I am a qualitative researcher, activist, mam, and dog-owner from County Tipperary, Ireland. I’ve been a researcher in the area of disability rights for over 10 years. Before that I worked in lots of different teaching and learning support roles in schools and colleges in Ireland and Germany. In my earlier life I had jobs pulling pints, footing turf, washing pots and picking spuds. Our paths in life are seldom straight. At the moment I am funded by an Irish Research Council scholarship to do a PhD at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy in Galway. I seem to have been in my final year for a very long time.
There is easy-to-read information about my project here.
Project Background: People labelled as having an intellectual disability have historically been marginalised in public life for many reasons, but primarily due to disregard for their human rights. Their exclusion from positions of power at both the public and personal level is the norm. In Ireland, efforts are underway to affirm the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in law; however, institutional practices and people’s everyday experiences show that these rights are not guaranteed. Independent self-advocacy groups run by people with intellectual disabilities are relatively new in Ireland. I am learning about how self-advocates organise and direct their work. I hope to understand which policies, practices and interactions have the potential to promote the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in public and political life.
My PhD is supervised by Dr Eilionoir Flynn.
Other interests: I am a qualitative researcher with a particular interest in transformative and participative approaches to research. I have worked previously on projects in such areas as the deinstitutionalisation of people with intellectual disabilities, Traveller rights in education, the integration of disability rights into teacher education programmes, and intersectional discriminations in reproductive rights. I volunteer with the National Platform of Self-Advocates on their staff management committee and am a founding member and former convener of Tipp for Choice. I do not have free time as I have dogs and children and can often be found walking in the hills around Tipperary trying escape them. They are far quicker than me.
This website is primarily a place for me to record some of the things that I have written, made, or contributed to. It may also act as a filing box for random things I have no other place for.
Follow me on Twitter here.