Irish National Teachers' Organisation

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Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO)
Cumann Múinteoirí Éireann
HeadquartersDublin, Republic of Ireland
Key people
John Boyle (General Secretary),[2]
AffiliationsIrish Congress of Trade Unions

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) (Irish: Cumann Múinteoirí Éireann), founded in 1868, is the oldest and largest teachers' trade union in Ireland. It represents teachers at primary level in the Republic of Ireland, and at primary and post-primary level in Northern Ireland. The head office is at Parnell Square, Dublin, and there is a Northern Irish office in Belfast. The current INTO President (2022–23) is John Driscoll;[3] John Boyle is the General Secretary and Gerry Murphy is the Northern Secretary.[citation needed]



The union was founded in 1868 with the help and encouragement of Danish-born philanthropist Vere Foster.

Upon its inception there were 47 local teachers' associations which affiliated with the INTO, and Foster became the first president.

Affiliations steadily increased, with 168 by 1869 and 235 by the end of 1875. By 1914 there were 15,550 members.

Early successes included ensuring the provision of teachers' residences, abolition of payment by results, and the introduction of incremental salary scales.

The first female president, Catherine Mahon, was elected in 1912. The first full-time general secretary, Eamonn Mansfield, was appointed in 1916.

Irish independence and after[edit]

Upon the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the INTO identified firmly with the aim to create an educational system based on "Irish ideals and conditions".[clarification needed][citation needed]

Throughout the decades the union campaigned for improvements in the working conditions of teachers and parallel to this maintained a large influence on the educational policy of successive Governments.

Achievements and campaigns[edit]

Notable achievements include the establishment of Diocesan panel rights[clarification needed] for the redeployment of teachers in 1937, the abolition of the Primary Certificate in 1967, and the introduction of equal pay for teachers regardless of gender or marital status in 1977.

In 1946, unrest at salary levels led to INTO members in Dublin going on strike for seven months. Other members countrywide contributed towards their strike pay. Moves towards a long-term resolution were made in 1949 with the establishment of a salaries committee by the then Government. The issue was finally resolved with the implementation of a new incremental scale, bonuses and pension arrangements for teachers.

Since the turn of the nineteenth century the INTO had sought to have the basic qualification for primary teaching accorded university status. This long-standing demand finally became a reality in 1974.

During the economic crisis of the 1980s, and with teacher unemployment at an all-time high, the INTO secured improvements in substitute teachers' conditions including the direct payment of substitutes, linkage of salary to the incremental scale,[clarification needed] and the establishment of supply panels[clarification needed] in certain areas.

Uniting with parents and management in 1987, the INTO led the campaign which ameliorated the worst effects of proposed cutbacks in education and teacher numbers.

The 1990s and 2000s saw the continuation of social partnership[clarification needed] which brought about gains in the working conditions for the membership.

An Post (the Irish post office) issued a commemorative stamp on 22 March 2018 to mark the 150th anniversary of the union.


The union website claimed 50,042 members (43,141 in Republic of Ireland and 6,901 in Northern Ireland) as of February 2021.[4]

General secretaries[edit]

1868: John O'Harte
1871: John Morrin
1877: J. W. Henly
1878: A. K. O'Farrell
1884: James Thompson
1891: M. O'Kelly
1894: J. Coffey
1898: Terence Clarke [5]
1910: Michael Doyle
1913: Eamonn Mansfield
1916: Thomas J. O'Connell
1949: D. J. Kelleher
1967: Seán Brosnahan[6]
1978: Gerry Quigley
1990: Joe O'Toole
2001: John Carr
2009: Sheila Nunan
2019: John Boyle


1868: Vere Foster
1873: John Boal
1875: John Traynor
1877: J Ferguson
1882: W Cullen
1883: J Nealon
1889: P Ward
1892: D.A. Simmons
1897: T Clarke
1899: J Hegarty
1904: J Nealon
1905: J.J. Hazlet
1906: D.C. Maher
1907: P Gamble
1908: D Elliot
1909: J McGowan
1910: E Mansfield
1911: G O'Callaghan
1912: Catherine M Mahon
1914: G O'Callaghan
1916: G Ramsey
1917: J Cunningham
1918: R Judge
1919: T.J. Nunan
1920: D.C. Maher
1921: J Harbison
1922: C Breathnach
1923: D.A. Meehan
1924: J McNeelis
1925: C.P. Murphy
1926: Thomas Frisby
1927: H O'Donnell
1928: P.J. Quinn
1929: E Caraher
1930: W.P. Ward
1931: R Neilly
1932: M Kearney
1933: C Breathnach
1934: J Hurley
1935: L Sweeney
1936: D.F. Courell
1937: J.F. O'Grady
1938: T.J. Nunan
1940: H.A. Macauley
1941: J.P. Griffith
1942: M Coleman
1943: H O'Connor
1944: Thomas Frisby
1945: K.M. Clarke
1946: D.J. Kelleher
1947: S Brosnahan
1948: L Forde
1949: J Mansfield
1950: B Bergin
1951: I.H. McEnaney
1952: P Gormley
1953: H.J. McManus
1954: M Griffin
1955: H.F. Mcune-Reid
1956: M Skinnider
1957: L O'Reilly
1958: G Hurley
1959: W.M. Keane
1960: S McGlinchey
1961: P.J. Looney
1962: P O'Riordan
1963: D O'Scanaill
1964: P Carney
1965: E Liston
1966: R.S. Holland
1967: J Allman
1968: A.J. Faulkner
1969: T Martin
1970: T Wade
1971: A Brennan
1972: S O'Connor
1973: S O'Brien
1974: S Carew
1975: S Eustace
1976: B Gillespie
1977: B Scannell
1978: F Poole
1979: G Keane
1980: M McSweeney
1981: F Cunningham
1982: T Waldron
1983: M O'Connell
1984: J.J. Connelly
1985: R Carabine
1986: S Puirseil
1987: T Honan
1988: M Drew
1989: T Gilmore
1990: J White
1991: J Collins
1992: B Gilmore
1993: E Bruton
1994: M McGarry
1995: S Shiels
1996: L Mccloskey
1997: T Bates
1998: B Hynes
1999: D Rainey
2000: D Ó Loingsigh
2001: J Ward
2002: G Malone
2003: S Rowley
2004: A Corcoran
2005: S Nunan
2006: D Bohane
2007: A Dunne
2008: D Kelleher
2009: M Ní Chuinneagáin
2010: J Higgins
2011: N Flynn
2012: A Fay
2013: B O'Sullivan
2014: S McMahon
2015: E Dineen
2016: R Jordan
2017: J Boyle
2018: J Killeen
2019: F Brougham
2020: M Magner[7]
2021: J McKeown[8]
2022: J Driscoll[9]

Club na Múinteoirí[edit]

Door of Club na Múinteoirí

Next door to the union's head office on Parnell Square is Club na Múinteoirí (the Teachers' Club) which is operated by the INTO as a space for cultural and social events, including halls, meeting rooms, a bar, and a theatre in the basement.[10]


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ "General Secretary & Deputy General Secretary".
  3. ^ "President & Vice-President".
  4. ^ "Current Membership". INTO. April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  5. ^ Dr. Clarke in later references, he achieved his LL.D from the Royal University in 1900 - Irish Independent 14 June 1909
  6. ^ Ward, Noel, The I.N.T.O. and the Catholic Church, 1930-1955 (M.A. thesis, University College Dublin, 1987), p.79
  7. ^ "President & Vice-President".
  8. ^ "President & Vice-President".
  9. ^ "President & Vice-President".
  10. ^ "Club na Múinteoirí: The Teachers' Club". INTO. Retrieved 9 June 2015.

External links[edit]