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Dr Susan Crawford is to be co-opted onto Clare County Council in place of Senator Roisin Garvey (GP).

Susan received the backing of Green Party members overcoming Ennistymon’s Sophie Piggot in a vote to fill the seat vacated following Garvey’s nomination to the Seanad in June. She joined the party in recent weeks but has previously canvassed for the first female Green party councillor elected in Clare.

A two-time Fulbright Award winner for her work on the development of autism awareness programmes, the Inagh native formerly lectured at University College Cork where she also received the Digital Champion Award and President’s Award.

Earlier this year, Susan was named as Clare Person of the Year. It followed a run she completed alongside her son Tomás across the Wild Atlantic Way over a distance of 2,500 km in 88 days to enhance awareness about autism. Along the way, Susan held Autism Awareness Training workshops in venues in each county. Cllr Ann Norton (IND) previously won the accolade for advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Crawford’s interest in the area of Autism began in 1998 when her son Tomás was diagnosed with it. She completed her PhD in the field of Fundamental Movement Skills and Autism in 2007. During this time Susan went on to setup the first autism unit attached to a mainstream school using an eclectic teaching approach in Co. Clare. This unit is now referenced as an example of good educational practice.

Now living in Miltown Malbay, Susan works as a consultant in the area of ASD having founded Get Autism Active.

She is expected to be co-opted onto the local authority at its September sitting. Her addition alongside Cllr Norton, Cllr Mary Howard (FG), Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) and Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) ensures the county’s highest ever amount (5) of female representatives on the Council at the one time is maintained.

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