Trinity PhD student Sinéad Burke has been appointed to the President of Ireland’s Council of State.
Burke, an activist for disability rights, is a graduate of Marino Institute of Education and is currently completing a PhD in human rights education.
Burke said she was “incredibly honoured to have been asked by President Higgins to be one of his appointees for Ireland’s Council of State”.
“I’m looking forward to learning from the Council and amplifying voices on issues of equality, access and education,” she continued.
The Council of State acts in an advisory capacity to the President. It consists of seven individuals of the President’s choosing, alongside government officials and former officeholders. Current members of the Council include Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and former Presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.
The President is required to consult the Council before carrying out certain functions, such as convening a meeting of the Dáil, the Seanad, or both.
Last year, Burke became a Contributing Editor of British Vogue and received an advocacy award at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, which took place during Milan Fashion Week.
Trinity professor Johnston McMaster was also appointed to the Council. McMaster is a lecturer in the Irish School of Ecumenics. His research interests include Celtic spirituality and contemporary social ethics, and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.
Additionally, Sindy Joyce, who recently became the first Traveller in Ireland to graduate with a PhD, is among the new appointees. Joyce received her PhD from the University of Limerick (UL) in January.
Joyce said she was “honoured to accept this appointment” and that she is “looking forward to working with him and the Council”.
President Higgins also appointed Cara Augustenborg, Maurice Malone, Mary Murphy and Seán Ó Cuirreáin to the Council.