland where I began working as an advocate for human rights. Over the past 7 years I’ve worked with individual activists and communities from around the world, on issues as diverse as mental health, climate change and corporate tax avoidance, making sure people can claim their rights and hold governments and companies to account.
Living in London for the third time in 10 years, I relocated most recently in 2011 to now work with the international charity ActionAid UK where I lead their political and corporate engagement and, occasionally, moonlight as a cook.
I’m happy to be joining Barry in highlighting the issues facing the 1 in 6 Irish citizens living abroad by running as a candidate for the University of Dublin (Trinity College) panel in the upcoming Seanad election.
I’m running for election because I feel Ireland’s position as one of the few modern democracies which affords its citizens abroad no right to vote while abroad is indefensible, especially considering we have one of the largest proportions of citizens living elsewhere.
Like many who left during Ireland’s recession, I want to return home, and to stay engaged in the political and cultural life of my home. I believe Ireland’s government and political parties should be doing all they can to keep emigrants engaged and interested in returning.
I was born and raised in Dublin and attended Kildare Place School in Rathmines and St. Andrew’s College. I have a degree in History from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in European Politics from UCD.
I left Ireland in 2011 for a job in Brussels and have been working in communications here since for the European Greens, Greenpeace and now Seas At Risk, a marine environmental NGO. While I’ve enjoyed the experience of living abroad, I remain engaged with Ireland, its politics, social developments and current affairs. Yet as an Irish citizen abroad, I have neither a vote at home nor a vote here in my country of residence. That’s why I am standing with Barry in the one election that does allow our emigrants a say in Ireland’s future.