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2008: Eibhlin Byrne

Fellows in Residence

The Right Honorable Eibhlin Byrne
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland

Public Address: "Moving the Celtic Tiger: Civic Leadership in 21st Century Dublin"
Shaw Hall, Younts Conference Center at Furman University
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Byrne was elected the 339th Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, in June 2008. A member of the Fianna Fáil Republican party, she is the sixth woman to hold this title. As Lord Mayor, she sees her position as “about more than just politics.” Her goal is to unify the various interests in Dublin: the city’s objectives of being a knowledge city and an innovative and creative city, the city’s desire to promote enterprise that can compete in the global economy, and the citizens’ need for their voices to be heard, particularly those who are homeless, abused, or neglected.

About Lord Mayor Byrne 

As City Councillor, Byrne has served as a member of both the Housing Strategic Policy Group and the Dublin Regional Authority. Through her efforts on these committees, she has worked to address housing and social issues as well as transportation concerns in the Dublin area. She also served as a member of the Dublin Bay Taskforce, working to preserve the amenity area of Dublin Bay. Moreover, she has demonstrated her commitment to diverse members of her community as chairperson of the National Council on Older People and chairperson of the Visiting Committee for Dochas Prison.

Besides her official work on the Dublin City Council, the Lord Mayor has held appointments to several community organizations. She has served as an advocate for the homeless as a part of the Depaul Trust Senior Management Team and has been a volunteer for the Rape Crisis Centre. A Senior Manager for Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services, she has also reached out to numerous families, and in particular, as a board member of Console, she has helped bereaved families of suicide victims.

Before serving in public office, the Lord Mayor was a secondary school teacher. She speaks fluent French and has worked to coordinate language programs between students in Ireland and other European countries. Her educational qualifications include a B.A. in French, Economics, and History, H. Dips in Education and TEFL, and a Masters in Equality Studies. She is married to Ken, and they have three daughters, Clare, Lisa, and Aisling. 

Press Coverage 

The Greenville Magazine, November 2008 issue written by Jill Fuson, the Riley Institute Events and Programs Manager,  and Furman's student publication, The Paladin