Brendan Ryan is a native of Athy, County Kildare, where his father worked as a secondary school teacher. Having left school Brendan spent a couple of years with the Divine Word Missionaries, where he learned about social injustice which was to dictate the path his later political career would follow. He recalls his college days at UCD and Kevin Street, Dublin where he studied Chemical Engineering, graduating in 1971. His introduction to politics came about during his college years, as he became involved in social issues. He joined the Simon Community around the time he was appointed to a post in the Crawford in 1973 during Jim Roche’s tenure as Principal. He discusses the responsibilities involved in purchasing all the equipment for the new Chemical Engineering laboratory. It was a time of great change in technical education. He was a member of the Board of Management of the RTC from 1975 to 1982. Brendan Ryan discusses his essentially pragmatic nature, his great support of the Labour Party, and his tenure as an Independent Senator from 1981 to 1993 and from 1997 to 1999. He rejoined the Labour part in 1999 and is Chairman of the Cork South Central constituency. He is justly proud of the fact that he was instrumental in bringing the word ‘homeless’ into housing legislation in Ireland.