14th December 2020
Deirdre O’Connor has been elected to succeed Noel Ward as Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer in 2021.
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Noel Ward announced his intention to step down from the position in September 2020, triggering an election for a successor. Two candidates were nominated by INTO branches to contest the election which took place between November 25 and December 13, 2020.
13,311 members of the union cast a ballot in the election with Deirdre O’Connor winning (9083 votes) 68% of the vote on the first count.
Síne Friel secured (4228 votes) 32% of the vote.
It is anticipated that Ms O’Connor will take up office as Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Designate on March 1 2021 and will take over as Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer later in 2021.
INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
I look forward to working with Deirdre in the coming years as we navigate our way out of the current pandemic, building momentum towards better pay and conditions for our members North and South and strengthening the collective power of our membership. Deirdre and I will work tirelessly together on behalf of our members. In the period ahead we will endeavour to deliver more support for school leaders, smaller class sizes and additional resources for children with special educational needs and children from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
In welcoming Deirdre, I want to thank Noel for his diligent leadership and highly effective representation of members over the last decade. Noel leaves the INTO in a much better place than that which the union faced when he was elected to his current role. Our total membership is at a record high, the organisation is debt-free, the austerity cuts to salaries and allowances have been overturned, and we hope to finally close the chapter on pay inequality.”
INTO Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Designate Elect Deirdre O’Connor said:
I am honoured to have been elected by the members of INTO as Deputy General Secretary/ General Treasurer. I want to thank all those who have put their trust in me to work on their behalf. During the campaign, I have listened to members North and South talk about the issues that matter to them – safety in schools, pay and conditions and support for school leadership, but also that the INTO should continue to strengthen and thrive. I am absolutely committed to working with the General Secretary and the CEC to achieve the best outcomes for the INTO and our membership, and I look forward to the task.”
Deirdre O’Connor – Biography
Deirdre is currently an Assistant General Secretary leading the Conditions of Employment Section in INTO Head Office. Since her appointment to INTO Head Office in 2002, she has worked in various areas of the Organisation including professional development, legal and industrial relations, special education and co-ordination of INTO Trade Union Training. She served as Equality Officer from 2010 to 2014. She has been involved in INTO since the beginning of her career, including acting as staff representative, Branch Secretary and Staff Representative Tutor.
Deirdre is from Monaghan and taught in St. Mary’s BNS, Monaghan town for 13 years, and spent three years working with the Primary Curriculum Support Programme from 1999 to 2002.
Deirdre is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, and holds an MSc in Education Management (UUJ, 2002) She is a member of the Teaching Council and the Executive Council of the ICTU.