- 15 Sep 14
Recently-elected USI President Laura Harmon is the first female to hold the office in 20 years. In a convivial chinwag with Olaf Tyaransen, she discusses USI policy, sexuality, mental health and a whole lot more...
Laura Harmon, recently elected President of the Union of Students of Ireland, knows all about sexual discrimination. “As a gay person who grew up in a Gaeltacht, rural area, I know what it feels like to have to hide an intrinsic part of yourself away for fear of rejection,” she said after her election at the USI’s annual congress in Athlone last April. “We need to work to eradicate the oppression lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face. Equal access to civil marriage in Ireland is a civil rights issue of our generation and students will be a leading voice in the 2015 marriage equality campaign.”
A graduate of UCC, Harmon is from Ballyvourney, a Gaeltacht area in north west Cork. She has four younger sisters. An Irish speaker – though it wasn't the first language in the Harmon house – she is USI's first female President in 20 years. Hot Press met Harmon in a Dublin city centre hotel. An attractive 26-year-old blonde, she sips tap water, and speaks quietly but confidently.