Liverpool students join prestigious Washington Ireland Program

Two University of Liverpool students will take up highly sought-after Washington Ireland Program (WIP) internships this summer, after being selected ahead of applicants from across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Aine Crossen, who is studying for a Masters in Ocean Sciences, and Hannah O’Neill, who is working towards her BA in Accounting and Finance, will both spend the summer in the US capital as part of the prestigious scheme.

Aine said: “I am delighted to been awarded a place on the Washington Ireland Program Class of 2019. I am currently in my 4th year at Liverpool, studying for a Masters of Ocean Science. I have spent the past 2 years as a committee member for Liverpool University Marine Biology and Oceanography Society (LUMOS), currently in the role of Secretary and formerly Community Liaison Officer.

“Within my roles I have been able to work with the university to raise awareness for environmental issues such as climate change and plastic pollution, working on the ‘Liverpool’s Last Straw’ campaign. With a deep interest in youth work from a young age, I have devoted time to volunteering with many organisations, both in Liverpool and Belfast that work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“I have always been very interested in Politics, in particular conflict resolution, and I am lucky enough to have represented Northern Ireland on a reconciliation leadership programme in Chicago in 2014.

“Coming to the end of my time at university, I am determined to find a way to merge my Ocean Science background and my interests in politics, and I feel the Washington Ireland Programme is the perfect way to achieve this. I am very grateful for this once in a life time opportunity and I hope this summer will steer me in the right direction to find where I would be able to make a difference.”

Hannah said: “I chose to go to University of Liverpool because I knew I didn’t want to stay in Ireland for university and I know of a lot of Irish people studying over here, and UoL offers many exemptions for the course I am studying, Accounting and Finance.

I decided to apply to WIP after the presentation that was given at university surrounding the opportunity, which was given by Bryan Patten and a student of the WIP Class of 2018. I had heard of WIP before but hadn’t looked into it. The program sounded amazing and I thought first year is the perfect time to get involved.

When I received an email being invited for interview following my application I was taken aback. Even more so when I was offered a place on the Class of 2019. I hope to develop and utilise my skills in finance while gaining invaluable experience in community service. I’m excited to develop friendships with my fellow class members and alumni. I am so grateful for this opportunity and honoured to be a member of the WIP Class of 2019.”

WIP was set up in 1995 to inspire, prepare and support the next generation of leaders of post-conflict Ireland to face the challenges of the future. The University of Liverpool is the only partner outside Ireland involved in the initiative.

The Washington Ireland Program is administered by the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies. For more information, please email