The work of the Social Justice staff team is overseen by the National Social Justice Committee, which is a committee of SVP members representing the eight geographic regions of the Society as well as a number of special appointees with expertise in particular policy areas. The National Social Justice Committee is currently chaired by Nessan Vaughan.
The work of the staff team and National Social Justice Committee is supported by the Social Justice Network, a network of over 300 SVP members across Ireland. Members of the Social Justice network provide information to the National Social Justice Committee and staff team about social justice issues arising through their visitation work, as well as responding to regular surveys on issues such as education, in-work poverty and housing.
Members of the Social Justice network also provide anonymised case studies of the lives of the people they assist which illustrate to policy makers the reality of living on a low income in Ireland.
The current Social Justice Team of the Society of St Vincent de Paul are:
Nessan Vaughan - Chair of National Social Justice Committee
Nessan worked for over 30 years in the public service at the National Manpower Service, Department of Labour and FÁS. During this time he held a number of senior positions: Regional Manager of Community and Employment Services and a senior Policy Manager, where he had national responsibility and represented FÁS at EU level.
In 2010, Nessan, driven by a passion for social justice and equality, decided to leave the public service and to work (full-time) as a volunteer in the Community and Voluntary Sector. In addition to being Chair of SVP’s National Social Justice Committee and an active volunteer for his local SVP Conference and Area/Regional Councils, he is also Chair of the Northside Partnership, North Dublin MABS, New Life Centre (Darndale) and of The Employment Network (North Inner City). Nessan is also a Director of several other Not-For-Profit organisations in Dublin’s Inner City and Northside where he provides, amongst other things, support and advise on corporate governance.
Tricia Keilthy - Head of Social Justice
Tricia Keilthy joined the Society of St Vincent de Paul in 2016 and currently co-ordinates the policy and advocacy work of the Society. She works closely with the SVP National Social Justice Committee to identify social justice issues emerging through the experience of SVP members and the people we assist and develop solutions and policy proposals.
Tricia has over twelve years’ experience of applied social research and has worked for a variety of organisations such as the Combat Poverty Agency, One Family, the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, as well as a variety of research roles with TCD and UCD. She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on topics such as comparative social policy, family policy, and research methods and also holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD. Tricia has a PhD in Social Policy from UCD and a Masters in Applied Social Research from TCD. Tricia currently volunteers with a visitation Conference in Dublin’s south inner city.
Marcella Stakem - Research and Policy Officer
Marcella joined SVP in January 2018 as Social Policy Development Officer. She has responsibility for Education, Housing & Homeless Policy. Marcella holds a Masters in Community & Youth-work from Maynooth University and a Postgrad in Law from Dublin Institute of Technology. She passed the Law Society of Ireland exams in 2007 and worked as a legal executive and apprentice solicitor in two leading Dublin law firms.
She has worked in a variety of voluntary and community settings as a Youth Worker, Traveller Accommodation worker and as Research and Policy Officer for Traveller Accommodation. She has co-authored research papers on Traveller Health and Traveller Accommodation. Her other interests include addiction and mental health research.
Issy Petrie - Research and Policy Officer
Issy joined SVP in January 2020 as Policy and Research Officer. She works on the themes of income adequacy and energy policy.
Issy has worked at the Carnegie UK Trust as a Policy and Development Officer, at the New Policy Institute as a Research Analyst, and at the Living Wage Foundation supporting employers to pay the Living Wage. She has co-authored reports on in-work poverty and government responses to destitution in the UK, as well as on regeneration in towns.
Issy has an MSc in Urban Studies from University College London, and a BA in Geography from Durham University. Her other interests include community-led change and regeneration.