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Email: ruairi @community.ie

About Ruairí

ruairi bio pic 333Ruairí McKiernan is an award winning campaigner, consultant and Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State. His work focuses on social justice, health and community empowerment campaigns, projects & publishing. This includes contributing to newspapers (Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Sunday Times, Huffington Post), radio (RTE, Newstalk, Today FM, BBC), TV (RTE, TV3, BBC), public speaking, and advisory work for numerous non profits and campaign groups in Ireland and internationally.

Originally from Cootehill in Co. Cavan, Ruairí studied Business Management in Scotland before working for various multinational companies in the U.S and Australia. Returning to Ireland he joined the North Western Health Board and got more involved in social justice and environmental issues before setting up the pioneering SpunOut.ie national youth organisation where he was CEO from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 he was one of the organisers of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Ireland and in early 2012 was  appointed by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to the Council of State. He is on the boards of Gaisce - The President’s Award, and The Soar Foundation and is a recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright TechImpact Award, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, a Net Visionary Award and a Junior Chambers Ireland Award.

During July Ruairí undertook a one month hitchhiking ‘listening tour’ around Ireland that took in 17 counties, countless conversations, 27 radio interviews and no shortage of learning and adventure. He is planning to write a book about the experience and is currently looking for patrons or sponsors for the project.  He is also working on an online platform for people powered change in Ireland.


Click here for info on Hitching For Hope


Sample coverage of hitching project

Sample recent media

  • Men do cry
    Irish Independent. November 08, 2013

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Awards and scholarships

- Korea Foundation Next Generation Leaders (Korea), 2013
- Boston College Irish Insitute Programme (USA), 2010
- Ray Murphy Leadership Scholarship, 2010
- Junior Chambers International (Ireland) Award, 2009
- Digital Media Award, 2009
- Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award (Connaught), 2008
- Irish Internet Association: Net Visionary Award, 2008
- GK3 Young Global Social Entrepreneur, 2007
- Eircom Golden Spider Award, 2007
- Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, 2007
- Health Service Innovation Award, 2006

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Media links