Nicola Dunnion, Head of Tourism & Sport, LYIT
All Star winner Nicola Dunnion has always been committed to breaking the bias for women. Since the age of 11, Nicola played Gaelic Football for her school, club and county. This was a time of change as more and more females actively looked to participate in sport. Nicola faced many challenges along the way including the then club chairman locking the gates of her local gaelic football field, not allowing the ladies team to play a match– the belief at that time was that women should not be playing Gaelic football.
“I didn’t let this stop me, I continued to play Senior Ladies football for twenty years, I captained both my club and county. I won every competition there was to win at both underage and senior football within my county for my club. I received player of the year for Donegal, won an All-Star in 2002 and a Junior All-Ireland with Donegal in 2003. I was very passionate about breaking the bias. Even my dad at that time didn’t want me to play football” says Nicola.
Nicola has always been career focused. After completing her Masters at age of 21, she went to work for outdoor advertising company – JC Decaux. After just seven months in the role, she obtained an assistant manager position in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and from that, her career in both third and fourth level education has been so varied and progressive, leading to her current role as Head of Department of Tourism & Sport at LYIT.
Nicola’s main passion is her family. “I am a proud to be a Mum to four young girls under the age of 7 and I try to instil the philosophy of “see it, be it”. When I gained a promotion at LYIT in January 2021, people thought I was mad, with such a young family at home. For me, it’s about a balancing act, and having good support from senior management, my fellow colleagues and family to be able to play both roles at home and work”, enthuses Nicola.
Nicola is a keen advocate for #BreakingTheBias!