I am a native of Castlebar, Co Mayo. A great-granduncle of mine was James Daly who was editor of the Cannaught Telegraph and one of the founders of the Land League in Mayo. Daly chaired the famous Irishtown meeting in 1879.

I am a graduate of UCG with a degree in Political Science and Legal Science in 1985. I completed a PhD in sociology in NUI Galway in 2004. I also studied philosophy for a year (1986-87) in Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology.

From 1987 to 1992 I worked as a care worker in Dublin, particularly with travellers and in Mountjoy prison. I was a volunteer full-time worker with Dublin Simon community and lived in a community of homeless people on Sean MacDermott Street for thirteen months in 1988 and 1989. I was project leader for a new Simon residential unit on Island Street from 1989 to 1992 and was deputy project leader of the Simon Night Shelter on Usher’s Island. That was challenging work and I trace nearly all that I have learned and the character that I am to those experiences.

Later I worked as a child-care worker in Tullow, Co. Carlow and in Tralee, Co. Kerry. In Tullow, I was a project leader on a project where four young people from Dublin lived with my young family and I on a 12-acre farm. The concept was to provide the young people with respite care and training in personal responsibility.

I began teaching in the IT, Tralee from 1997 and returned to Castlebar in 1999 to teach in the GMIT. I lecture in applied social studies.

I was a researcher with the Environmental Change Institute, NUIG from 2000 to 2003. I have been a member of FEASTA and helped found an environmental group in Mayo called Mayo Elive.

From the summer of 2005 I was spokesperson for the Rossport Five and subsequently acted as spokesperson for the Shell to Sea campaign until 2007. I have written widely on the issue of the Corrib gas project and also on wider issues of sustainability and democracy.

I edited The Rossport Five: Our Story and am the author of Compassionate Activism: An Exploration of Integral Social Care. I am Chairperson of Mayo Citizens Information Service and am a director of Mayo Intercultural Action and of Feasta.



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  1. Mark

    Best wishes for your campaign – but be careful what you wish for! Grassroots social movements are the real drivers of change.

  2. We are having a deadlock with the government in the United Kingdom we came up with a Scheme called Greenhouse Tourism Agency (EU Emissions Tourism Trading Scheme) and since we last communicated to the government in November 2006 they have not accorded us the letter to World Tourism Organisation we are appealing to European Union

  3. Hi Mark,
    How are ya? Great blog

    Do you have much info on James Daly? For instance who his wife was, some children’s names? My gggrandfather was born George Daly to James Daly in Glenhest. The family was well off farmers, George and his brother Tim who were not the oldest sons took(stole) family cattle to Cobh(it’s believed) and then came here to America. James wife was Elizabeth (Horhan, Horan)

    any info you have would be greatly appreciated
    thanks alot

  4. Long a supporter. I wish you well, and in your endeavours. I’m a mature student and have just written my thesis. It’s called ‘The service station, a manifestation of Globalisation?’ It was an eye opener. You have a lot of support in the Pale also. How lucky we are to have you people in the west doing this work for us in Ireland, in relation to the GAS. You are not forgotten. Very Best Wishes. Up the West.

  5. Hi Mark,
    Could you email me please (stevekerr10@hotmail.com). I want to run something past you about an event in Castlebar.

    • Steve,
      My email address orginally set up on this blog no longer works so i am not getting alot of intended emails. You can email me at mark.garavan@gmit.ie
      Best wishes,

      • Have sent you an email Mark.

  6. This information was a terrific inspiration to browse through. I’m certain that the following quote will get your interest. – “Often we don’t even realize who we’re meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out someone else’s ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

  7. Hi Mark,
    Excellent talk, as per usual, yesterday on EU Matters, very thought provoking, true and quite frightening.

    I know your a busy man, but everyone should hear what you said yest. Blog if you get a chance.

    A fan with serious brain envy.

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