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AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation, a voluntary membership organisation.

Niamh O'Reilly

Niamh O'Reilly

Chief Executive Officer

Niamh O'Reilly

Chief Executive Officer

Niamh is the Chief Executive Officer of AONTAS. She is responsible for the overall strategic and operational management of the organisation, including responsibility for staff and budgetary management and implementation of the Strategic Plan. She reports to the AONTAS Board of Directors.

OUR TEAM

Katie O'Rourke

Katie O'Rourke

Head of Communications

Katie O'Rourke

Head of Communications

Katie is responsible for leading a complementary team under the areas of Communications and Membership. She is also responsible for the implementation of the AONTAS Communications Strategy; ensuring that all internal and external communications are in line with the organisation’s strategic goals, and ensuring the highest possible outcomes and reach.

Leah Dowdall

Leah Dowdall

Head of Research

Leah Dowdall

Head of Research

Leah is the AONTAS Head of Research and leads a complementary team responsible for delivering the organisation’s research agenda, which aims to promote educational equality for all adult learners.

Dearbháil Lawless

Dearbháil Lawless

Head of Advocacy

Dearbháil Lawless

Head of Advocacy

Dearbháil leads the Advocacy Team and is responsible for advocacy campaigns, evidence-based policy submissions, and political and stakeholder engagement. The Advocacy Team engages with members using a grassroots approach to inform our policy position at a national and international level. This team also delivers the European Agenda for Adult Learning and all EU funded programmes, the Community Education Network, and the One Step Up Information and Referral Service.

Marta Feragalli

Marta Feragalli

Finance and Administration Lead

Marta Feragalli

Finance and Administration Lead

Marta is the AONTAS Finance and Administration Lead. She works closely with the CEO, Team Leads, Office Manager and provides finance support across all areas of work. Marta also plays an integral part in the monitoring of the schedules, budgets and expenditures of all EU funded projects.

Suzanne Kyle

Suzanne Kyle

Community Education Network Coordinator

Suzanne Kyle

Community Education Network Coordinator

Suzanne is responsible for the AONTAS Community Education Network (CEN) including overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of the work in order to support the growth, sustainability and development of the CEN in line with the current AONTAS Strategic Plan.

John Ryan

John Ryan

Office Manager

John Ryan

Office Manager

John is the Office Manager at AONTAS and is responsible for the overall maintenance of all office systems. He also provides PA support to the CEO, oversees the administrative support requirements of all teams, oversees operational HR activities, and supports the Finance Lead with financial administration.

Sam O'Brien-Olinger

Sam O'Brien-Olinger

Information and Policy Officer

Sam O'Brien-Olinger

Information and Policy Officer

Sam is responsible for supporting projects relating to OneStepUp.ie and leading the Information Referral Service by delivering a high quality service to learners. This includes engaging with relevant AONTAS staff and external stakeholders and communicating the outcomes and impact of One Step Up. Sam also provides policy research and development support for AONTAS' Advocacy work. This includes researching, collating and disseminating work.

Barry Dolan

Barry Dolan

Communications and Membership Officer

Barry Dolan

Communications and Membership Officer

Barry is responsible for assisting with the development and implementation of a strong communications strategy, highlighting the value and benefits of membership, strengthening and developing the AONTAS membership base and supporting the work of members through communications activities.

Eve Cobain

Eve Cobain

Research Officer

Eve Cobain

Research Officer

Eve supports the delivery of AONTAS’ research initiative, with a particular focus on community education. Through this work, she will pilot a Community Education Census. She also helps to administer the organisation’s peer-review journal, The Adult Learner.

Suzanne Kerr

Suzanne Kerr

Administration Assistant

Suzanne Kerr

Administration Assistant

Suzanne is responsible for providing administration assistance in all aspects of AONTAS operations.

Laura Lovejoy

Laura Lovejoy

Research Officer Learner Voice

Laura Lovejoy

Research Officer Learner Voice

Laura supports the delivery of AONTAS’ research initiative, by delivering high-quality research aimed at improving learner voice for action. Laura also helps support the delivery of the National Further Education and Training Learner Forum by engaging with relevant stakeholders and providers across the Irish adult education sector.

Kalianne Farren

Kalianne Farren

Project Officer

Kalianne Farren

Project Officer

Kalianne supports the delivery of AONTAS’ research initiatives, by providing administrative and research support for the implementation of the National Further Education and Training Learner Forum and supporting broader learner voice initiatives across the Irish adult education sector.

Emma O'Kane

Emma O'Kane

Social Media Officer

Emma O'Kane

Social Media Officer

Emma supports the implementation of the communications strategy by overseeing AONTAS’s social media work. Emma does this by delivering promotional campaigns on our work and the work of our members and by monitoring AONTAS’ overall social media performance.

Órla Mannion

Órla Mannion

Project Officer Capacity Building

Órla Mannion

Project Officer Capacity Building

Órla supports the delivery of advocacy initiatives. These initiatives fall within the areas of advocacy policy paper development, capacity building, resource development and European projects. Órla works with the AONTAS team, AONTAS members, adult learners, project partners and other stakeholders, representing the organisation at local, national and European level.

Akisato Suzuki

Akisato Suzuki

Research Officer

Akisato Suzuki

Research Officer

Akisato (Aki) supports the delivery of AONTAS’ research initiative, by producing high-quality research and providing administrative and policy support to AONTAS’ learner initiatives. Aki also helps support the delivery of the National Further Education and Training Learner Forum.

Ecem Akarca

Ecem Akarca

EU Projects Officer

Ecem Akarca

EU Projects Officer

Ecem is responsible for leading the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) and the management of EU funded Projects in AONTAS. She represents the organisation at national and European level, including working directly with the European Commission.

We advocate for the right of all adults in Ireland to quality lifelong learning.
meet our executive members