Gerry, a primary and post-primary teacher and principal of St Mary's Primary School since 2002, joins the INTO Northern office as Northern Secretary. He previously taught in St Aidan’s PS, Corpus Christi College and Little Flower Secondary School in Belfast and in Wembley in London. Gerry is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster Jordanstown.
He has been a trade union representative at all levels of the INTO in the North serving at branch and district level and on the union’s Northern Committee. He was also Chairperson of the Belfast West Branch, the largest branch in the North. He is a member of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council and was the lead person for the INTO on pensions and retirement planning to the Curran Tribunal.
Gerry has a particular interest in Traveller Education and represented the INTO on the Taskforce for Traveller Education in the north. He is a member of the Keady Regeneration Committee, a sub-committee of Armagh City Council.
Mark McTaggart was born in Belfast. He graduated from St Mary’s teacher training college in Belfast. He lives in Belfast with his wife, Siobhan and their 4 daughters.
Mark began teaching in St Patrick’s Secondary School, before working as an outdoor pursuits instructor in Drumalla House Outdoor Education Centre. He taught in a Primary School in Tilbury, Essex for four years, before returning to Ireland taking up post in St Mac Nissis’ Primary School, Newtownabbey, in 1992. After 4 years as a Vice-Principal, he became Principal of St Anthony’s Primary School in 2006.
Mark was an INTO school rep for 14 years. He was the Carrickfergus/Newtownabbey and Larne Branch Chairperson, and District 1 Secretary. He is a former Chair of Standing Orders Conference and a Staff Rep Tutor. He is currently the Northern Committee Primary Rep for NEELB and District 1 Representative to Standing Orders Congress. Mark is a member of the INTO athletic club, and following last year’s maracycle has become a keen cyclist.
Nuala taught in Holy Family PS Belfast before taking up post as an Official in INTO Northern Office in 1995, with responsibility for Education Policy development and Professional Issues.
In 2000 she was promoted to Senior Official with additional management responsibilities for Recruitment, Membership, and Training.
In 2005 Nuala completed a Masters Degree in Educational Management and took a career break to work as an Education Adviser with the Post Primary Review of Catholic Education.
On return from career break in January 2011 she resumed her role and responsibilities as Senior Official with the additional responsibility of School Leadership.
Tommy began teaching in 1989 and has spent the last 22 years in the post primary sector in Lurgan. He has represented INTO members as a School Representative, Branch Secretary, and Secondary Consultative Committee member and as a National Committee member.
Tommy has always been a committed trade union activist and before he began teaching he worked in Industry where he was an active member of both the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers’ Union and the Communication Workers’ Union.
Tommy is primarily interested in teacher well-being and general conditions of employment and his experience as the District II Representative on the INTO Education Committee will be invaluable in his work on professional issues.
Paul Groogan has been appointed Trade Union Official in Northern Office from September 2017. Paul first qualified as a teacher in 1984 from St Joseph’s College of Education, Belfast. In 1986 he moved to England where he entered the Private Sector and worked with Post Office Counters Ltd as a counter clerk, manager, trainer and project planner. He moved back to Omagh in 1996 and re-entered teaching, working in the Primary Sector in Derry and then Omagh up to his present appointment. He has a breadth of knowledge gained from his time working in the Private and Public sectors. His interest in trade unions and their importance was first encountered in student life as President of St Joseph’s Students Union. He continued this interest during his time with the Post Office.
Since returning from England Paul has represented INTO as a School Representative and Chair of Tyrone Central. He was District II’s representative on Standing Orders Conference for 3 years and was District II’s representative for Standing Orders Congress for 5 years. He was also INTO’s representative on the ICTU Health & Safety Committee. Paul was elected Western Area Northern Committee Primary A. Representative when he replaced Rita Fox in 2012. Paul has a broad understanding of the Private and Public sectors and is looking forward to the challenges that his role as Trade Union Official will present.