Monday 18 December 2017

Early school leaver is Trinity's new student president

Lynn Ruane
Lynn Ruane

An early school leaver from Tallaght has been elected as Trinity College Dublin Student's Union's first woman president since 2003.

Lynn Ruane (30) left school after she did her Junior Cert exams and decided to return to full-time education in 2011.

"I was eight months pregnant when I did my Junior Cert and I left school after that," Lynn told the Herald.

"After that I went to An Cosan where I was able to study because they had a creche where I could bring my daughter while I went to classes."

Lynn went on to set up services with Bluebell Addiction Advisory Group and also did follow-up courses before deciding to return to full-time education.

"I got into TCD through the Trinity Access Programme and I'm currently in my third year studying philosophy, political science, economics and sociology," she added.

The Dubliner said she was "shocked" when she won the election on Thursday night.

"I couldn't believe it, I'm the complete opposite of the type of person who is normally the SU President," she said.

Accent

"I thought other students wouldn't want to hear what I had to say - they're not used to someone with my working class accent standing up at hustings.

"But I had underestimated the appetite for change and obviously they were ready for someone different."

Lynn has two children, Jordanne (14) and Jaelynne (8), and her plans for the year ahead are based on equality, inclusion and access and she said she wants her children to "grow up in a world where your gender, class, parental status or race is not a barrier to success".

She served as the Student Parent Officer on the SU this year and hopes she can mobilise Trinity students to protest about issues both inside and outside the university.

"I want to move the SU towards more political activism and I plan on holding workshops to educate students on certain issues and then put on a well-planned spectacular demonstration," she explained.

Former women presidents of TCDSU include Ivana Bacik and Averil Power.

hnews@herald.ie

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