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Margaret Downes

Primary and Secondary SENDCO

Born and raised in Foxrock, Co Dublin Margaret was educated by the Loreto nuns in her local convent school. She studied History and Political Science in Trinity College Dublin where she was part of a group of six students who established the Trinity History Workshop, a student publication company that publishes the primary research of undergraduates. A keen sportswoman she was captain of Trinity Athletic Club and captain of the Women’s Hockey Club. She has also been the captain of the First XI of Loreto Hockey Club and was at one time the wicketkeeper for the women’s First XI of Merrion Cricket Club, Ballsbridge.

On graduation, Margaret worked for the Confederation of Irish Industry before moving to their Brussels office to work in the Irish Business Bureau, liaising with both the Permanent Representation of the Irish Government and officials of the EU commission. She spent some time in Tours, France, perfecting her French, before arriving in the Belgian capital.

Margaret returned to Ireland to get married and to study Journalism in Dublin City University. She worked as a staff journalist with the then newly established Sunday Business Post, Ireland’s first weekly business broadsheet. She wrote for the news and feature sections of the newspaper and became its Media and Marketing Editor. From there Margaret became Press Officer for Eolas/Forbairt, Ireland’s state agency for Science, Innovation and Technology where she was responsible for communicating government investment decisions around R&D. Having cared for her father who had dementia, Margaret became Press Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland where she wrote its new national dementia strategy in 2006.

Margaret Downes short Biog (441 word count)

Born and raised in Foxrock, Co Dublin Margaret was educated by the Loreto nuns in her local convent school. She studied History and Political Science in Trinity College Dublin where she was part of a group of six students who established the Trinity History Workshop, a student publication company that publishes the primary research of undergraduates. A keen sportswoman she was captain of Trinity Athletic Club and captain of the Women’s Hockey Club. She has also been the captain of the First XI of Loreto Hockey Club and was at one time the wicketkeeper for the women’s First XI of Merrion Cricket Club, Ballsbridge.

On graduation, Margaret worked for the Confederation of Irish Industry before moving to their Brussels office to work in the Irish Business Bureau, liaising with both the Permanent Representation of the Irish Government and officials of the EU commission. She spent some time in Tours, France, perfecting her French, before arriving in the Belgian capital.

Margaret returned to Ireland to get married and to study Journalism in Dublin City University. She worked as a staff journalist with the then newly established Sunday Business Post, Ireland’s first weekly business broadsheet. She wrote for the news and feature sections of the newspaper and became its Media and Marketing Editor. From there Margaret became Press Officer for Eolas/Forbairt, Ireland’s state agency for Science, Innovation and Technology where she was responsible for communicating government investment decisions around R&D. Having cared for her father who had dementia, Margaret became Press Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland where she wrote its new national dementia strategy in 2006.

Having taken time out of her career to rear her family, Margaret returned to Trinity College Dublin to secure her Postgraduate Diploma in Education and taught History, English, Civic, Social and Political Education in Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock. Whilst there she also worked as a Resource teacher and decided to focus on Inclusive and Special Education. She secured First-Class Honours from University College Dublin in this specialisation and worked in Newcourt Special School in Bray, Co Wicklow where her focus was in using instructional intelligence. Margaret has also worked as a tutor to child actors engaged on film productions in Ireland.  

Margaret has a daughter Ciara who lives in Oxford, and a daughter Meadhbh who has studied in both Norway and Denmark and who now lives in Copenhagen. She lives with her husband James, and son Conn, in Blackrock, Co Dublin where she enjoys open sea swimming all year around. Margaret loves to play Bridge, and has a keen interest in cyberpsychology, politics and the dissemination of fake news across all forms of media.