About the Author
Born and raised in Dublin Ireland, I became politically aware at a young age. I was 16 when George Bush Junior was pushing towards an invasion of Iraq. I joined the anti-war movement and attended weekly meetings helping to organise and publicise protest marches in Dublin and Shannon. After finishing secondary school I spent 2 months travelling through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt during which time Israel invaded southern Lebanon. A year later I travelled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories with a group of Irish political activists, journalists and community workers to learn more about the situation on the ground. We met with peace activists, refuseniks, medical professionals, university professors and students and I witnessed first hand the violent treatment of Palestinians at check points and how the Israeli occupation affects the lives of ordinary people.
I went on to study for my Bachelor Degree in International Relations at Dublin City University graduating in 2010 with first class honours. During my time in university my interest in Middle Eastern politics grew to include a great interest in Latin American Politics (particularly the then emerging move to the left), the political role of human rights, economic neo-imperialism, women’s rights, US foreign policy and the role of multinational corporations and NGOs in creating the current world system.
Between my first and second years of study I travelled through Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. Following my second year in university, as my course did not have an Erasmus option in a Spanish speaking country, I deferred my final year of studies and travelled to Central America on my own for 6 months to improve my Spanish and learn more about the cultures of these countries.
After finishing University, in November of 2010, I returned to Central America for a further 6 months during which I spent time working as Volunteer Coordinator and PA to the General Coordinator of a small development project (Caras Alegres) located in Las Rosas, a small village outside of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. I witnessed first hand the level of poverty and social exclusion felt by Guatemala’s indigenous population, particularly indigenous women.
Since returning to Ireland I have spent time working as a volunteer researcher with the Latin American Solidarity Centre and as a web communications volunteer with the European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland. I will be leaving again for Nicaragua in a few weeks where I intend to spend a number of months volunteering.