About This Event

Facilitated by ‘The Two Norries’

James Leonard and Timmy Long are both from the northside of Cork city and their popular podcast covers themes across the social and health sphere with a particular focus on addiction, drug use, crime and recovery. Guests include people’s personal stories of overcoming adversity as well as professionals’ perspective on issues discussed in the podcast. The podcast is designed to be informative, sensitive and educational while having a laugh in the process. Tough issues are spoken about and explained with sensitivity and humour with the hope of reducing stigma and stereotypes.

We want to talk about supporting careers after conviction, and what we can do at key moments during someone’s time within the justice system to facilitate that progression.

Together, we want to increase employment options for people with criminal histories as a way of reducing reoffending, promoting active citizenship, safer communities and fewer victims.

This timely collaboration between Gaisce – The President’s Award and the Working to Change Strategy is about changing the all too often negative narrative that implies that the presence of a conviction means a lack of job opportunities and prospects, to one of hope and transformation through self-development.

This event is about expanding the dialogue across justice agencies and employers – getting heads in the room – and moving forward together on a path of change.


In November 2020, the Department of Justice launched the Working to Change social enterprise and employment strategy 2021 – 2023. The overall aim of this strategy is to increase employment options for people with criminal histories as a way of reducing reoffending, promoting active citizenship and safer communities and fewer victims.

The Working to Change strategy is dynamically demonstrating the pathways to employment that exist and can exist for people, in a post-custodial context. It is also exploring a wider and deeply transformative narrative of diversity and inclusion that has untold benefits for all of society.

There is a natural link and synergy between the transformative journey that a young person undertaking their Gaisce Award takes, and the strategy employed by Working to Change which is all about meaningful employment, removing barriers to support individual change, creating fair and accessible routes to work for people with criminal records.

For the last two decades, Gaisce has worked to support and advocate for young people in all areas of the Irish justice system, where the impact of the Award programme can be deeply profound.

Achieving a Gaisce Award (Bronze, Silver or Gold) requires immense levels of dedication, resilience and self-determination especially when achieved in a justice setting. These are all skills and attributes that are sought out by employers particularly now with an international labour shortage.

The Working to Change strategy is the clear and certain signpost that a better future and place in society exists and therefore validates the reasons for participation in a self-development programme like the Gaisce Award.


Working to Change

The Department of Justice Working to Change Strategy is committed to a whole-systems approach to increasing employment options for people with past convictions that recognises their skills and capabilities leading to active citizenship, safer communities, fewer victims and supporting a route to desistance.

Gaisce – The President’s Award

Gaisce – The President’s Award (est. 1985) is a self-development programme for young people aged 14-25, which has been proven to enhance confidence and wellbeing through the participation in physical, personal, community and team challenges. For the last two decades, Gaisce has worked to support and advocate for young people in all areas of the Irish justice system, where the impact of the award programme can be deeply profound.

Event Schedule

Speakers Bios

James Leonard and Timmy Long are both from the northside of Cork city and their popular podcast, “The Two Norries Podcast”, covers themes across the social and health sphere with a particular focus on addiction, drug use, crime and recovery.  


They started the podcast during the earliest Covid 19 lockdowns in 2020, and is designed to be informative, sensitive and educational, while having an occasional laugh in the process. Guests include people’s personal stories of overcoming adversity as well as professionals’ perspective on issues discussed in the podcast. They have garnered huge acclaim for their work and regularly top the Apple Podcast charts in Ireland. James and Timmy have produced over 100 podcasts to date and regularly do live theatre shows around the country. They also been guests themselves on various Irish media shows, including the Late Late Show and Nationwide on RTÉ. 


They have been the recipients of several awards in Cork this year alone- the Lord Mayor of Cork’s Community Award, Rebel Spirit Award, Cork People of the Month and the Pride of Cork Award. Nationally, The Law Society of Ireland recently bestowed the Justice Media Award on James and Timmy and in August 2022, they were awarded €20,000 and a place on Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Programme. 

VP, gTech Professional Services EMEA 

David is the VP for gTech Professional Services in EMEA [gPS]. He first joined Google in 2011 where he spent 7 years in Large Customer Sales EMEA, the 2nd largest sales territory in Google after the US until he joined gTech in February 2019. 


David is a board director of many Google EMEA entities and is also passionately committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace – serving as the Executive Sponsor of the Google EMEA Disability Alliance. 


David graduated in 1993 with a BA from Birmingham University, UK, followed by an MBA from Dublin City University in 2001. He started his career in Ogilvy and Mather, the London wing of the global advertising agency, later moving to the sister company Mindshare UK in London and then in 1999 transferred to help to set up the Mindshare Ireland and GroupM office. After 15 years in advertising and media buying, he made the move to Google in April 2011. Born in the UK, he has made Dublin, Ireland his home since 1999. 

James Browne was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for Law Reform in September 2020.  


James was elected to Dáil Éireann in the February 2016 general election as a representative of Wexford and re-elected in the 2020 general election. 

He has served as the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, leading initiatives to reform mental health services in Ireland, including the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2018 and served on the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Healthcare. 


He was born in Enniscorthy, Wexford, and is the oldest of a family of 4. He was educated locally at St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy before attending Waterford IT, University College Cork and the King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 2006. 

Chief Commissioner, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission 

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney leads the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, having been appointed by President Michael D. Higgins in July 2020. Sinéad was the inaugural Director of the Commission between 2014 and 2016. Prior to this she built and led Google Ireland’s corporate social responsibility function, Social Action. 


Sinéad has also worked for herself for a number of years, providing training, consultancy and media production to a range of organisations in the civil society and public sectors. 


Sinéad is a lifelong learner with an undergraduate degree in History from University of Ulster and four postgraduate qualifications in the topics of IT& Education, Cyberpsychology, Equality Studies and Human Rights Law. She is currently studying German. She is a former chair of the board of One Family and has served on a number of other boards, including Digital Charity Lab, Victims’ Rights Alliance, and the EU’s Responsible Research & Innovation industry advisory group. 

Panel Discussion


Chef, entrepreneur and food-writer and Chair of the Department of Justice Employers’ Forum 

Domini Kemp Domini is an award-winning chef, food writer and entrepreneur. She is a co-founder and joint-MD of the ITSA food group and runs the company with her sister, Peaches, since 1999. The sisters were finalists of the E&Y entrepreneur of the year, and winners of the Image Businesswoman of the year. They oversee multiple restaurant, cafes and event catering operations, including Hugh Brown’s in Brown Thomas, Grafton Street and Feast Catering & Events. 


Domini is a Euro-toques chef and was awarded her MA in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2019. She also developed the PEP Entrepreneur Programme in Wheatfield Prison, which was recently turned into a 4- part documentary, “Prison Breaks” on Virgin Media, looking at ways to reduce the cost of recidivism through entrepreneurial activities for prisoners upon release.  


This work continues in her role as Chair of the newly formed Department of Justice, Employer’s Forum. Domini is author of five cookbooks and was the Irish Times food writer from 2008-2016. She is currently resident chef for Food & Wine Magazine. Her fifth cookbook, “The Ketogenic Kitchen”, has been a best-seller in Ireland and the US. She has presented to health care professionals both in Ireland and Switzerland as a patient advocate on topics of food, cancer and the concept of food as medicine. 


She has completed the Chartered Director Diploma in the IoD and currently studying for a Diploma in Culinary Medicine. She has completed a Pg Dip in Positive Health in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin – focusing on integrated and lifestyle medicine. She regularly contributes to TV and radio and consults on various restaurant and food projects, including the new Vhi Food lab in Carrickmines, an entirely new café concept focusing on culinary medicine. The sisters have also recently opened Edition Café in the new Brown Thomas, Dundrum. 



Pro Athlete and Coach 

Recently seen on Irish television on the Ultimate Hell Week show, Ger Redmond is a former professional footballer from Dublin who has navigated his experience with the criminal justice system to become a professional triathlete and soccer, run and triathlete coach. He is also an ambassador for the Get The Message out campaign with Northside Partnership, the local development company for North East Dublin. The Get The Message Out campaign promotes alternatives to crime and drug-related activity.  



Community Education and Disability Officer, Galway Rural Development

A North Galway man, Damien is a Community Education & Disability Officer with Galway Rural Development and also the Coordinator of GRD’s Social Enterprise Regeneration project. In 2020, Damien graduated from University College Cork with a Masters in Co-operative and Social Enterprise. He has recently founded Spéire Nua – New Horizon, which has been developed from his own journey through the criminal justice system.


Spéire Nua is concerned with developing a solution to the problems criminal conviction disclosures present for people trying to move on from being previously convicted.


Working To Change 

Siobhán Cafferty is the Implementation Manager for the Criminal Justice Sector in Ireland. She works for Pobal on behalf of the Department of Justice. Having developed the ‘Working to Change social enterprise and employment strategy 2021- 2023’ for the Department of Justice, she is currently leading out on its implementation. Siobhán is dedicated to improving the infrastructure to support social enterprises to ensure those furthest from the labour market are afforded the opportunity to work. She was recently named on the Top 100 list of women in social enterprise 2022 in Europe as part of the Euclid Network. 


Prior to her current role, Siobhán was the CEO of the Bridge Project, a Probation funded community-based organisation in the Liberties, Dublin.  

Civic Merit Award Ceremony


Acting CEO, Gaisce – The President’s Award  

Avril has more than twenty years’ experience in senior management and leadership positions, and recently completed a postgraduate in Leadership at the National College of Ireland.  


Prior to being appointed Gaisce – The President’s Award’s Head of Operations and Development, Avril was the General Manager of The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children for thirteen years  


Avril has been a Line Producer for multiple theatre productions and musical events at the Olympia Theatre, SFX Theatre and RHA Gallagher Gallery among others. As a film producer she was co-producer of the award winning ‘The Crooked Mile’ feature film and as a producer was jointly awarded the Tribeca First Look Film Award, the first film producers bestowed this recognition outside of the USA. She was also the producer for the Barcó, the de Barra Family’s reunion gig and the Executive Producer for the 10th anniversary 9/11 Concert in Dublin’s Convention Centre. She has written and led the implementation of multiple major projects and grants throughout her career as well as serving on many advisory groups in the arts and youth sectors. Avril previously served on several boards including Filmbase and Temple Bar Traders and is a founding member of Drawing Room Theatre Company and Campbell Ryan Productions. 


Director General,  Irish Prison Service 

Caron Mc Caffrey was appointed Director General of the Irish Prison Service in December 2018 following an open competition by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC).  She is the first female Director General of the Irish Prison Service.  She has responsibility for the leadership and management of the Service and the implementation of Government policies and strategies. This includes leading a management team responsible for the operation and management of the prison system on a day-to-day basis which includes all aspects of sentence administration, security, human resources, financial control and service development. 


Caron has long worked in the Justice sector, first serving in the Department of Justice and Equality in Asylum Policy Division, the Press Office, and the Youth Justice Unit before taking up a role in the Irish Prison Service in 2006, as Press and Programme Manager.  She was promoted to Director of Corporate Services in 2008 and held responsibility for a range of portfolios including Human Resources, Finance and Estates.    She is a graduate of NUI Maynooth (BA) and Dublin City University (MA International Relations), holds an Advanced Diploma in Applied Employment Law from the Kings Inns, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from the UCD Smurfit Business School. She was elected as President of EuroPris in October 2021.



Deputy Director, Prisoners and Reintegration 

Fiona has more than 25 years’ experience working the area of advocacy in Ireland and Europe, with particular focus on human rights and anti-discrimination. She has extensive experience of the criminal justice sector in Ireland and is currently the Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), Ireland’s leading NGO advocating for evidence-led progressive reform of Irish penal policy. She has held this role since February 2019. She was Deputy Director from 2014 to 2019 and led on the strategic communications programme of the organisation from 2009. 


Over this time, she has contributed to IPRT’s effective research and advocacy programme in various justice areas, including community sanctions, youth justice, sentencing reform, spent convictions, post-release and rehabilitation supports, and accountability in the penal system. A commitment to human rights, equality and social inclusion underscores all of IPRT’s work. 

From 2018-2021, Fíona was on the Board of Directors of Community Creations Ltd, which runs SpunOut.ie and Crisis Text Line Ireland, a text-based mental health support service. 


Fíona holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from Trinity College Dublin. In 2015, she completed an M.A. in Political Communications at Dublin City University, where her research interests centred on media, public opinion and policy change. In 2018, she completed the Leadership Development for Transition and Change programme with Social Intelligence Associates. She is currently undertaking the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration.  



Chairperson, Gaisce Council 

John’s career has spanned almost 35 years in marketing, management, business development and executive management in organisations such as Irish Permanent, Friends First, Zurich Bank and Alexander Mann Solutions. John is Commercial Director of Morgan McKinley a global player in the recruitment and talent solutions business. He is also a director and shareholder in CheckRisk. John has a long association with NGOs and supporting the arts in Ireland. He was a director in the Irish Youth Foundation and was Chair of the Immigrant Council of Ireland. He helped to found the initiative ‘IMMA 1000’, a fundraising programme that has seen the Irish Museum of Modern Art raise over €250K for Irish artists and was appointed to the board of the IMMA in 2018.  John is currently Chair of Gaisce – The President’s Award. 


Arrival and Parking

There’s no direct car parking onsite but Q-Park Grand Canal Square, Chimney View, Dublin Docklands, Dublin is located an 8-minute walk away. There is limited on-street parking around the Google building.

How To Get Here: (Google, Google Building Gordon House, Barrow St, Dublin 4)

Please use official transport apps for real-time up-to-date information. Below are estimated times and routes.

FROM: Heuston Station (Arrival: 9:36 AM)

  • Directly out the front of the station take the Luas Red Line towards Connolly (Est: 9:09 AM), and get off after 5 stops at Abbey Street.
  • 6 minute walk to Tara Street and take the DART towards Greystones (9:31 AM) and get off after 2 stops at Grand Canal Dock.
  • 2 minute walk towards Barrow Street and turn left to Google HQ.

FROM: Heuston Station (Arrival: 9:55 AM)

  • Directly out the front of the station take the Luas Red Line towards Connolly (Est: 9:24 AM), and get off after 7 stops at the last stop – Connolly
  • 1 minute walk from the Luas stop to the DART station and take the DART towards Bray Daly (est: 9:46 AM) and get off after 3 stops at Grand Canal Dock
  • 2 minute walk towards Barrow Street and turn left to Google HQ

FROM: Connolly

  • 1 minute walk from the train station to the DART station and take the DART towards Bray Daly and get off after 3 stops at Grand Canal Dock
  • 2 minute walk towards Barrow Street and turn left to Google HQ


The C1. C2, C3 & C4 all stop at Ringsend Road bus stop which is a 3 minute walk along Barrow Road to Google HQ

More Info

  • Tea/Coffee will be available on arrival, along with a selection of pastries and granola pots.
  • A light lunch will also be catered for you at 12.10 for an hour to support networking and meeting the different exhibitors and speakers!
Please note that hydration stations will be available for the whole event with still and sparkling water. You are encouraged to bring your won water container if you wish, and there will be glasses available.
Contact Us
If you have any questions or need any support to attend and fully engage in the event, please contact Emily@gaisce.ie.