Advisory Group

The Equality Fund Advisory Group comprises experts on equality, human rights and community development, members of minority and marginalised communities, leaders in the creation of equality law and institutions and others with strong international experience. The group is a resource with wide-ranging expertise and networks allowing the Fund to develop partnerships with civil society. While not involved in day-to-day activities, the group aids problem solving, advises on core strategic areas and how to learn more from the Fund’s activities with its partners.

Lynn Ruane

Senator Lynn Ruane, an independent member of Seanad Éireann, has represented Trinity College graduates in the Oireachtas since 2016, serving as the deputy leader of the Seanad Civil Engagement group since then. Elected to the Seanad while president of TCD’s Students’ Union, she entered as a mature student through the Trinity Access Programme. Her legislative priorities have focused on equal access to education, gender equality and reproductive rights. She has tackled socio-economic inequality and advocated for progressive reforms of drug, migration and social welfare policies. Before entering politics, she developed addiction programmes for 15 years as a community worker in West Dublin. She is the author of the award-winning memoir, 'People Like Me'.


Suzy Byrne has been involved in community work and campaigning on disability and equality issues for 30 years. She is a regional manager for the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities which provides professional representative advocacy for disabled individuals who may need support in decision-making. Suzy is a director of Iarnród Éireann and one of the first disabled people to be specifically recruited to a state public transport board. She is also a board member of the Irish Council of Civil Liberties.


Amel Yacef, a youth and community sector worker in Ireland for over 20 years, has managed and coordinated social justice, equality and human rights projects. She has been a volunteer with organisations and campaigns fighting for a more just, equal and caring society. Amel currently works in the National Youth Council of Ireland. Describing her practice as transformative and compassionate justice, she has extensive experience in organising and mobilising young people and local communities, enabling those voices to speak out confidently and influence political discourse.


Anastasia Crickley is a community worker supporting the struggles of communities in Ireland and
globally with a focus on anti-racism. Until 2015, Anastasia was head of the Department of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University (MU) educating for community and youth workers in Ireland. She is chairperson of Community Work Ireland's policy group and European director for the International Association for Community Development. She was president of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism (CERD), first chairperson of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and currently sits on the National Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) charged with overseeing the development of a National Action Plan on Racism for Ireland.


Maria Joyce is a member of the Traveller community. Maria is currently the Coordinator of the National Traveller Women’s Forum and a long time Traveller activist who has worked to achieve Traveller equality and human rights over the past 25 years. She has been part of a number of campaigns most notably the campaign for recognition of Traveller ethnic status and continues to work to create the conditions to bring about Traveller women’s equality both within the community and in the wider gender movement.