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Joe O’Connor

President of the Union of Students in Ireland

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Joe O’Connor @TheUSI joe.oconnor@usi.ie GMITSU

A Roscommon native, Joe O’Connor is the first USI President in six years from an Institute of Technology Students’ Union.  He was elected at USI Congress 2013 in Ballinasloe after two years as President of GMIT Students’ Union, after a year as that union’s Vice President for Welfare.

Hailing from the small town land of Kilmore, O’Connor has an honours degree in Accounting and a Masters in Strategy and Innovation Management. Both his parents are retired, his father was a van driver and his mother a home and social carer. O’Connor has personal experience of coping with the increasing cost of college, having relied upon the maintenance grant throughout his time in college.

Following his election to the presidency of the national student movement, Joe said: “With more and more families being priced out of higher education due to ever-increasing fees and dwindling student supports, the need for effective national representation is more acute than ever.

At this time, 10,000 vulnerable students are still waiting on their first maintenance grant payment from SUSI and countless secondary school students wonder if they can afford to attain what should be their right; an education that best equips them to play their part in our country’s recovery.

I have spent the last three years dealing with students facing these enormous difficulties first-hand. These experiences will not only inform my term as USI President but also provide the necessary motivation in our fight to protect access to higher education.

While the challenges ahead will test the student movement like seldom before, I am ready to lead the charge and urge the students of Ireland to join me in the pursuit of a quality and affordable education system.”

 

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