New Speakers 2018
John is a former corporate lawyer, now retired from active commercial life. He gives his time and expertise to pro bono work, primarily in the healthcare sector, and is currently Chair of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. John lives in Dublin and is a family man with children and grandchildren
Alexandra is from Dublin and is a student of Law and Business at UCD.
Andrew is a chartered accountant, UCD graduate, husband, dad, and sports nut: he’s a Liverpool fan and former Chairman of St Patrick’s Athletic, Dublin. Andrew is currently chairperson of Monkstown Parish Pastoral Council and is a partner in PwC, leading PwC’s Asset Management business in Europe.
Evana is a solicitor by profession but at the moment is working as a mother and homemaker, while studying psychotherapy part-time. She is married with four children and lives in Dublin.
Jason is a student of Law with History at UCD. In 2017 he interned with a Texas charity law firm who represent indigent prisoners on death row. Jason has a lifelong passion for history and is also interested in philosophy and debating.
Mairéad is a university student from Galway, currently pursuing a degree in Education and Psychology in Limerick. She is already well acquainted with Pope Francis, having met him at the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland, along with 3 million other young people. Mairéad is a fluent Irish speaker, and a talented Irish dancer, featuring on the Late Late Show and TG4’s Fleadh TV.
Melissa is from Kildare and is passionate about her faith and her family. She is currently a student and when she isn't hitting the books enjoys reading, gourmet chocolate, and occasionally socialising. Melissa was a lance corporal with St. John’s Ambulance and loved going to concerts and matches to provide First Aid
Maria is a columnist with The Irish Catholic newspaper with a keen interest in politics, education and human rights issues. She loves social media interaction, current affairs, hiking and travel. A former nurse, Maria is married with six children and lives in Kildare.
Sam Shephard works as a research scientist in the area of natural resources management, where he is inspired by the call to stewardship of creation. He is originally from the UK, now living in Dublin and is married with seven children. Sam is a convert to the Catholic faith.
A graduate of film and broadcasting, Petra worked as an independent film-maker and part-time lecturer in film production for several years, before completing a Masters in Applied Theology. She also has qualifications in legal studies and in adult education. She has been the Coordinator of Catholic Comment (Catholic Voices Ireland) since its inception in 2011. Petra is from Kildare, but wouldn’t mind being from Galway, where she has roots.