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.
Tríona Jacob BL. is the current Catherine McGuinness Fellow. Tríona is a practicing Barrister working in the areas of childcare and asylum and immigration law. Tríona has experience acting for parents in childcare proceedings as well as representing applicants for international protection.
Prior to commencing practice, Tríona graduated from The National University of Ireland, Galway with a Bachelor of Corporate Law (International) degree, having spent a year studying at Georg-August Universität, Göttingen. She also obtained a postgraduate LL.B. degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway and an LL.M in Public International Law from Leiden University. As a student Tríona represented Leiden University in the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition where she won multiple awards.
Prior to commencing practice, Tríona has worked as an Immigration Case Worker for a Solicitor firm, as a Case Processing Panel Member at the International Protection Office and as a Policy and Administrative Assistance at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. She has also worked abroad with the SUAS programme in Kenya and as an intern at Fair Trials International in London.