Catherine McGuinness Fellowship


In 2015, the Children's Rights Alliance established a prestigious one-year Fellowship Programme for newly-qualified barristers to work as part of our Legal and Policy Team on law and policy reform for children in the area of children's rights and child law. The Fellowship is entitled the Catherine McGuinness Fellowship in honour of one of Ireland's greatest children's champions. This programme has been developed in partnership with The Bar of Ireland and with the support of the Family Lawyers' Association of Ireland. The Fellowship has been hugely successful, providing us with the dedicated in-house expertise of a barrister as well as providing the Fellow with a unique developmental opportunity, enhancing their reputation and future employability. Fellows can become champions for children's rights and become better able to advocate to protect, promote and fulfil children's rights in their work.

Noeleen Healy BL. is the current Catherine McGuinness Fellow. Noeleen is a practising barrister working the areas of immigration, asylum, family law and general civil law. Noeleen represents applicants in appeals at the International Protection Appeals Tribunals, in Judicial Reviews at the High Court and clients in family law matters at both the District and Circuit Court.

Prior to commencing practice at the Bar, Noeleen worked as a caseworker with the Refugee Legal Service and, before that, as a judicial assistant, assigned to the asylum, immigration and citizenship list at the High Court. She has also worked as a legal researcher for a public body. Noeleen has volunteered with FLAC as well as with a number of migrant-rights and civil society organisations. 
Noeleen was educated at NUI Galway, obtaining, first, a commerce degree followed by a postgraduate degree in law. She then obtained an LLM in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict from the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Noeleen completed her barrister-at-law degree in 2018, and, at the same time, she obtained an advanced diploma in data protection law.