Catherine McGuinness Fellowship


In 2015, the Children's Rights Alliance established a prestigious one-year Fellowship Programme for newly-qualified barristers to work as part of our Legal and Policy Team on law and policy reform for children in the area of children's rights and child law. The Fellowship is entitled the Catherine McGuinness Fellowship in honour of one of Ireland's greatest children's champions. This programme has been developed in partnership with The Bar of Ireland and with the support of the Family Lawyers' Association of Ireland. The Fellowship has been hugely successful, providing us with the dedicated in-house expertise of a barrister as well as providing the Fellow with a unique developmental opportunity, enhancing their reputation and future employability. Fellows can become champions for children's rights and become better able to advocate to protect, promote and fulfil children's rights in their work.

Lewis Mooney BL. is the current Catherine McGuinness Fellow. Lewis is a practising barrister, with diverse interests in areas such as childcare, mental health, and media law. Lewis has experience acting for guardians ad litem and parents in childcare proceedings in various locations across the country.

Prior to commencing practice, Lewis graduated from the Law and Political Science programme at Trinity College Dublin, having also spent a year studying at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Lewis also obtained a masters in law from Leiden University, where he specialised in human rights and public international law, and as a student at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns he was the recipient of the Niall and Barbara McCarthy Scholarship.

Lewis is an alumnus of the Washington Ireland Program, and prior to commencing practice he worked in the communications and public affairs industry; he also spent some time at the European Court of Human Rights and worked with a regional human rights NGO which seeks to counter injustices through legal interventions.

Outside of his practice at the Bar, Lewis has been involved in a small cross-community charity, School Aid Romania, which seeks to alleviate poverty and assist those in need in orphanages and villages in the Brasov region of Romania, and he is also a lecturer in law.