Northern Ireland

INTO appoints Mark McTaggart as new northern secretary

Mark McTaggart has been appointed the new INTO northern secretary
Mark McTaggart has been appointed the new INTO northern secretary

THE Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has appointed Mark McTaggart as its new northern secretary.

A former school principal and teacher, Mr McTaggart currently serves as assistant northern secretary with the INTO northern office, a post he has held since 2016.

As a union activist, the Belfast man acted was an INTO school representative for 14 years, chairperson of the Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Larne Branch and also served as chair of Northern Committee in 2015/16.

He will take office on March 13 following the departure of outgoing northern secretary Gerry Murphy, who was recently appointed as assistant general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Mr McTaggart said he is "delighted and honoured to take on the role".

"In keeping with all trade unionists, I am acutely aware that this is a crucial time for INTO and the whole trade union movement in the north, with the severe cuts to education budgets and our ongoing campaign to restore teachers’ salaries to pre-2010 levels.

"I will continue to work closely with the other education unions to bring an acceptable and just resolution to this campaign.

"Gerry Murphy is to be commended for his leadership as outgoing northern secretary, and I would like to thank him on behalf of all members in Northern Ireland for his service and dedication to the teaching profession.

"On a personal note, I have valued his friendship and the support he has provided to me in the past.

"Gerry leaves the union in a very strong position, and we wish him well in his new role representing the trade union movement."

INTO president John Driscoll said Mr McTaggart's appointment ensures that they will be "led by an experienced union official as we engage in a sustained campaign of industrial action".

"The appointment of a seasoned union activist will ensure a smooth handover in the role, ensuring we continue to represent our members in Northern Ireland well during a turbulent period ahead," he said.