Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Designate Deirdre O’Connor takes office 

Monaghan native is honoured to represent teachers across the island.

Following her election in December 2020, Deirdre O’Connor today (1 March) takes up the reins as Deputy General Secretary Designate of Ireland’s oldest and largest teacher trade union, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation.  

A former teacher at St Mary’s BNS in Monaghan town for 13 years, Deirdre joined the INTO head office in 2002. Deirdre was Assistant General Secretary leading the Conditions of Employment team prior to her election. Deirdre will formally assume her new post from outgoing Deputy General Secretary Noel Ward later in the year. 

INTO Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Designate Deirdre O’Connor said: 

I’m taking on the role of Deputy General Secretary/General Treasurer Designate on a particularly important day, which sees many INTO members and hundreds of thousands of pupils return to school buildings. I’m acutely aware of the many challenges that lie ahead, and I’m ready to work with our General Secretary, the CEC, Northern Committee and INTO officials and staff to support and represent our members across the island. 

Noel has made an enormous contribution to the strength of the INTO during his tenure in office. His steady leadership and genuine concern for members has been a guide for all of us in the INTO. I am honoured to take up the responsibilities of the job and commit to all INTO members that I will do my utmost on their behalf in the coming years.

Outgoing INTO Deputy General Secretary Noel Ward said: 

I was elected Deputy General Secretary in 2009 and took over in 2010. We then spent a decade fighting austerity cuts and have spent the past year labouring under the shadow of Covid-19. Despite the difficulties, being deputy to Sheila Nunan and then John Boyle has involved worthwhile work and I have been honoured to do this job on behalf of INTO members. The General Treasurer aspect of this role, overseeing INTO’s resourcing, is also crucial to the organisation.

I wish Deirdre the very best in taking over; she will find it sometimes a challenging job but generally a rewarding one too. Teachers are vitally important to society, an importance underlined during the Covid crisis, and INTO is important to teachers – I know that the union is in good hands as my role passes to Deirdre.