Dr Katriona O’Sullivan - Her Story

Growing up as one of five children in a home shaped by heroin addiction, the odds were low on Katriona O'Sullivan making anything of her life. Lower still when she became a mother at 15 and ended up homeless. Five rackety years followed – barely coping, drinking to escape – until Katriona, now living in her father’s native Dublin, finally hit rock bottom.   

During her schooldays there had been teachers who looked out for Katriona, who were beacons of stability in a chaotic childhood. They planted seeds of self-belief. In Dublin when she sought help, she found mentors whose encouragement revived that self-belief. She got clean, got a flat and a job as a cleaner and, eventually, got into Trinity College’s access programme. 

 Today Dr Katriona O’Sullivan is an award-winning academic whose work explores barriers to education. Poor is her upcoming memoir which tells the extraordinary story – shocking, moving, funny, brave – of Katriona’s struggle to make something of her life, and of her ongoing battle with the legacy of her early years. It is an impassioned argument for the importance of looking out for our poor kids, of giving them hope, practical support and meaningful opportunities. 

Listen Here - Further Conversations with Katriona

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