Event Speakers 2017

Cody Keenan

Cody Keenan has been a speechwriter for President Barack Obama for nearly a decade, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to Director of Speechwriting at the White House.

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Bob Shrum

Bob Shrum has served as Senior Advisor to numerous Democratic Presidential campaigns, and has been described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party.” He has also served as press secretary to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy from 1980 to 1984 and political consultant until 2009.

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Caitriona Perry

Caitriona Perry is the Washington Correspondent for RTE – Ireland’s public service media organisation. Based in Washington DC, her beat covers the whole of the United States and beyond.

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Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy is Ireland’s leading media personality and has won numerous awards including a Meteor Award and a TV Now Award.

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Niall Breslin

Niall Breslin, known as Bressie, is an Irish musician and former Westmeath Gaelic footballer. His work in the area of mental health education and empowerment began during his time on The Voice Of Ireland after his own struggles with anxiety led him to open up publicly on the issue.

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Sinead McSweeney

Sinead McSweeney leads both Twitter’s Public Policy and Communications team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as serving as the Managing Director of Twitter’s operations in Ireland.

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Bertie Ahern

Bertie Ahern was first elected to the Dail in 1977, and since then he has served in various ministerial roles – culminating in three terms as Taoiseach.

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Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly is best known for his mastery of pastry having spent 20+ years perfecting his skills in the culinary industry, he is also widely known for his role as a judge on TV3’s infamous bakery show – The Great Irish Bake Off.

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Katherine Zappone TD

Minister Katherine Zappone is an Independent member of Dail Éireann, Minister for Children and a former Independent Senator (2011-2015).

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David McCullagh

David McCullagh is a journalist with RTÉ. After 12 years as Political Correspondent, he became a presenter on Prime Time in 2013.

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Mark Durkan

MP for Foyle, Former leader of the SDLP and Deputy First Minister, Northern Ireland. Member of the Westminister Committee on Exiting the European Union.

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Mary Lou McDonald TD

Mary Lou McDonald – Deputy Party Leader, Sinn Fein, shadowing An Tánaiste, and all-Ireland Spokesperson on Mental Health & Suicide Prevention.

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Ian Paisley Jnr

Ian Paisley has been the Member of Parliament for North Antrim since 2010, winning by the largest majority and vote in Northern Ireland amongst his party. He is the DUP spokesman for Agriculture in the House of Commons and sits on the Northern Ireland Select Affairs Committee.

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Tony Connelly

Tony Connelly is Europe Editor for RTE News. He has been covering EU and European Affairs from Brussels since 2001.

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Prof. Mary E. Daly

Professor Mary E. Daly is one of Ireland’s most prominent senior historians and is a member of the government’s Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.

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Dr. Robert Schmuhl

Robert Schmuhl is the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University.

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Dr. Robert Mauro

Robert M. Mauro, PhD is the executive Director of the Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute at Boston College.

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Regina Doherty TD

Regina Doherty T.D. is the Minister for Employment and Social Protection following her appointment by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., on the 14th June 2017.

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Kevin Dundon

Kevin Dundon is the Chef/Proprietor of Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant in Co Wexford.

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Pådraig Naughton

Pádraig Naughton became Executive Director of Arts & Disability Ireland in 2005.

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Sarah McInerney

Sarah McInerney is co-presenter of Newstalk Drive, a fast-paced current affairs drivetime show.

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Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri

Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri is the Ameer/ Head-Imam of Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre, Ireland and Founding Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration.

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Tomi Reichental

Tomi Reichental was born in 1935 in Slovakia. He was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944.

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Joan Burton TD

oan Burton TD is currently the spokesperson on Finance, Education and The Arts and is a former Leader of the Labour Party and Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Social Protection from 2011 to 2016.

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PJ Lynch

P.J. Lynch illustrates children’s books and has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and the Christopher Medal three times.

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Prof. Richard Aldous

Richard Aldous ​is ​a ​​professor of history at Bard College, New York, where he holds the Eugene Meyer Chair. He previously taught for fifteen years​ at UCD​.

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Verona Murphy

Verona is the President of the Irish Road Haulage Association and Managing Director of DruMur Transport Limited, Ramsgrange, County Wexford

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Senator John Dolan

Senator John Dolan has been the CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland since 2000.

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David Woolner

David B. Woolner is Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute, Senior Fellow of the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College, and Associate Professor of History at Marist College.

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Gina London

Gina London is an Emmy winning former CNN correspondent and anchor and international campaign strategist who has recently permanently relocated to Ireland.

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Felix M. Larkin

Felix M. Larkin was academic director of the Parnell Summer School from 2012 to 2015. He has also written extensively on Irish press from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Mike O'Connor

Mike O’Connor is Assistant Head, School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, he also works in Dublin Castle.

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Lisa Chambers TD

Lisa Chambers is a Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo and the Party’s spokesperson on Defence and currently sits on three Dáil committees Children and Youth Affairs, Budgetary Oversight and Foreign Affairs and Defence.

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Elizabeth Whyte

Elizabeth Whyte has been the Executive Director of the Wexford Arts Centre since 2006.

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John McGuirk

Political Commentator, Vice President for Corporate Communications with Rivada Networks

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Peter Cassells

Executive director of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at the National University of Ireland.

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You can also view Speakers from the 2016 Summer School.