Episode With Richie Sadlier: Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Author of ‘Poor’
Richie first met Dr Katriona O’Sullivan – an academic in Maynooth University’s Department of Psychology – about seven years ago but at the time, he had no idea about her backstory: a childhood spent in extreme poverty in England as part of an Irish family in which both her parents suffered from long-term addiction issues.
Despite being surrounded by adults and structures which continuously failed her, Katriona enrolled in Trinity College aged 23 and forged an academic career while raising her young family. She chats to Richie from her home in Dublin about the empathy she brings to speaking about her parents, how confiding in the people you’re supposed to trust as a child brings no guarantee of safety, and how no one can lift themselves out of poverty without a system that’s designed to help them do it.
Earlier this year, Katriona published a bestselling memoir, ‘Poor’, laying out her incredible story in unflinching detail, a memoir which has now received two Irish Book Award nominations.
I grew up in Birmingham, born to Irish parents who loved drugs more than me, I had a baby at 16,was homeless & helpless…I am now an award winning academic-grants worth millions, publications,a loving family & a full heart!
This is my thank you to the people who saved me! https://t.co/i4DkOPfybg
— Katriona O'Sullivan (@katrionaos) February 10, 2023
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