A little person, Sinead has always received wonderful support from her family – they always said that there was nothing she could not do. And as a child, she always wanted to teach, but was also passionate about fashion.
After college, she taught in Meath and Dublin, but over time, she moved from the classroom to fulltime advocacy. And since then, she has fulfilled all her childhood dreams.
“I’ve appeared on the cover of Vogue; I’ve been to the Met Gala, and I’ve met Victoria Beckham and President Michael Higgins,” she says.
She’s also an influencer, activist and broadcaster, and is a member of the Council of State.
Last year a publisher approached her, asking for a book.
“I said, ‘no,’ because I was travelling, and hadn’t time to dedicate to writing. But when life got quieter, I rang and said, ‘Can we reignite the idea.’ I wanted it to be about more than me; and to help children by leveraging my experience and encouraging them to be themselves.”
She wrote it between April and June, during lockdown.
“I wrote between 4am and 8am, while the house was quiet, before the sun rose.”
Who is Sinead Burke?
Date of birth: 1990 in Dublin.
Education: St Mary’s Glasnevin, then Loretto in Navan; Marino Institute of Education, Primary Teaching; Dunlaoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; MA in Broadcast Production; Currently Trinity College Dublin, PhD on Human Rights Education.
Family: Parents, 3 sisters and a brother.
The Day Job: Working on creating change, using a framework of Design for all.
In Another Life: “I can see myself as a human rights lawyer.”
Favourite Writers: Zadie Smith; Audrey Lorde; Angela Davis; Reni Eddo Lodge.
Second Novel: “I would love to write one in the future.”
Top Tip: “What helped me was writing what I knew and using the lived experience as a mirror to how other people might be reflected.”
Website: www.Sinead-Burke.com Twitter: @thesineadburke
The Debut: Break the Mould. How to Take Your Place in the World. Wren and Rook: €8.99. Kindle: €6.59.
Using her own experience, and telling stories of others, Sinead demonstrates how you can be kind, inclusive, and true to yourself.
The Verdict: This inspirational, thought provoking guide should be read by everyone from nine to ninety-nine.
Published in The Irish Examiner on October 31st.
© Sue J Leonard. 2020.