Interview with Nessan Vaughan

Nessan is a social justice worker and a friend of ATD. He is involved with other organisations including The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Northside Partnership, and Lourdes Youth and Community Services. He was MC for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty event on October 17th 2022.

When asked why the 17th of October is important to him, he says that “it highlights the issue of poverty.” Nessan likes that ATD always “gives prominence to the voice of the people who have experienced poverty or have life experience in poverty” which is especially seen on October 17th.

Nessan described being the MC for the event as “an honour for me to have received at such an important event…It’s facilitating the voice of people, introducing people, but it’s a minor role in my view.” He also described Michael D Higgins’ message as “very powerful.”

Nessan describes himself as a friend of ATD: “my whole work is around social justice issues and poverty issues so I would follow ATD’s publications… Ireland is a small community; you sort of know each other so I’ve known of ATD for a good few years now. I like what ATD does.”

Nessan says he “fully” supports the #AddThe10th campaign: “As a social media campaign, it’s hugely effective. All we can do is campaign and influence and advocate on behalf of people.” He hopes that soon there will be a change in legislation.

Nessan brings up how climate change is seen as a crisis, yet poverty is not. He says that “the whole issue of climate justice is related to poverty.” Yet, climate change is seen as a crisis because it affects the middle class, while poverty does not. He relates all this to voting saying that “Voter education is very important. Middle-class people vote for their self-interest.”

Nessan is confident that we can eliminate poverty “because we are a very rich society.” He says that economically, “we cannot achieve absolute equality, but we can become much more equal.” This is what Nessan is working towards with his work.

We are grateful for all the social justice work Nessan is doing. We are thankful for acting as MC on October 17th and for taking the time to be interviewed.