Every Month, STAND brings you a quick fire Q&A from people who work in NGOs, with government or in community projects. This month, we speak to Rory O’Neill who works as integration project manager with the Irish Refugee Council.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
I work in the area of integration for people who have been through the ‘Protection Process’ – have sought asylum and are now free to get on with their lives. It involves supporting people to access education, employment and housing.

What do you love most about your job?
The variety of people that I get to work with, being part of their journey and the incredible resilience and agency they exhibit.

What do you dislike most?
Dealing with the various state agencies and the lack of common sense and bureaucracy that prevail.

How did you get into this area?
I studied photography and anthropology, while focusing on the asylum process in Ireland. I began to volunteer with the Refugee Council and before long it turned into a full time job.

What advice would you give to students who want to work in this area?
Study what you have an interest in – see where this can be applied into working in this sector, you would be surprised where it can lead.

For more information on the Irish Refugee Council see here.
Click here to read the previous instalment in this series, where we spoke to Labour Senator and abortion rights activist, Ivana Bacik.

Photo: fundraising run courtesy of Irish Refugee Council 

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