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Kate Burns

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Kate Burns' work is all about borders. The border between land and sea. The border between an island and its mainland. The border between the EU and its members states. The borders between disjointed communities, in Northern Ireland, maybe, or Cyprus, or along the Irish seaboard. The borders between economic progress, and economic stagnation. The border between ritual and change.
She's the kind of woman who can navigate borders. Put her in a room, or on a stage, and people listen up, immediately, especially people who won't listen to each other. She has that preacher's note in her voice, those moral vowel sounds that convey urgency, prudence, direction. And she has the smarts that make people listen, for she doesn't deal in cliché – Kate Burns has been in too many meetings with too many people in the course of her professional life to have time for cliché.
She has worked in Cyprus, laying out ground plans in the event of the island's re-unification. In Maine she has worked with coastal communities, and she has done the same extensively around the Irish coast. There has been economic development work in Eastern Europe, and in cross-border initiatives in Ireland.
But three previous generations of her fishing family have clearly been calling her back to Rathlin Island, where she spent her young life, where she ran a restaurant, and where her children were born. Today Ms Burns, the 4th generation, is growing kelp on Rathlin Island – she is MD of Ocean Veg Ireland, and the company produces laminaria digitata, saccharina latissima and alara esculanta.
She is still navigating borders but, this time, with a superb natural sea product to offer, it's certain that Ms Burns will cross another border, into the limelight of public knowledge.

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