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This was a live recording that took place at University College Dublin as part of the UCD Volunteers Overseas annual forum. The theme of the event was The Age of Activism – making space for intergenerational learning and it was sponsored by Concern Worldwide, Comhlamh and UCD international.

This wide-ranging conversation featured 3 inspirational voices for change.


Caoimhe Butterly is, without doubt, one of the most impressive activists I have ever met. She has lived in solidarity with communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon for over 15 years. She has spent the past five years involved in refugee, undocumented and asylum-seeker support networks in Greece, Lebanon, the Balkans, Calais and Ireland. Now living in Dublin, she is also studying and working in the area of Systemic Psychotherapy, with a focus on collectively experienced trauma. She also makes short documentary films, one of which, ‘The Border’ won the 2016 ICCL Human Rights Film Awards.


Codie Preston is from Jobstown in Tallaght and is a past UCDVO volunteer. He studied science in UCD and travelled to Haiti and India with UCDVO. As a young person, he attended Citywise Education, an organisation that promotes education in a fun and engaging way. He continued to stay involved as a volunteer and now sits on the Board of the charity. He has worked as a secondary school teacher for the last 10 years and was involved in the campaign to release Ibrahim Halawa, a former student of his, from prison in Egypt. He is also a recipient of a Youth Award, in the Tallaght Person of the Year awards and has been involved in various other campaigns and believes in young people, education and social justice


Ursula Barry is Associate Professor in social economics and gender studies in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice in UCD. Ursula has wide-ranging experience as a researcher and policy analyst in the area of gender equality in Ireland, the EU and globally. She has been a committed activist and writer on reproductive justice, gender equality, LGBT issues and human rights in Ireland since the early 1970s and has written extensively on the economic and social situation of women in Ireland.

The conversation started with me asking the panel to reflect on the previous speaker at the conference, who was Michael Doorley, who is the Head of Active citizenship at Concern Worldwide. Michael’s talk was a hope-filled speech about his many decades of work for social justice and he’s someone I hope to interview in a future episode. The conversation really gets going after that where each of the guests reflects on their early influences, their journey in creating change, and their hopes for the future.

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