18 Jun 2019

AONTAS and Cork Learning City Launch the Adult Learner Journal 2019

 Press Release

AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation in partnership with Cork Learning City launched the 2019 edition of The Adult Learner Journal in Cork City Hall today (18.06.2019).

Founded in the mid-1980s, The Adult Learner is the only peer-reviewed Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education which engages with issues across the spectrum of adult learning, both in Ireland and on an international level.

The 2019 edition of the Journal is a special issue to mark AONTAS’ 50 year anniversary as the voice of adult learning. The Adult Learner 2019 focuses on changes in the field of adult, further and community education over the past 50 years.

Welcoming guests to the event were Cork Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Joe Kavanagh, AONTAS CEO Niamh O’Reilly, Journal Editor Rosemary Moreland and Coordinator of Cork Learning City Denis Barrett.

Speaking at the event, Niamh Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: It is fitting that in our 50th year we return to the roots of AONTAS for the launch of the Adult Learner Journal. Cork and UCC have always been at the forefront of adult learning provision, and the first idea of a national body was posed to the Director of Adult Learning in UCC, Seán Ó Murchú with Fr Liam Carey in 1968.”

Today AONTAS has almost 400 members and supports equality of access to adult learning, with this Journal acting as a free resource to all providers, learners and academics alike.”

Attendees also heard from Denis Barrett about the work of Cork Learning City, a UNESCO award-winning initiative that promotes and celebrates learning opportunities for people of all ages, interests and abilities. Commenting on the collaboration between this initiative and AONTAS.

Mr Barrett said: “Cork Learning City is pleased and honoured to be co-host of the launch of the Adult Learner Journal 2019. In this significant 50th year for AONTAS, it is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the connections with Cork since its foundation, and our shared commitment to maximise the Lifelong Learning opportunities for all our citizens.”

The event featured a lively panel discussion which included members of the Adult Learner Journal Editorial Board Rosemary Moreland, Nuala Glanton (Cork ETB), Luke Murtagh, Maria Slowey and guest panellist Stephen O’Brien of UCC, who all reflected on the history of the Journal and key developments in adult learning in Ireland over the past five decades.

Authors then shared what inspired them to write their articles and gave short summaries of the contents. Among these was Barry Golding via video input, who co-authored a specially commissioned article with Jack Harvey for the Journal: 50 Years of AONTAS: Developments in the Field of Adult Education in Ireland as Reflected in the Contents of The Adult Learner and its Antecedent Journals.

Taking a ‘looking back to look forward approach’, other articles in the Journal analysed contemporary issues in adult and community education, including access routes into university adult education in an article by Rosemary Moreland and Eric Cownie, and the work of the National FET Learner Forum in giving learners a platform to shape FET policy in a piece by Leah Dowdall, Edel Sheerin and Niamh O’Reilly of AONTAS.

Find out more about The Adult Learner Journal and access the newly launched Journal at: