Aoife Dare, Youth Worker
Aoife joined the Irish Refugee Council as a Youth Worker in April 2016. Before taking up her current post, Aoife worked with Nasc Ireland as the Separated Children and Migrant Youth Intern where she provided an information and support service for young asylum seekers and refugees. Prior to that, Aoife worked in the field of refugee and migrant education on the Thailand-Myanmar border as a researcher with Save the Children International, a project coordinator with ADRA Thailand/Youth Connect Foundation and a trainer with the Mobile Education Project. Aoife is a qualified Youth Worker, holding a PGDip in Youth Work from University College Cork, as well as a BA in Modern Foreign Languages from the University of Leeds and an MA in International Education and Development from the University of Sussex.
Caroline Reid, Communications Officer
Caroline joined the IRC team in December 2013 as Communications Officer. Before taking up her post with IRC, Caroline worked as Communications Officer with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and ENAR Ireland. Prior to this, Caroline worked as a Community Development Officer in Kenya, working with rural communities on developing sustainable livelihood projects. She also freelanced as director and producer for a number of audio-visual shorts, with a strong focus on social justice and human rights issues. Caroline has a BA in Audio-Visual Media, specialising in television and radio production, and completed her MA in International Communications at DCU with a strong focus on media narratives, conflict and humanitarian responses.
Claire Tadla, Information and Referral Service Coordinator
Claire joined the Irish Refugee Council team for a second time in May 2016 as Information and Referral Service Coordinator, having previously completed a casework internship with the organisation during 2010/2011. Prior to taking up her current post, she has held roles within the Human Rights Unit of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and with the United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe, where her work focussed specifically on issues relating to human rights protection and access to justice. Most recently, she worked as a Programme Officer with Irish Aid during the Ebola crisis in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Claire holds a BCL in Law and German from University College Cork and a Masters in International Humanitarian Action from UCD.
Hassina Kiboua, Refugee Resettlement Officer
Hassina studied law in Algeria where she practiced briefly as a solicitor before going on to take a Masters’ Degree in International Law. Since arriving in Ireland more than ten years ago, she has worked with Spirasi, first with a women’s group (Zest) and then as a reception officer, providing information and explaining the legal process and rights to newly arrived asylum seekers. She has also worked as an interpreter with Spirasi, ORAC/RAT and more recently with the IRC. She holds an MPhil in International Peace Studies and conflict resolution from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to becoming the Refugee Resettlement Officer, Hassina was working as the Information and Referral Service Coordinator with the Irish Refugee Council.
Jonah Mudehwe, Finance and Administration Manager
Jonah has been employed as the IRC as Finance Officer in February 2010 having previously worked on a voluntary basis for the organisation. He has a degree in Business Studies from Zimbabwe and an MA in Development Studies from Ireland. He has over 20 years experience in the NGO sector in Zimbabwe including as Finance and Management Officer with World Vision Zimbabwe and 10 years as CEO of the Association of NGOs based in Harare. Jonah has worked in both the private and voluntary sectors in Ireland. He is currently studying for his ACCA professional accountancy qualification.
Nick Henderson, CEO
Prior to his appointment as CEO, Nick managed ‘Integrity at Work’, an initiative of Transparency International Ireland promoting supportive working environments for whistleblowers. Nick has also managed Amnesty International Ireland’s work on economic, social and cultural rights, was Legal Officer with the IRC Independent Law Centre from 2011-2014 and also worked with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland on the criminalisation of forced labour. Prior to coming to Ireland he was a legal representative for people seeking asylum with the Refugee Legal Centre in London from 2004-2010, during which he took a sabbatical and was Legal Officer with Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia. Nick graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA and Brussels School of International Studies with an MA. Nick was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2015.
Rory O’Neill, Integration: Housing & Employment Officer
Rory joined the IRC team in May 2015, initially part time as a researcher, working on the issues facing people transitioning out of Direct Provision. Prior to taking up the post, Rory spent nine years documenting the Direct provision system and its consequences as a photographer. Rory has BA in photography from GCD and an MFA in photography from The University of Ulster (Belfast) and a Post-Grad Diploma in Anthropology from Maynooth University.
Sara Singleton, Youth Advocacy Project Coordinator
Sara joined the IRC team in August 2016 and coordinates the Independent Advocacy Project – an advocacy, mentorship and befriending programme that supports and empowers young asylum seekers and refugees as they navigate the asylum process and adjust to life in Ireland. Sara spent almost three years living in London where she worked for an international education charity and had the opportunity to spend time working on projects in East Africa and India. She has worked as an English language teacher and as a facilitator with groups of young people and has experience working with asylum seekers and refugees, first with Spirasi in Dublin and later as a Trustee with a youth asylum seeker charity in London. Sara holds an MA in International Politics and Human Rights and is currently doing a PhD in Trinity College, Dublin. Her PhD is part of a project to design a virtual reality game to train international military and police in peacekeeping skills such as communication, cultural sensitivity and gender awareness.
The Law Centre
Brian Collins, Senior Solicitor
Brian was admitted to practise as a solicitor in November 2014, having previously worked in the Law Centre as a Legal Officer since 2012. He is a graduate of University College Cork and holds a Bachelor of Law degree (BCL) and a Master of Law (LLM). He has a keen interest in international refugee law and completed his thesis on Article 3 ECHR and non-refoulement. He continued his studies at King’s Inns and was called to the Irish Bar in 2010. He subsequently gained experience as a practitioner in the area of immigration and asylum law. Brian completed an internship in the IRC’s Information and Referral Service before joining the Law Centre as a Legal Officer. He is the ELENA (The European Legal Network on Asylum) co-coordinator for Ireland, and moderates the Refugee Legal Forum on behalf of the Irish Refugee Council.
Luke Hamilton, Legal Researcher
Luke joined the Law Centre in October 2015 as a Legal Researcher working under the Irish Research Council’s Employment-based Scholarship Programme. Luke is undertaking a fully-funded PhD from the School of Law at NUI Galway, where his research explores the role of vulnerability in the context of refugee protection, with a focus on credibility assessment of particularly vulnerable asylum seekers. In addition to doctoral research, Luke’s role in the Law Centre involves assisting the solicitors and legal officer with casework and legal research. Prior to joining the Law Centre, Luke previously held roles at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office in Bangkok and the United Nations University Headquarters in Tokyo. He holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and a BA from University College Cork.
Maria Hennessy, Legal Officer
Maria joined the IRC Independent Law Centre in August 2014. Prior to joining the Irish Refugee Council, Maria was a Senior Legal Officer at the European Council on Refugees & Exiles. She led and developed ECRE’s legal advocacy work in the field of asylum for more than four years as well as working specifically on developments concerning the recast Qualification Directive and the recast Dublin Regulation. She has a particular interest in asylum claims related to gender, sexual orientation and gender identity and was previously ECRE’s contact point for the European Asylum Support Office’s reference group on training and quality. She has conducted training for lawyers, public officials, university students and NGOs on a wide range of legal topics related to asylum. Previously Maria was also a legal researcher within the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner in the Department of Justice and Equality and was a Senior Appeals Caseworker at the former Refugee Migrant Justice in the UK. Maria studied law and environmental science at National University of Galway, Ireland and Leiden University and holds a Masters in Law and Development from the University of London. Maria is a member of the editorial advisory panel of RefLAW, a project of the University of Michigan Law School.
Stephen Collins, Senior Solicitor
Stephen graduated from University College Cork with BCL and LLB degrees. Following entry onto the roll of solicitors he worked with the Legal Aid Board in Finglas where he represented persons of modest means in the areas of family and child care law. He transferred to the Refugee Legal Service where he represented asylum seekers at all stages of the asylum process and headed a General Unit team as solicitor with management responsibilities. He moved into private practice as Head of Asylum and Immigration at Terence Lyons and Co. He joined the Irish Refugee Council in May 2015. Stephen has published several articles on refugee and human rights law-related issues for both legal practitioners and the general public.