Senior Officials

Ciarán Gallagher, Senior Official

Ciarán Gallagher is Temporary 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, Senior Official

Maeve McCafferty is a Temporary Senior Official in the Education, Research and Learning (ERL) section having previously worked as an education and research Official with the INTO.

Maeve has taught for over 13 years in both rural and urban schools and has acquired significant in-school management experience as Deputy Principal. Maeve holds a M Ed in Leadership and Management (TCD), a Higher Diploma in Primary Education (DCU), a Post-graduate Diploma in Business (NUIG) and a BA in Irish and Geography (NUIG).

Maeve has specific experience in teacher professional development having previously worked as a Regional Development Officer with the National Induction Programme for Teachers, and as a course designer and tutor with Galway Education Centre.

She has been actively involved on a number of national committees including the NCCA Primary Curriculum Development Groups, Teaching Council Research Engagement Groups and the Department of Education Early Years Advisory Committee.


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.


Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy, Senior Official

Sheila is the Senior Official in the Legal, Industrial Relations and Equality Section. Sheila holds a B.Ed from St Patrick’s College (Drumcondra), a graduate diploma in Special Educational Needs (UCD), a Master of Education (UCD) and a graduate diploma in Education Law and Practice (Law Society of Ireland). In her role Sheila provides advice, assistance and representation to members across a range of fora including the Teaching Council, Tusla and the Workplace Relations Commission.

Originally from Dublin, Sheila spent 13 years teaching in St Maelruain’s Senior NS in Tallaght before joining INTO Head Office. During her time teaching, Sheila was also an activist with Tallaght branch and district 8 holding a range of roles including staff representative, district trainer and cathaoirleach of Tallaght branch.

John O’Brien, Senior Official

John is a native of Cork and previously worked in the insurance industry in both Cork and Dublin. He has been a life-long, active trade union member and served on the Irish Executive of the Amicus (now UNITE) Trade Union for many years. He completed a Diploma in Management & Employee Relations (NCI) and also served as a seconded full time union representative within the Irish Finance Sector before joining the INTO in January 2008.

John works in the Conditions of Employment Section in INTO Head Office and has wide-ranging responsibilities, including dealing with Pension & Retirement, Sick leave and related issues, such as the Salary Protection Scheme and the Employee Assistance Service. John is also the INTO Global Solidarity Officer, which includes responsibility for the development of the INTO Global Solidarity Network. He is a member of the INTO Global Citizenship School Steering Committee and represents the INTO on the ICTU Global Solidarity Committee, the Irish Forum for Global Education and the Education International, Capacity Building and Solidarity Network.