16 May 2022

Kilkenny school principal Joe McKeown elected new President of INTO

'If keeping schools open is a top priority, keeping teachers safe must be a top priority'


The new president of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation is Joe McKeown, principal teacher in St Patrick's De La Salle BNS, Kilkenny

A Kilkenny man has been elected President of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO).

Joe McKeown, principal teacher in St Patrick's De La Salle BNS, was elected today at the INTO Virtual Congress 2021. 

Married to Teresa, they have two children, Ian and Niamh.

Mr McKeown began his teaching career in St Canice’s Primary School, Kilkenny when he graduated from St Patrick’s College in 1982. He spent three years as principal of Kilkenny School Project from 1995-1998. 

He then joined the staff of St. Patrick’s Boys National School and was appointed deputy principal in 2009. He is currently principal of the 27-teacher school with three special classes for children with autism.

A native of Haulbowline, Cork, Mr McKeown has represented Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois Wexford and Baltinglass on the INTO Central Executive Committee since 2012.

He is a member of Kilkenny City INTO Branch and served as branch chairman, branch secretary, district secretary, district chairperson, media co-ordinator and INTO Accounts Committee member prior to his election to the Executive Committee in 2012. He was also a member of the INTO Project Team on Pay Equality.

Mr McKeown is currently a member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and chair of the NCCA Audit and Risk Committee.

“If keeping schools open is a top priority, keeping teachers safe must be a top priority and will be a core aspect of my work as president in the coming year," said Mr McKeown.

"Overcrowded classrooms did not help us respond to the pandemic and they certainly won’t help us recover from Covid-19. We must consign supersized primary classes to the history books where they belong, delivering regular reductions to align with the lower-class sizes of our EU neighbours.

"Hot water, adequate heating and proper ventilation are such basic elements of a school and yet, it took a global health crisis for this country to finally invest in primary education. This investment must be maintained to support our recovery and ensure we are never so exposed again.”

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