Belfast man elected as chairperson of the National Adult Learning Organisation (AONTAS)

Belfast’s John D’Arcy, director of The Open University (OU) in Ireland, has been elected chairperson of AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 6:00 am

The election took place at the AONTAS annual general meeting recently.

Mr D’Arcy is director of the OU and has worked in adult education sector for many years. The OU works with people in every county to achieve their educational goals, whether job-focussed or for personal development. Prior to working with The OU, John was chief executive of Colleges Northern Ireland, which represented all further education colleges in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment John, D’Arcy Director of OU, said: “It really is an honour to have been elected to chairperson of AONTAS and I am focused on the important work that we can do collectively over the next period of time to support learners and adult learning organisations across Ireland.”

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Belfast man John D’Arcy

Aside from John’s sectoral experience and work with governments in Dublin and Belfast, he has experience of governance in charity and third sector organisations like AONTAS.

Congratulating John on his election to chairperson Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS said: “I very much look forward to continuing to work with John in his new role as chairperson of AONTAS; he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be instrumental in furthering our ambitions to support adult learners across the island of Ireland.”

Outgoing chairperson, Tara Farrell, CEO of Longford Women’s Link completed her term of office at the AGM. AONTAS Board members and colleagues expressed their thanks to Tara for her stellar leadership as AONTAS Chairperson since 2018.

Thanking Tara for her contribution Dr Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, added: “Tara Farrell has been an outstanding chairperson of AONTAS providing invaluable leadership and support to AONTAS since 2012.

“She has brought a model of leadership to AONTAS that embodies the values of community education - feminism, equalty, authenticity and integrity. In her time as Chairperson Tara has strengthened the organisation and offered excellent strategic and corporate governance oversight that has enabled AONTAS to thrive in challenging times. I also welcome all of our newly elected Board members who reflect the diversity and strength of the adult learning sector.”

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