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Goleen student honoured for her humanitarian work

May 16th, 2021 11:50 AM

By Jackie Keogh

West Cork student, Mair Kelly, has been named Student Activist of the Year (Photo: Méabh Lonergan).

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A STUDENT from Goleen has been named Student Activist of the Year for her work in relation to climate justice, refugees, and human rights issues.

Mair Kelly (22), whose family home is a stone’s throw from Barleycove Beach, was informed of the award on Thursday, April 29th.

‘I knew I was one of four nominees but I did not expect to win,’ Mair – who is studying international development and food policy at UCC – told The Southern Star from her student accommodation in Cork.

It should not have been a surprise because Mair was also nominated in 2020, and made the shortlist on that occasion too.

The award presented by Student Achievement Awards Ireland was made in recognition of Mair’s work in supporting refugees and asylum seekers living in Cork county by fundraising for support projects, as well as an Art in Action project that provided young children with art supplies.

Her climate justice work with the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and the YMCA involved the creation of a workshop – in collaboration with SpunOut.ie – which explained to young people why climate change is such an important issue.

In relation to her work on human rights, Mair organised several events dealing with sexual health education, homelessness and LGBTQ rights.

But the highlight for her was interviewing the former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, at the launch of the NYCI Climate Justice Manifesto last July.

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