Sen. Eileen Flynn
A trailblazer in her community, Flynn graduated from Maynooth University with a BA in Community & Youth Work in 2017, and is among 167 Travellers of a population of 40,000 to have obtained a third-level qualification. Flynn grew up in Labre Park in Ballyfermot, which was one of the first Traveller halting sites built by a local authority in Ireland. Now she is one of Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s 11 nominees to the Seanad.
One of Flynn’s lecturers in the Department of Applied Social Studies, Dr Oonagh McArdle, has described Maynooth University as a “learning lab” for the recently appointed Senator. Flynn agrees, saying that while in the Seanad, she is intent on applying the skills and knowledge she learned while studying at MU. “I do it with the heart and the eyes of a community development worker,” she said. In her first speech in the Oireachtas, Flynn expressed hope that she “would be that person that would break down barriers for Travellers.” And she is already making headway, as the newly-appointed chair of the Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community. The key issues under considerations are Traveller health, including suicide levels, which are six times higher than the general population; school completion rates and educational attainment; labour market participation — Traveller unemployment rate is 80% — and access to housing and accommodation. Additionally, Flynn has firmly in her sight new hate crime legislation, as well as the Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill to include Traveller history and culture as part of the education curriculum.
His broadcasting career commenced on Hospital Radio Wexford. He has worked with local and national radio stations throughout his career. The morning programme was re branded as the South East Radio Morning Mix, Chat, News and Your Views in August 2009 with Alan at the helm.
Seldom star struck, his interview with Johnny Cash and drummer Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy left him mesmerized. Alan is married to Ann Marie and has 2 children and together they are the apples of his eye!
Lisa McDonald is currently a member of Wexford County Council having been co-opted in July 2016. She had formerly served as a member of Wexford County Council ( 2004- 2007) and was a Senator from 2007 to 2011.
Jimi Cullen is an Irish Folk Singer, Musician, Songwriter, Producer and Activist. His music was once described as “what you might get if Bob Dylan had a baby with John Prine and fostered it out to Neil Young and Woody Guthrie” and, to be fair, it’s pretty hard to argue with that upon listening to some of his songs.
Jimi’s music is indeed steeped in the same folk traditions and songwriting sensibilities of the above four. From humorous songs about love and small minded assholes a la Prine, to snarling protest songs in the vein of Guthrie and Dylan, straight through to some good old fashioned rock and straight up country that tips a definite hat to The Godfather of Grunge himself, Neil Young.
Yes, Jimi is definitely from the old school style of singer-songwriters. Pure, honest songs, from the heart, without the bullshit, take it or leave it.
That’s not to say though that Jimi doesn’t have an original sound of his own, in fact, quite the opposite is true. Jimi’s music has a unique, refreshing and often uplifting sound which blends elements as varied as folk, rock, punk, country, blues, reggae and spoken word.
To encompass all this, Jimi has coined the term Renegade Folk, which he feels perfectly describes his inimitable musical style, firebrand attitude and thought provoking lyrical content and is also aptly reflective of his use of music as a form of activism and protest.
Sylvia Dianne Beverly
Sylvia Dianne Beverly is an Internationally acclaimed poet, presenting poetry In London, England, at the Lewisham Theater. A collection of her work is housed at George Washington University’s Gelman Library, Washington, D.C.
She has been featured at Smithsonian’s Museum of History, African Arts Museum, Hirshon Museum and other Smithsonians in the Nation’s Capital.
Ladi Di celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Maryland State Poet Laureate and Host Grace Cavalieri, reading on her show “The Poet and the Poem” at the Library of Congress Experience. She is author of two books, “Forever in Your Eyes” poems and “Cooking Up South”, recipes and poems. Ladi Di is a founding member of “Collective Voices” Poetry Group. She is “Poet of Excellence 2020 for Prince George’s County. Ladi Di is a courageous member of the “Voices of Woodlawn”. She is also a member of the Poetry Poster Project and the visionary and director of “Males Making a Difference in Our World”. Ladi Di is the proud Matriarch of her family.
‘Rachel Grace is the real deal. Not only a songwriting talent far beyond her years, her voice creates a soulful well of sound from which any listener would want to drink deeply’ – Rob O’Connor, Irish Beats, BeatFM ‘The best thing to come out of Wexford since Rissoles!’- Ray Colclough , WLR FM ‘For one so young, there is so much wisdom and heart’ – Hazey Lake, The Noisy Plug, Dublin City FM
‘Rachel has the voice and professionalism that is way beyond her years.. genuine and soulful- the world needs more Rachels’ – Brian Deady
JMA are a Wexford band entailing James Meyler, Michael Egan and Anne Meyler along with Mick O’Brien on bass and Keith Devereux on drums
Welcome to the Woods, the remnants of Polyphonic X – Shane Ryan, Johnny Byrne – infused with the musical genius – Kevin Carley on Bass and Derek Black – keeping the beat on Drums. We are a rock band at heart with a hint of electronic…
We have been locked down like the rest of the world pretty much since we formed and are using our time writing and recording whenever we can but can’t wait to start playing gigs as we all have played festivals including the Electric picnic and venues around Dublin and Wexford.
Currently we are half way recording our first album.
Cathal is an apprentice Solicitor from Brookhill, Ballyhogue – the eldest son of Peter, a beef farmer and Theresa, a primary school teacher.
Educated at Kiltealy NS, Boolavogue NS and the FCJ Secondary School in Bunclody, he graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours degree in Law and Business and a Masters in Law. He will qualify as a Solicitor in 2020 having previously worked on the successful Congressional election campaign of Joe Kennedy III in Boston (grandnephew to the former US President) and in the Office of the Irish Attorney General.