| Sarah Ironside
Assistant dealing with European Parliament questions in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equality for women and men
Originally from Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.
About your job: My job is to ensure that questions put by MEPs to the Commission are replied to, correctly and on time. We have to keep to very short deadlines, but I have a lot of contact with all the colleagues in my department which gives me a great overview of all the work that the European Commission does in the area.
Why the EU? I wanted to work in the EU to broaden my horizons. I especially like my current role as it is a horizontal one, giving me an overview of many policy areas – and especially areas which are close to the citizen.
How do you think Ireland has benefited most from the EU? I think that, of course, Ireland has benefited financially from membership of the EU, but perhaps the greatest way in which we have benefited is through the arrival on our shores of other EU nationals. While there are still many difficulties for the Irish at accepting this immigration, I believe that in the long run we will see the benefits.
Languages: English, French and German - French and German both learned from an early age and improved since working here.
Books/Music: Favorite book is 'The boy in the striped pyjamas' - because I think it is the most terrifying book I have ever read, but it should be compulsory reading for all to try and ensure that these things should never happen again. (It also made me understand one of the important reasons behind the creation of the European Union.
Favorite album: Dessie O'Halloran – The Pound Road. This man is the most wonderful singer from Inisbofin, a small island off County Galway. There are some wonderful wonderful songs on it.