2017 Programme

Sheehy Skeffington School 2017

Theme : Borders and Belonging, Migrants and Membership: Putting the Human back into Human Rights

Saturday 7th October 2017, Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin

Conor Gearty: Is the human rights era coming to an end – whither refugees & migrants?     Video

Siobhan Mullally: Beyond the limits of law – ‘we are migrants’   Video

Edel McGinley: New realities of migration and collective approaches to growing migrant  rights  Video

Sorley McCaughey: Climate changea driver of instability and violence  Video

Lucky Khambule: Moving forward – alternatives to direct provision and protecting the right to housing and work for asylum seekers and refugees  Video

Bernadette McAliskey: Universal rights begin in small places close to home  Video

Champa Costa: Why regularisation matters – the economic and moral rationale  Video



Biographies – all participants :

Carol Coulter: Carol Coulter is a former journalist, having worked with The Irish Times for 28 years, the last twelve as its Legal Affairs Correspondent and then Legal Affairs Editor. During her career she won a number of journalism awards, including Campaigning Journalist of the Year, Newspaper Legal Journalist of the Year and Overall Legal Journalist of the Year. In 2012 she left journalism to direct the Child Care Law Reporting Project, which reports on and analyses child care proceedings in the Irish courts. In February 2016 she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Law in NUI Galway, supervising a Ph D on child protection law.

Conor Gearty: Professor Conor Gearty has been writing on human rights and civil liberties for over thirty years.  He was Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights (2002-2009), Director of LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (2012-2016) and is Professor of Human Rights Law in the LSE Law Department.  He has published widely on terrorism, civil liberties and human rights, including (most recently) On Fantasy Island. Britain, Europe and Human Rights. Conor is also a barrister and was a founder member of Matrix chambers from where he continues to practice. He has been an  adviser to judges, practitioners and public authorities on the implications of the UK Human Rights Act, and has frequently lectured at home and abroad on the topic of human rights. He has appeared in human rights cases in the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal and the High Court, and been a visiting professor at many universities. 

Siobhan Mullally: Professor Siobhán Mullally is the Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the NUI Galway. She previously held the post of Professor (Chair) of Law and Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork, where she was also Vice-Head of the College of Business and Law. Siobhan is a Commissioner on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague and joint Editor in Chief of the Irish Yearbook of International Law. She has worked as an adviser and consultant on gender, migration and human rights to UN bodies (UNDP, UNIFEM, OHCHR) and to international NGOs, including most recently in Ethiopia, Timor-Leste, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Professor Mullally served as Chairperson of the Irish Refugee Council from 2006-2008. She is a member of the Odysseus European network of experts on Asylum and Migration Law and was previously the Irish member of the EU Network of Experts on Free Movement of Persons. She has published widely in the fields of gender, human rights, asylum and migration law. A full list of her publications is available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Siobhan_Mullally

Edel McGinley: Edel McGinley has been a community worker and social justice campaigner for many years. She has worked with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland since 2006 and is Director since 2014. In her time with MRCI she coordinated the Justice for the Undocumented Campaign and held responsibility for MRCI’s communications. She is the current chair of PICUM (the Platform for the International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) and a board member of Uplift, a multi-issue campaigning organisation. She is also a member of Ireland’s Low Pay Commission since 2015. Edel previously coordinated MRCI’s Domestic Workers Action Group, and work with migrant women in rural Ireland. Before joining MRCI, Edel worked in various social care and youth work positions. She has a BA in Applied Social Studies, an MA in Globalisation, and Diplomas in Youth and Community Work and Digital Media Technology.

Mirjana Rendulic: Mirjana Rendulic is an actress, writer and drama facilitator based in Dublin for the past 13 years. Stage appearances include Kalena in Anything But Love, Isabella in Measure for Measure, the one woman show Sylivia’s Quest and her written monologue Living on Light. Mirjana has acted in the RTE/BBC television drama series Amber and film work includes leading roles in The Last Show, Used, Ecstasy of Isobel Mann and in the up and coming Irish film Metal Heart. She is currently a Drama Facilitator with Laois County Council and the Abbey Theatre, has directed two shows with Portlaoise Youth Theatre and developed a Migrant Drama Project with the Abbey Theatre and the Migrants Rights Centre. Broken Promise Land was first produced in 2013 by Stone’s Thrown Theatre, written and performed by Mirjana.

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington: Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington is the grandaughter of Hanna and Francis Sheehy Skeffington. She is a recently retired Plant Ecology lecturer and won a case in November 2014 against her employer, NUI Galway, for gender discrimination in failing to promote her to Senior Lecturer. She is currently engaged in a campaign to redress the gender imbalance in senior posts in NUI Galway, specifically for five female staff deemed eligible like herself in 2009, but not promoted (see https://michelinesthreeconditions.wordpress.com/the-three-conditions/ for more information and to support). Micheline is currently undertaking a lecture tour of the US mirroring her grandmother Hanna’s tour 100 years ago to garner support for Irish independence. Micheline’s tour will honour her grandmother’s fight for justice and Irish freedom; along with highlighting her own campaign for gender equality against NUI Galway. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hanna-and-me-passing-on-the-flame#/

Anastasia Crickley: Anastasia Crickley is Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Elimination or Racial Discrimination (CERD) which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention by the 178 countries, including Ireland, which ratified it. Over the past year she has played an active role globally in the ongoing development of the UN Migration Compacts. Until Sept 2015 Anastasia was head of the Dept of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University, responsible for leading its academic and professional programmes which focus on social justice and rights work particularly in the Community and Youth Work fields. She was first Chairperson of the E.U. Fundamental Rights Agency 2007–11, Personal Representative of the Chair in Office of the OSCE on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination 2004-8, and is actively involved with Council of Europe initiatives in the fields of Human Rights and Discrimination. Anastasia is a founder member of Pavee Point, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism and is current Chairperson of Community Work Ireland.

Sorley McCaughey: Sorley McCaughey is Head of Advocacy and Policy at international NGO Christian Aid. He leads Christian Aid’s policy and advocacy work on climate justice. Prior to Christian Aid, Sorley spent most of the noughties working at the United Nations Development Programme, where his area of specialisation was governance, and in particular public sector reform, judicial reform, and anti-corruption programmes.

Lucky Khambule: Lucky Khambule is a founding member of the group Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) and is a campaigner and activist for the rights of asylum seekers, migrant and refugee communities in Ireland. He is also one of the founders of KRAC Asylum Today, a member of the Anti Racism Network, Irish Housing Network and the Dublin Tenants Association; and plays a key role in the Our Table project which works to highlight the need to end direct provision and facilitate change through conversation over food. Lucky lived in direct provision before being granted refugee status in 2016. He continues to be a voice for those trapped within the confinements of direct provision and actively campaigns against racism and for social justice, equality and dignity for all. MASI is the collective platform for asylum seekers in Ireland and demands the end to direct provision, opposes deportations and calls for the right to work and education.

Bernadette McAliskey: Bernadette McAliskey, was elected to Westminster in 1969, aged 21 as a N. Ireland civil rights campaigner, sitting in both Labour and Conservative led parliaments. (1969-1974). She has remained an active human rights campaigner spending much of her time in grass roots organising. In 1996 she co-founded S.T.E.P. (South Tyrone Empowerment Programme), a community owned resource, learning and development organisation of which she is currently CEO. Having been asked to leave Queen’s University in her final semester in 1969 and refused permission to sit her final examinations, she graduated from Judge Business School at University of Cambridge in 2007 obtaining a Master’s Degree in the philosophy and management of community enterprise.

Champa Costa: Activist Champa Costa, is a founder member of Ireland’s Justice for the Undocumented campaign. She has been living in Ireland for 15 years. She is committed to social justice and workers’ rights and to securing a solution for all undocumented people in Ireland. She has extensive experience in hotel and catering, and in the managing and running of restaurants. She is currently working in the care sector. Before coming to Ireland she trained and worked as a secretary. She has two children and two grandchildren living in Ireland.

Donal O’Kelly:  Donal O’Kelly is a playwright, actor and human rights activist. He will read excerpts from his forthcoming play 67 Words to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration 2nd November 1917 that granted British government support to the Zionist aim of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. 30 years later, the Nakba forced millions of Palestinians to flee their homeland, and the 1967 Israeli annexation of the West Bank drove many more Palestinians into exile. Arthur Balfour himself when Irish Secretary in 1887 introduced the Irish Crimes Act that sanctioned summary imprisonment for boycotting, and collective punishment of “bad” areas. 67 Words will run in The New Theatre Dublin from 30th October until 11th November www.thenewtheatre.com