Minister Harris Announces Emer O’Neill, Luke O’Neill & Shane O’Donnell as Creating Our Future Ambassadors

Posted on 14 Oct 2021

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD,  has announced three ambassadors for the Creating Our Future campaign. 

They are:

  • Shane O’Donnell, hurler for County Clare, Fulbright Scholar, geneticist 
  • Emer O’Neill, Home School Hub and RTE Today presenter, PE teacher, children’s education campaigner 
  • Professor Luke O’Neill, Chair of Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin.

Events and activities with the ambassadors to promote the Creating Our Future campaign will take place in the coming weeks, with both in-person and virtual activities planned.  

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said, “As the Creating our Future campaign continues around the country, I am delighted to be able to announce our campaign ambassadors who are going to help ensure that we can bring this conversation to everyone, all the people of Ireland, because everyone’s ideas are important and we want to hear them all.

“Luke, Shane and Emer all are extremely well respected for their areas of work and for the passion they bring to really important subjects, and I am excited to have them on board. I’d like to thank our Ambassadors for joining us for this important project,  and I look forward to working with them”

The Creating Our Future Roadshow is currently on a tour of every county in Ireland. A significant increase in submissions was noted in areas visited by the roadshow, with Sligo leading the way in terms of submissions received per capita.  

In relation to the campaign progress, the Minister said, “Ideas are coming in from all over the country, and we are pleased with the breadth and variety of engagement and ideas from the public.  We have just over a month and a half to go, so I really am encouraging as many people as possible to go online and make their submission, it only takes a couple of minutes, and it is really important.”

Prof Luke O’Neill, “I am delighted to be part of this innovative and first of its kind campaign in Ireland. Hosting a national conversation on research, encouraging the public to submit ideas for research that is important to them. I feel very passionate about this campaign, it is important that the public are involved and understand the potential of research, and in turn the more researchers understand the needs and interests of the public, the more informed their work can be.”

Emer O’Neill, “This campaign is hugely important, as it opens up the conversation about what our society, economy and country needs. I feel very strongly about the need for research into social inclusion, equality, and integration as well as access to education and learning, however, I look forward to hearing about what others care about and what others believe should be a priority.”

Shane O’Donnell, “My hope is to utilise my network and understanding of research, as someone who works in the science industry with a PHD in research, to help bring this campaign to families across the country.  Research is so critical and is behind everything. If you take the GAA or sports for example, there is a huge amount of research ongoing into fitness, health, performance, and mental wellbeing of players. That is why I am supporting this campaign and will do what I can to get the word out to my peers.”