After thirteen years of service with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Eoin Carroll said a last goodbye on Friday 29 March 2019. He will take on a new role as Policy and Public Affairs Manager with Extern, one of Ireland’s leading social justice charities, working with the homeless, young people and families in difficulties, and the Traveller community.
Eoin Carroll joined the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ) in February 2007 as Advocacy and Social Policy Research Officer. A past pupil of Belvedere College SJ (1999) Eoin says he hadn’t hear of the JCFJ and it was a chance encounter that he became aware of the vacancy. On the back of working with children who were homeless and a Master’s degree in social policy, he was keen to influence policy and the lives of people excluded at a national level – “the Centre was a perfect fit.” he says.
Eoin contributed to countless JCFJ reports, policy submissions, press releases, and articles, and represented the Centre on our national airways. From October 2009 to January 2011 he was Interim Director during which time he acquired funding for the JCFJ’s conference ‘Re-Imagining Imprisonment in Europe,’ which was held in Trinity College Dublin in 2012. The Conference was a launchpad for the Centre in terms of its profile, and positioned it as a key actor and advocate in the prison reform landscape.
Since March 2017 Eoin has been Deputy Director of Centre. Focusing on the needs of young adults in prison he has represented the Centre at Oireachtas Committee meetings and successfully influenced the Justice Committee to include specific recommendations on the needs of young adults in their 2018 report.
Collaboration and networking was very important in Eoin’s work in the Centre. This included engaging with European and international Jesuit networks as well as initiatives at home, such as joint projects with the Education Delegate in producing social justice resources including the module, ‘On the Margins’.
Eoin’s main policy focus has been prison reform but he also contributed heavily to the Centre’s policy work on housing and homelessness. It is evident that his work in this area was heavily influenced by Peter McVerry. In the first few months of joining the Centre he co-wrote an article in the Centre’s journal Working Notes with Peter ‘Homes not Hostels’, which highlighted the over-reliance on hostel accommodation and the private rented sector to provide homes for people on low incomes. More recent contributions by Eoin have questioned current government policy approaches and have recommended the need for public housing, rather than market based, solutions.
While having a good understanding of Ignatian identity when he joined the Centre his ‘formation’, as he describes, “matured and grew deeper through his work, and interaction with others in the Province.” Having completed a recent two day retreat he spoke about becoming aware of just how much Ignatian spirituality, along with the Jesuit mission of promoting justice, has influenced him.
In the run up to his departure Eoin expressed his immense gratitude to the Irish Jesuit Province saying that he feels, “privileged to have worked with truly amazing people; it has been such a positive experience, that has enriched me personally and developed me professionally.”
We wish Eoin well and thank him for his contribution to the work of the Irish Province and his well-crafted stories for Irish Jesuit Communications.
If you would like to contact him: [email protected]; @eoincarrollis.
Photo: Eoin giving a presentation on his prison work at an Oireachtas committee debate.