Galway City is a frontrunner in relation to supporting the implementation of the Public Sector Duty, a legal obligation on all public bodies to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users.

Galway City Community Network, together with partner organisation Galway City Partnership and with the support of Galway City Council, continue to work towards building the collective capacity and engagement of rights holders through the development of a Civil Society Panel.

This work is supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty

Equality and Rights in Action Galway Project

Galway City Civil Society Panel

My name is Lee Anna Ward and I am working in the Galway Traveller Movement (GTM) as a Community Development Worker/Traveller Activist.

I enjoy working alongside GTM, other representatives and communities in fighting for equity and equal rights for all.

My name is Marian Maloney. I started my life in Sligo town, born to Pat and Bridget Maloney and grew up with 2 brothers, John and Tony. Following the sudden death of our father Pat at the young age of 11 years old, my family relocated to Galway where I have lived ever since. I have led a full and busy life up until now, raising 5 children, all of whom I am very proud of and I have 4 grandsons.

In 2009, I became a Guide Dog owner when Yaz, a beautiful Golden Retriever changed my life by giving me newfound independence. This allowed me to pursue my interest in community and disability activism on a whole new level. These days, I am assisted by a Golden Labrador, called Leon.

I have lived my whole life with a visual impairment, I have encountered many challenges and obstacles along the way, all of which I have learned something from. I am not a Politician, I am a Mother, a Grandmother, a Community Activist, an Educator, and although I may not be able to see, I can certainly listen and speak.

Working with and for you, and the wider community of disabled people, I give a commitment to work on the Civil Society Panel towards equality and human rights for all residents of Galway City.

My name is Xtremea Ewean. I am a wheelchair user living in Galway. Coming to Ireland really uplifted my spirit. As a foreigner and asylum seeker in Ireland, in the beginning, it was not easy. But meeting people and making new friends and getting to know a little about the country I now live in made me fall in love with Ireland.

I am a member of IWA (Irish Wheelchair Association) and also a member of Titans Basketball Club here in Galway. I enjoy going for training and playing alongside and with my wonderful basketball team and travelling around different counties in Ireland to play in the Irish Wheelchair Basketball league. It is just amazing! The beautiful landscapes and the diversity of each county in Ireland like their accents and looks are beautiful to behold. As a foreigner, it is important to me that I know and understand how things were/are and how things function in Ireland or to understand the system here in Ireland.

This Civil Society Panel, I believe, will enable me to integrate well into the system. I am participating on the Panel as a way of joining the community and getting to know and understand the community that I now live in.

My name is Liz Hackett and I am 73 years old. I worked in retail until 2001 when I was made redundant. I come from a Trade Union background. I became active at the age of 18 when there was a need for action during a very cold winter and we, women were not allowed to wear trousers on extremely cold premises. The male shop Stewarts would not call the Union so we girls got together and went to the organiser who of course took up our case. We went to the Labour Court and won. I was elected to the Branch Committee and the Galway Council of Trade Unions.

I was the first female President of the Galway Trades Council elected in 1982. I was also elected to Galway City Councillor in 1984 much to my surprise. While I dealt with many cases of unfair dismissals during my time as a Shop Steward, I also dealt with many cases of Sexual Harassment in the workplace. I am now involved with Age Action which advocates for the Elderly.

My name is Islammiyah Saudique-Kadejo and I am the Founder/Director of Amdalah Africa Foundation – AMDAF, a charity dedicated to promoting and supporting women and community development, recognition and justice.

I am a social justice advocate, social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author, and cultural conservationist. I hold a first degree in Mass Communication specialising in Broadcasting and a Masters’ degree in Gender, Globalisation & Rights from the National University of Ireland Galway.

I founded the premier ethnic minority interest community Radio in Galway (Galway Online Community radio – GOCOM Radio) in January 2021, which is under my leadership as AMDAF President. And I am also the CEO of GOCOM Radio. I lend my voice to women development and advancement through the Africa Women Roundtable, an annual gathering of women I convene for women to hold conversations on challenges facing them, with the aim of finding solutions and maximising their potentials.

I am happy to be part of the panel because I believe there is a need to build and strengthen civil society if we are serious about bridging equality and representation gaps and securing the rights and interests of the people. As a wife and mother, I believe cultural responsiveness is crucial to promoting diversity and inclusion in any society.

My name is Cameron Keighron and I am currently a PhD Student in Electrophysiology studying Parkinson’s Disease at NUI Galway.

I have been involved in Advocacy, Activism and Volunteering over the past decade starting with writing letters for Amnesty International as a teen in school. I am the current Chair of AMACH! LGBT+ , the President of the ENLIGHT Student Board, student partner in the Inclusive Learning and Teaching project and a Youth Panel Member on the D1 Now study looking to improve healthcare for Type 1 Diabetics. I am passionate about changing the way we view the world around us and ensuring that all folks feel empowered to have their voice heard.

This Civil Society Panel will allow me to lend my experiences as a non-binary person with a disability and as a passionate advocate for minority communities to provide a more inclusive society in Galway city and county.

My name is Anne Marie Stokes, I am a project worker with Galway Traveller Movement.

Galway Traveller Movement was established by Travellers and settled people in Galway with the aim to achieve equality and self-determination for the Traveller community in Galway city. Since its inception, it has been a force in creating positive social change for Travellers with a strong emphasis on mobilising Travellers to work collectively to challenge discrimination in all its forms. The organisation is committed to the principles of community work, such as active participation, collective action, lobbying and campaigning to bring about positive social change for Travellers.

While working with the Galway Traveller Movement, I returned to education, as a Mature Student. I gained entry to NUI Galway by going through the access course route, it was a rewarding and fascinating experience. The process made me realize that I loved education and gave me the confidence to take on a degree course. It was a challenge for me because I left school at fifteen years old without any qualifications. I was out of my comfort zone, and in an environment, where I felt very out of place.

There is less than 1% of Travellers in third-level education in Ireland. Having said that with a lot of encouragement from my work colleagues and brilliant lecturers and tutors, I graduated from NUI Galway with a Batchelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts Degree.

Education has empowered me to advocate for equality for my community, I joined the Civil Society Panel because I believe that if we are to live in a democratic society, equality must be at the forefront of every public sector organization.

My name is Lisa Cannon and I am an LGBT+ youth support worker with shOUT! youth project, Youth Work Ireland, Galway.

I have a keen interest in LGBT+ rights, inclusion, awareness and education, especially in the youth sector.

My name is David Byrne and I am an Advocacy and Policy worker. I have worked in homeless services for a number of years and am passionate about housing and homelessness issues.

My name is Elaine Harvey and I have recently retired after a long working life. Throughout that life, both personal and professional, I have always tried to use my voice to amplify the voices of those who find it hard to be heard.  Those groups have included women especially those parenting alone, people with intellectual disabilities, the low paid and the unemployed.

While I am a confident speaker, I am also a strong believer in active listening.  I look forward to using my life experiences to increase the space for all in our society.

My name is Lisa Fenwick and I am a Community Development Worker for the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) in the West, covering Galway City and County and County Roscommon. I joined DFI in 2019 and have over 13 years of experience in Disability Service Provision supporting and advocating for children and adults with physical, sensory, intellectual and complex disabilities.

Since 1995 my career has been based solely in not-for-profit organisations in Ireland and England and I have worked in a variety of community-based services including Threshold Women’s Mental Health, NCH Action for Children, Cope Galway and Cluid Housing supporting a diversity of people including homeless women, children and young adults, older people and the Traveller community.

I am an active volunteer in my children’s Educate Together school and have established intergenerational links with the local older people’s Day Centre and co-edited a multi-cultural cook book, Fusion, which was awarded funding from Galway County Council under the European Region of Gastronomy. In my spare time, I like reading gothic literary fiction.

Equality and Rights in Action Galway Steering Committee

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