Wed, Jul 22nd, 2020
We are delighted to announce that Lorraine Gilligan has been appointed Executive Director at Léargas. Lorraine takes over the organisation from Jim Mullin, who retired earlier this year after 30 years as Executive Director.
Lorraine has worked in various roles in Léargas, starting at reception nearly 25 years ago and most recently leading the Programme Support and Development team.
On the announcement of her appointment Lorraine Gilligan said:
“It is a privilege to take up this role as Executive Director. I started in Léargas as a receptionist thinking that I might spend a few months with the organisation but was captivated by the work taking place and the positive impact it has on participants. The personal learning impact that takes place through the programme activities is transformational. It shifts people’s mindsets. You’re not just going travelling yourself, you’re perhaps talking to people who have the same job as you and face similar challenges. My vision is to build on the reputation that Léargas has as a supportive organisation. We’re not just a funding organisation and I want to change that perception. Yes, we give funding but we’re an organisation that supports development and offers training, insights, coaching, advice, and more. We help participants through the life of their project so even if there are bureaucratic systems working in the background, we’re there to help them through that.”
This year is the last for applications to the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, which will be succeeded next year by a newly developed set of EU programmes with a renewed focus on European values such as diversity and an inclusive society. Lorraine said that this is an important milestone for Europe, Ireland and Léargas:
“There is still work to be done to make sure that we maintain and build on those connections and give people the opportunity to connect to those values. We should bring Ireland into the heart of Europe and Europe into the heart of Ireland. That’s what we’re trying to do in Léargas.”