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Friday night at Tom Johnson Summer School

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Friday panel at Tom Johnson Summer School - Our first panel of Tom Johnson 2013 (from L-R); Michael Barron, Director of BeLonG To; Frances Byrne, CEO of Open; Minister Kathleen Lynch; Rosaleen McDonagh, Traveller and Disability Rights Activist; Julianne Cox, Labour Youth and Jack Eustace, Labour Youth.
Our first panel of Tom Johnson 2013 (from L-R); Michael Barron, Director of BeLonG To; Frances Byrne, CEO of Open; Minister Kathleen Lynch; Rosaleen McDonagh, Traveller and Disability Rights Activist; Julianne Cox, Labour Youth and Jack Eustace, Labour Youth.

Over the weekend we'll be posting updates from party members who are attending our Tom Johnson Summer School. If you're not able to attend, do pop back here for updates or you could follow the conversation on Twitter using #TJ13. Our first update is from Ciara Galvin.

After a long day's travelling for many, the 19th annual Tom Johnston summer school kicked off in Cork yesterday with a strong start. The theme was challenging privilege and Michael Barron of BeLonGTo started proceedings with a thought-provoking speech about challenges and inequalities which face young LGBT people in Ireland today.
Minister of State for disability, equality,  and mental health, Kathleen Lynch  TD, offered interesting observations based on her own work about how people suffering from inequality often have their suffering compounded by isolation.

Roseleen McDonagh gave the "most nuanced discussion of intersectionality at any Tom Johnston ever", one Labour Youth member observed afterwards, while Frances Byrne of Only gently reminded us why we do what we do, while being strongly critical of the austerity agenda.

As final speaker of the evening, Rebecca Blaike gave a keynote address as the youngest leader ever of the Canadian social democrats. In her commitment to left-wing politics, she provides a blueprint for any young social democrat considering running for election. In terms of passion and invigoration, her speech almost rivalled Michael D Higgins in previous years. All in all a great start with many more interesting speakers to go.

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