Ann Byrne

Senior Manager in County Wicklow Partnership
BA English and Sociology (1990)
H Dip Community Work (1993)

Ann graduated in 1990 with a degree in English, Irish and Sociology. Being lucky enough to have the likes of Frank McGuinness and Barbara Hayley as English lecturers, she says “it is probably not surprising that I developed a love of theatre and language that has never gone away. The time spent in the Aula with the Drama Soc was well spent – to this day I am involved in amateur theatre, and have been involved in acting and directing in Tipperary and Wicklow for over 15 years.” 
When Ann finished her degree, she still wasn’t sure what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up, so to speak.’ So she went to work for Coillte while I was making up her mind. After a couple of years Ann found that she was spending more and more time working on a voluntary basis with youth clubs, older people, community groups – and began to wonder was this an area in whichshe might build a career.  Ann began to investigate, and found to her joy that it was! So with a happy heart she returned to Maynooth in 1992 to do a post-grad in Community & Youth Work, and never looked back.
Ann has worked for a range of community and local development organisations around the country since graduating in 1993. For the past nine years she have been based in her home county of Wicklow, where she is currently a senior manager in County Wicklow Partnership. She is responsible for a number of programmes aimed at combating disadvantage, and the work is difficult but rewarding; difficult because on a daily basis Ann and her staff meet and work with people experiencing all kinds of hardship and poverty, and rewarding because they can often help them find ways to improve their situation. Ann says “I cannot imagine doing anything else, and it would not have been possible without Maynooth. I will always be thankful for the education I received there and more importantly the friendships and contacts I made, which continues to support me today.”