Senior Officials

TJ Clare, Acting Senior Official

TJ is an Acting Senior Official in the Legal, Industrial Relations and Equality section in INTO Head Office. Prior to being appointed, TJ fulfilled the role of official in LIRE and completed the INTO internship. In his role as senior official, TJ advises, supports and represents members in a range of areas including at Boards of Management and local fora, the WRC, The Teaching Council, The Department of Education and in the Courts.

TJ graduated from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, in 2011 with a Bachelor of Education degree. He also has an Advanced Diploma in Applied Employment Law, King’s Inns. Prior to joining INTO Head Office, TJ taught in Dublin. While teaching, TJ was an active member of the INTO, serving as branch secretary in the Dublin North City Branch, district development coordinator and as District 14 secretary. He was also involved in campaigns on a broad range of issues and was a lobbyist for the Dublin West constituency.



Niamh Cooper, Acting Senior Official

Niamh was appointed as an Official in INTO Head Office in April 2015 and as Acting Senior Official in March 2023. A qualified post-primary teacher from Dublin, Niamh worked in INTO Head Office from 2003 until 2019 in the Legal, Industrial Relations and Leadership Section. There she dealt directly with member queries on a wide range of legal and industrial relations issues. From 2015 – 2019 she was shared on an equal basis between the Legal & Industrial Relations and the Conditions of Employment sections of the office. She is now assigned solely to the Conditions of Employment section where she advises members on a wide range of issues. She also deals with school accommodation issues. She has a Diploma in Employment Law, a Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management and an MA (Leadership & Strategy).





Ciarán Gallagher, Senior Official

Ciarán Gallagher is the Senior Official in the Communications section, acting as deputy director of communications and editor of InTouch magazine in addition to managing the publications team. Previously an INTO Official, Ciarán has worked with the communications team to promote the voice of the membership and union developments. Before joining the INTO, Ciarán was a Communications Officer with Trócaire, co-ordinating the development agency’s media outreach, including press coverage for various campaigns. Prior to this he worked in journalism for 12 years, starting in broadcasting before working with a variety of media organisations as a freelance following a five-year period with the Irish Daily Mail. Ciarán holds a Master’s in Journalism from DIT and a BA(Hons) in Media Production Management from DCU. A trade union member, he is from Dublin.

Nadia Johnston, Senior Official

Nadia is a Senior Official in the INTO Finance and Membership Section with responsibility for internal pensions administration, finance, risk management, regulatory compliance, procurement, property, projects and facilities management.

She was designated as the INTO data protection officer in 2021.

Nadia has a degree in European Business Management from Abertay University, Dundee and has worked in office management and finance for many years. She has many years of experience in education trade unions, having worked in the TUI Credit Union and TUI Head Office for almost 20 years. She was awarded a Certificate in Data Protection Practice from the Law Society of Ireland in 2021.

Originally from Carnoustie on the North East coast of Scotland, Nadia has been living in Dublin for 24 years and became an Irish citizen in 2019. In her spare time, Nadia teaches fitness/dance classes.

Maeve McCafferty, Acting Senior Official

Maeve McCafferty is the Acting Senior Official in the Education, Research and Learning (ERL) section having previously worked as an education and research Official with the INTO. A native of Donegal, Maeve has taught for over 13 years in both rural and urban schools in the West of Ireland and has acquired significant in-school management experience as Deputy Principal. She has a First Class M Ed in Leadership and Management from Trinity College Dublin and her thesis ‘Pedagogy or Politics: the Disconnect between accountability and professionalism in teaching in Ireland’ was awarded the INTO Bursary in 2017. Maeve has specific experience in teacher professional development having previously worked as a Regional Development Officer with the NIPT and as a tutor with Galway Education Centre. She has been actively involved on a number of national committees including the NCCA Primary Curriculum Development Groups and the Teaching Council Research Engagement Group. Maeve is the INTO Equality Officer and she is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Equality, Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Limerick.



Bernie McHale, Senior Official

Bernie McHale is a senior official with responsibility for all aspects of strategic management within the HR function in Head Office and Northern Office. Bernie comes from a banking background, with a long career in undertaking both commercial and HR roles. She brings extensive HR experience to the INTO, having spent 15 years working exclusively in senior HR roles.

In her role, Bernie works with INTO’s senior leadership team on all elements of formal HR policies and practices including employee engagement, HR development, CPD, recruitment and selection, workforce planning, employee/industrial relations and succession/talent management.
Bernie is a native of Dublin, originally from Santry now living in Portmarnock.