Staff

Aoife Coleman, Housing Officer

Aoife joined the Irish Refugee Council in January 2018 as Housing Officer, having previously interned in the Drop in Centre. In her current role, she assists with the Housing Pilot, as well as working on housing related issues with those trying to transition out of Direct Provision or living in the community. Aoife has a BA in Geography and Sociology from Trinity College and an MA in Development Studies from DCU. She previously worked with the Dublin Simon Community, taught English in Spain and volunteered with a range of non-for-profit organisations.

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Aoife Dare, Youth Worker

Aoife has been working with the IRC since May 2016. She oversees IRC’s work with young people including facilitating our youth groups and managing our youth projects. As well as group work, Aoife offers young people one to one and case work support. She is also responsible for applying for funding for our youth projects.  Aoife has an MA in International Education and Development, and a PGDip in Youth Work. Before joining the IRC, Aoife worked on the Thailand-Myanmar border as a trainer, facilitator and researcher.

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Caroline Reid, Communications Officer

Caroline joined the IRC team in 2013 to manage the organisations communications. Caroline oversees the IRC’s online presence and digital platforms and campaigns, and coordinates media engagement work, often acting as a spokesperson for the organisation. Caroline also coordinates member, supporter and donor engagement, event planning and organisation, and outreach and community fundraising events. Prior to this, Caroline worked as Communications Officer with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and ENAR Ireland and as a Community Development Officer in Kenya. Caroline holds a BA in Audio Visual Media and MA in International Communications.

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Charlotte Byrne, Education Officer

Charlotte joined the Irish Refugee Council in May 2015 initially for a six month period to manage an education fund donated by the Community Foundation for Ireland.  During that process it became apparent that there was a real need for somebody to support people in the asylum process regarding their educational needs.  Supporting education has only been possible through the generous donations of members of the public, and each year we have seen a growth in the numbers of people attending third level courses.  During this time Charlotte was also completing an MSc in Equality Studies at University College Dublin having previously obtained a BSc in Social Science at UCD.

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Claire Tadla, Information and Referral Service Coordinator

Claire joined the Irish Refugee Council team in May 2016 as Information and Referral Service Coordinator, having previously completed a casework internship with the organisation during 2010/2011. Claire oversees the work of the organisation’s Drop-In Service providing information and advice to clients on a range of issues associated with the international protection process. Claire enjoys working directly with clients and providing support to resolve issues and engage with various services in Ireland. Claire also assists in facilitating Identity LGBT Group, a social support group for LGBT individuals who have experience of the international protection process. The group is run in partnership with Change of Address, an artistic and creative collective. Prior to working with the IRC, Claire worked overseas with the UN in Zimbabwe, with Irish Aid in Sierra Leone and within the Human Rights Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Claire is a Law and German graduate from University College Cork and holds an MSc in Humanitarian Action from University College Dublin.

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Greta Keegan, Employment Officer

Greta has recently joined the IRC as Employment Officer, and is coordinating a programme aimed at addressing the barriers to employment experienced by women who have refugee status in Ireland. This programme involves an employment preparation course, mentorship and a supported work placement. If you are interested in becoming a professional mentor, or delivering a workshop, or in providing a work placement at your place of work, please contact Greta.

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Hassina Kiboua, Refugee Resettlement Officer

Hassina is the Resettlement Officer with the Irish Refugee Council. Hassina’s role is to provide information on rights, entitlements and obligations of resettled refugees in Ireland and assist them in accessing their rights, such as applications for family reunification, travel documents and visas. She provides training on resettlement, family reunification and intercultural support work to staff/organisations and volunteers working with resettled refugees. Hassina also manages a project training interpreters and community intercultural support workers on best practice interpretation and cultural mediation in the asylum process. In conjunction with her work in the IRC, she is pursuing a PhD research in Trinity College Dublin. Hassina is a qualified solicitor, she holds a Masters’ degree in International Law and an M-Phil in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Refugee and Immigration Law in the Honourable Society of Kings Inns and a Professional Diploma in Human Right and Equality in the Institute of Public Administration (IPA).

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Heidi Holden, Caseworker

Heidi has recently taken up the role of Caseworker, providing support to both the Law Centre and the Drop-in Centre, in assisting applicants to make their case for International Protection and Family Reunification. Heidi previously worked as an intern in the Drop-in Centre This work follows on from her pervious experience with the Immigration Advisory Service in the UK. She is soon to complete an LLM in International Human Rights Law.

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Ismay Dunne, Receptionist

Ismay’s current role with the IRC is as Receptionist. She is first point of contact for people coming in to the organisation and fields all calls, emails and appointments as well as scheduling people to meet with caseworkers at our Drop-In Centre. Outside of the day to day management of reception Ismay is also responsible for several administrative duties within the office. Prior to this, Ismay has worked alongside migrants and asylum seekers in various capacities but most notably with the Anti-Racism Network where she has been involved in campaigns against institutional racism and campaigning for improvements in the lives of migrants in Ireland. She also has a range of experience working with disadvantaged/vulnerable people including the homeless and those from the travelling community.

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Jonah Mudehwe, Finance and Administration Manager

Jonah is responsible for financial and administration management, including regular financial reporting that keeps the financial health of the organisation in check and informs decision making.  Jonah is taking his final ACCA professional exams. He brings vast experience in financial and senior management, strategy and governance to the Council, having previously held the position of C.E.O. for the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations based in Zimbabwe for 10 years, and also as an Acting C.E.O. for the Council. He has held the position of Finance Manager in other organisations like World Vision in Zimbabwe and Cairde in Ireland. Jonah is also a Board member for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and ENAR Ireland.  He holds a Bachelor of Business Studies degree from the University of Zimbabwe and also an MA in International Development Studies.

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Nick Henderson, CEO

Nick is the CEO of the IRC and is responsible for operational management, fundraising, advocacy and policy development, media and day to day governance. Nick reports to the Board of the IRC. Prior to his appointment as CEO in October 2016, 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. In his spare time he likes reading, music, football, cricket and, when he gets the chance, surfing out west.

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Rory O’Neill, Integration Projects Manager

Rory joined the team in May 2015, initially part time as a researcher, working on the issues facing people transitioning out of Direct Provision and became the Integration Project Manager in 2018. Rory developed and expanded his initial work to include a Housing Pilot, which see people accommodated in secure tenancies, and employment based projects done in partnership with different employers and employment support agencies. Aside from the projects that Rory oversees he also provides specialised advice and support to people relating to housing and employment, their general wellbeing and integration after time spent in reception centres.Prior to working with the IRC, 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.

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Rosemary Hennigan, Policy and Advocacy Officer

Rosemary joined the Irish Refugee Council as Policy and Advocacy Officer in April 2018. Her role is to develop policy positions and offer independent scrutiny of both government and EU policies on the asylum process and refugee law. Rosemary identifies strategies for the successful implementation of rights-focused policies in key areas, including the right to work for asylum seekers, Ireland’s engagement with the new CEAS directives, and developing an alternative to Direct Provision. She also ensures that the views and experiences of people in the asylum process are heard and amplified in the organisation’s policy work. Rosemary is a solicitor qualified in Ireland, England and Wales. She holds a Law degree (LL.B) from Trinity College and a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania (LL.M) where she attended as a Fulbright Scholar.

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The Law Centre

Brian Collins, Senior Solicitor

Brian is Senior Solicitor at the IRC Independent Law Centre and currently oversees the Law Centre’s work. He provides representation to clients at all stages of the international protection process. Brian was called to the Irish Bar in 2010 and subsequently gained experience as a practitioner in the area of immigration and asylum law. He joined the Law Centre as a legal officer in November 2012, and in 2014 he changed roles when he was admitted to practise as a solicitor. Brian 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. Brian is a graduate of University College Cork and holds a Bachelor of Law degree (BCL) and a Master of Law (LLM).

Katie Mannion, Managing Solicitor

Katie Mannion BCL (NUIG), LLM (Essex) is the Managing Solicitor of the IRC Independent Law Centre. She is responsible for delivering the Law Centre’s litigation and casework strategy and managing the Law Centre to ensure a high quality service for all clients. Prior to joining the IRC, Katie was a solicitor with the Immigrant Council of Ireland Independent Law Centre, where she represented vulnerable migrants and wrote Child Migration Matters. Following qualification as a solicitor in 2010, Katie held legal research and policy positions at Amnesty International Ireland and with a children’s rights campaign, Stand Up for Children. She also holds a Certificate in Child Law from the Law Society of Ireland and diplomas in Legal French and Legal Irish. Katie is also a Board member of the Children’s Rights Alliance.

Luke Hamilton, Legal Officer

Luke’s role involves providing Law Centre clients with assistance at all stages of the international protection process and carrying out policy research on issues relevant to Ireland’s international legal obligations to refugees and asylum seekers. He is currently conducting the IRC’s research on best practice in reception conditions for asylum seekers – work which is funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Tomar Trust. Luke is also undertaking an Irish Research Council-funded PhD, at the School of Law at NUI Galway. His doctoral research is examining the impact of vulnerability and special needs on the international protection status determination process. Prior to joining the IRC, Luke worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations University Headquarters.

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