Our Education Team

Albert Perris
Albert Perris is Chief Executive Officer of Respond Support. Albert has held a variety of roles in the statutory, voluntary and community sector since 1993.  He holds an M.A. in Management (Community and Voluntary Sector) from Dublin City University (DCU), a B.A. in Social Science (Care) from Dublin Institute of Technology and Certificate in Youth and Community Work from NUI. He has previously worked as National Manager of Specialist Services and as National Hostels and Homes Coordinator with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP); Regional Programme Coordinator with Extern Ireland; Manager of Children’s Residential Services with the HSE, and Project Manager of Tallaght Homeless Advice Unit.  He is the author of a number of reports, including “Think Twice: Homelessness in Blanchardstown (2000)”, and “Youth Homelessness in Clondalkin:  A community Perspective (Forum on Youth Homelessness & Clondalkin Partnership, 1999)”.  He was a Level 1 award winner with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (2009), for developmental work in the area of Reminiscence Work with older people and communities in Ireland. Albert was a member of the Irish Council for Social Housing Special Needs sub-committee from 2010-2016.

Albert is currently chairperson of Coill Dubh National School, Co. Kildare and has previous held a number of Board Roles with Tallaght Youth Information Centre and Bright Sparks Childcare committee, Allenwood and has been a director of Tallaght Homeless Advice unit and Tallaght Citizen Information Centre.

Deborah Butler 
Dr. Deborah Butler, Ed. D, M.A. (Econ.), is Registrar and Head of Education with responsibility for academic standards within Respond! College. Her professional Doctorate was completed in 2010 and focused on understanding “professionalism” in social housing provision and the role of academic qualifications in terms of career progression, experiences and recognition of housing professionals. She has worked with Respond! since 2000 and her remit as Registrar in Respond! College gives her the overall responsibility for all educational programmes provided by Respond! College which are accredited by QQI, CIH etc. Prior to joining Respond!, Deborah lectured for ten years in Economics/Finance and was involved in the accreditation of diploma, degree and MBA programmes. She spent two years working on a national crime awareness initiative which particularly targeted young people at risk within the community.

Lorcan Byrne
In February 2014 Dr. Lorcan Byrne, PhD, BSocSc, was appointed as Respond’s Education Coordinator for the South and South East. Lorcan has been working in the area of community, housing and homelessness since 1996. His research and teaching focuses on a range of interlinking topics such as housing, the home, dwelling, urban and suburban forms of life, urban culture, community studies, urban regeneration, the symbolic order, inequality, poverty, exclusion, deviance and stigma. Working within the interpretive tradition of the social sciences, his work draws from continental philosophy, cultural sociology, and cultural and political anthropology.  He has been tutoring and lecturing in UCC since 2010. Lorcan has worked on a range of research projects in both Cork and Limerick related to housing, regeneration and social exclusion. Having completed a doctorate in the Department of Sociology and the School of Applied Social Studies University College Cork, Lorcan has been appointed as programme leader for the Certificate in Community Studies.

Sarah Barron
Sarah Barron is the Education Resource officer for the Southern Region. She graduated in 2001 from NUI Maynooth with an Honours degree in History and Geography and went on to complete an Msc in Regional and Local Development with Dublin Institute of Technology in 2002. Since that time Sarah has worked in a variety of housing and community related roles with two Local Authorities and has been with Respond! for the last seven years. Her current role provides estate or cluster based education and training opportunities for residents. She currently tutors on the NFQ Level 7 NUI Maynooth Certificate in Community development in a Changing Ireland and the NFQ Level 5 Family Studies course.

Lorraine Fleming – General Academic Administrator
Lorraine’s working background is in administration. Having joined Respond! as part of the Housing Department in 2013, Lorraine is now the General Academic Administrator in Respond! College. Her position will involve her liaising between students and College staff. She will also manage learner services and handle queries relating to student admissions, registration, examinations and graduations.

Richard Gallery – Independent External Academic
Richard Gallery is currently Registrar at Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Prior to that he was, for some 7 years, Head of Department of Engineering at ITB, and, prior to that, he was a Senior Lecturer in the Institute. Richard joined ITB as one of the initial staff members, and played a significant role through his time in the Institute in helping to establish and further develop the Engineering Dept. When established in 1999 ITB offered on Engineering qualification, a Higher Cert in Electronics and Computer Engineering, whereas by 2014 the Engineering Department offers 11 undergraduate programmes (from Higher Cert to Honours Degree), in addition having Masters and PhD students.    In his current role, Richard has responsibility for ensuring the academic integrity of the Institute, with areas of responsibility including exams, admissions, student services, library, quality assurance. Richard is also involved, in his role as Registrar, with the moves towards the creation of a Technological University in Dublin.

Eoin O’Sullivan – Independent External Academic
Dr. Eoin O’Sullivan is Head of the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin. Since 2004 he has sat on the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) as well as on the Rent Tribunal (2009-2015). With a Ph.D in Social Policy from University of Dublin, Trinity College (1999) he has strong interest in research. He has also externed for a number of colleges in academia areas relating to criminology, housing as well as social policy.

Kevin O’Farrell
Kevin holds a Masters in Social Science (Rights and Social Policy) and a BA in Community and Youth Work, both from Maynooth University. His dissertation focused on the issues of youth unemployment and youth homelessness.  He has a background in nursing, with specialities in the areas of mental health and intellectual difficulties. Kevin has a wealth of experience in community activism, working with a wide range of community groups and youth groups. He has also been involved in setting up a number of community, youth and environmental initiates within his local community including community allotments and a parent and toddler group. Currently he is the Course Co-Ordinator for the Certificate in Community Studies in Dublin and the lead tutor on the NFQ level 5 major award in Healthcare Support.

Seán Regan
Seán is from Kilrickle, Co. Galway.  He qualified with a B.E. in Industrial Engineering from University College Galway in 1980 and worked with Abbott Ireland Ltd.  He subsequently completed Masters degrees in Computer Aided Manufacturing (M.Eng.Sc.) and in Hydrology (M.Sc.) – both in UCG.   Having worked a number of years on aid projects in Rwanda and in Tanzania, Seán decided to change his career path.  In 1994 he completed an MA in Rural Development Planning with the University of East Anglia and moved into Development Work.  He worked on a number of EU programmes throughout Ireland and as Community Development Co-ordinator with the Conamara Gaeltacht Area Partnership.  Prior to joining Respond! in 2007 Seán worked as National Co-ordinator with the Community Worker’s Co-operative.