The Executive Team 2020-2021
The Union of Students in Ireland is led by the 11-member Executive Team. They represent, and work on behalf of, 374,000 students across the island of Ireland.
Mobile: 087 276 3941
Lorna Fitzpatrick (she/her) is the 2020-2021 President of USI. Lorna graduated from Business & Human Resource Management at Institute of Technology Carlow. While studying in IT Carlow, Lorna got involved in the Students’ Union as a Class Rep, Part-Time Officer, Deputy President for Education and Welfare and spent two years as President of IT Carlow Students’ Union. Lorna left IT Carlow Students’ Union in June 2018 to take up the role of Vice President for the Southern Region with USI. Lorna was elected President of USI in 2019 and re-elected in May 2020.
Vice President for Campaigns
Mobile: 086 028 4961
Craig McHugh (he/him) comes from the wee county and studied at Dublin City University. McHugh is the previous USI VP for Dublin, a former Vice President in DCUSU and previously served as President of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union. Issues such as the right to housing, electoral reform, public transport and ultimately, making access to education a priority of the new government, are issues that Craig feels very strongly about. A belief in bringing people together and uniting different approaches and schools of thought to make for a more unified movement will be at the heart of his approach to work.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Number: 086 816 5498
Kevin McStravock (he/him) is a graduate of Ulster University and this year’s Vice President for Academic Affairs. Before joining USI, Kevin served three terms at Ulster University Students’ Union (UUSU), firstly as the Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs on the Coleraine campus, and latterly as the President for two successive terms. During his time at UUSU, Kevin led on the development of a Staff-Student Partnership Agreement, including a restructure of UU’s academic representation system and led the Union through the implementation of a new Strategic Plan.
Vice President for Welfare
Number: 086 065 1226
Clare Austick (she/her) is the Vice President for Welfare this year. She is from Galway and graduated from NUIG with a Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in Chemistry, in 2018. Clare started her journey in the student movement as a class rep where she became immersed in the world of student activism. She then went on to be elected the part-time Equality Officer, the Vice President for Welfare and Equality and then President of NUI Galway Students’ Union. She is passionate about breaking down the barriers to accessing education, consent, mental health, social justice and equality. She is fully committed to ensuring student wellbeing is at the core of everything USI does and is driven by making a positive contribution to society.
Vice President for Equality and Citizenship
Number: 087 926 8802
Marie (she/her) is the current Vice President for Equality and Citizenship having previously been the Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western region. Marie is originally from Tipperary but spent the past six years in Sligo where she studied a B.Ed. in Home Economics and Economics at St. Angela’s College, Sligo. In her final year, Marie was elected Vice President for Welfare and Equality and then served as the President of St. Angela’s College, Sligo Students’ Union. As President of a single sabbatical union she has a passion for all things Students’ Union including education, welfare and equality issues and worked on issues across these areas.
Marie has a grá for access to education and has spent a number of years representing students both on a local, national and international level. This year she will work on supporting and fighting for access to education and across the area of equality and citizenship. Although the remit of the Vice President for Equality and Citizenship is large, Marie is eager to work with and for the 374,000 of our members to make the experience of students better.
Vice President for the BMW Region
Number: 086 065 1225
Gary (he/him) is originally from the midlands and grew up in the beautiful countryside along the river Shannon in Longford. During his younger years he was actively involved in youth initiatives and developed a deep appreciation for recreation participation and self-development. He later enrolled in third level education at GMIT’s Mayo Campus in Castlebar, where he obtained a level 8 Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education and Leisure. It was his burning desire to give back to the student experience and so he ran for SU elections on GMIT’s Mayo Campus where had the pleasure of working alongside students as the VP for GMIT SU’s Mayo Campus for two terms. He has come to appreciate the supportive community ethos of the BMW region which has had a positive impact on his development as a sabbatical officer and looks forward to the year ahead.
Vice President for the Southern Region
Mobile: 086 028 4970
Ciara Kealy (she/her) is a proud Waterfordian at heart who loves her county. She spent four years in the ‘Real Capital’ studying Arts in UCC and then in UCC Students’ Union as Deputy President and Campaigns Officer. During her time in UCCSU, Ciara worked on many different campaigns such as Students Against the UCC Capitation Fee Increase, Break the Barriers, Save Hamza, Voter Registration Drives, and Occupy the Quad. Representing the student voice and protecting student rights have been key passions for Ciara in her time in the student movement alongside lobbying and rolling out local and national campaigns. As Vice President for the Southern Region this year, Ciara will be representing students in Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Carlow and looks forward to working with the fantastic officers and Students’ Unions across the Southern Region to bring about positive change for higher education in Ireland.
Vice President for Dublin
Mobile: 086 065 1229
Megan O’Neill is the Vice President of the Dublin region for 2020/21. She gained a bachelors honours degree in Marketing Management and went on to be the Vice President for Welfare and Equality in IT Tallaght and most recently TU Dublin SU. She has a lot of experience in a support role and looks forward to applying that on a regional and national level. She has a keen interest in mental health, accommodation, education and ending direct provision. She looks forward to working with the Dublin region to strengthen relationships, work on national campaigns, support grass root campaigns and support all students who take up leadership roles.
Clíodhna Ní Dhufaigh
Leas-Uachtarán don Gaeilge
Vice President for Gaeilge
Mobile: 086 065 1227
Tá Clíodhna (sí/í) ag tabhairt faoin dara bliain mar Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge in AMLÉ. Originally from Louth (hai), Clíodhna has a BA International in Media Studies and Irish from Maynooth University and completed a Masters in Irish during her first year in office (which she hardly every mentions). She is very passionate about the Irish language and wants to ensure all members of USI have an opportunity to learn it and get a grá for Gaeilge. Tá sí ag súil go mór le bliain eile a chaitheamh ag obair ar son chearta na mac léinn agus ar son na Gaeilge in Éirinn.
Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs
Mobile: 086 130 3102
Adam (he/him) has just completed his master’s degree in digital marketing and it’s now his mission to ensure that post-graduate students are represented and supported at national level. He was formerly the President of CCSU where he completed his undergrad degree in English and History. Upon completing his term, he moved to England for a year and then returned to Ireland to pursue his dream Masters in IT Carlow, where he also served as the first post-graduate officer for ITCSU. He is very passionate about representing the student voice, ensuring it is heard and that the needs of student are met. He is very excited to work as part of USI and to get to know so many excellent advocates and representatives within the student movement.
Ellen Fearon is our NUS-USI President for 2020-22, representing over 200,000 students, learners and apprentices in NI, with additional responsibilities of sitting on both the NUS and USI’s executive teams. Ellen served for one year at QUBSU as Student Activities Officer during 2019/20. During her time in the student movement, Ellen has fought for Climate Justice by forming a Climate Action Group, introducing the first local ‘Green New Deal’ on the island and fighting for fossil fuel divestment. Ellen has ran various student engagement campaigns, aiming to educate students about the power of Student Unions, and fighting for student workers’ rights. Over the next two years, Ellen’s work as NUS-USI President will focus on getting students through every step of the financial and educational recovery of COVID-19. Ellen’s focus is on building a grassroots, mass movement of students across NI in order to tackle the mental health crisis we face, fight for our FE students and to continue the campaign to achieve the free, lifelong and accessible education that our students deserve.