I am a community work and youth work practitioner, educator and researcher with a passionate commitment to social & environmental justice, equality and human rights. In the Department of Applied Social Studies, I serve as the first-year co-ordinator of the BSocSc Community Work & Youth Work and co-ordinator of the BA Applied Social Studies programme.
On the professional programmes in community work and youth work, I teach community development, environmental justice and sustainabilty, professional practice skills, research skills and the sociology of youth and community. I also deliver undergraduate and postgraduate social policy modules in the areas of climate justice, sustainable development and environmentalism, as well as supervising postgraduate dissertations in this area.
My areas of research interests revolve around the intersections of climate/environmental justice, the social professions of community work and youth work and social policy. My PhD research explored the role of community development in achieving environmental justice for communities in north-west Ireland who faced the threat of extractivism in the form of fracking for methane gas. My research in this area will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Community Development Journal published by Oxford University Press.
In addition to this focus on community development for climate justice, a current research focus is on youth activism for climate justice, green youth work and the role of the youth sector in supporting young people’s participation in climate policy making.
Public contributionsAlongside my academic work, I have a strong commitment to the social professions of community work and youth work and to the role of the university in supporting a just transition to decarbonisation. I work to advance this through public contributions and through serving in a number of roles:
- Convenor of the Climate Justice Working Group of Community Work Ireland;
- Convenor of the Climate Justice Working Group of Maynooth Green Campus;
- Member of the Maynooth University Social Justice Week Committee;
- Representative of the Department of Applied Social Studies on Youth Action Northern Ireland’s Climate Justice Critical Thinking Pool.
Before joining the Department as a full-time staff member, I worked as development worker with Galway City Community Network (the Public Participation Network for Galway City), an occassional lecturer on environmental justice in Maynooth University and in a variety of roles as a freelance facilitator, trainer and researcher.I have been actively engaged in the climate justice movement in local, national and global spaces for over a decade. From 2019-20, I lived for a year as a Buddhist monk in Chithurst Forest Monastery, West Sussex, which was a practical exploration of how humanity can live in tune with one another and nature.
I have served as board member and chairperson of Friends of the Earth Ireland (2016-19) and as a board member of Community Work Ireland (2011-16), Young Friends of the Earth Europe (2013-15), the National Youth Council of Ireland (2009-11) and Scouting Ireland (2008-11).
I hold a professionally endorsed (AIEB and NSETS) MA qualification in community work and youth work and a BA in history, where I focused in my dissertation on the history of insanity in 19th century Ireland.
Social mediaYou can find me on Twitter