NALA Board Members

NALA's Board meets nine times a year and is made up of the following members:

Officers of the Board

Mary Bambrick, Chairperson
Mary is a literacy and numeracy tutor with the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB), and a member of the NALA Board since 2014. She is a commerce graduate of University College Dublin. She has worked in supply chain roles with LM Ericsson, the Irish Dairy Board and Vodafone Ireland. She also lectured in Carlow IT. Having taken a step back from business to raise her family, Mary returned to the world of education as a voluntary tutor with CDETB. She continues to volunteer as well as giving classes in literacy and numeracy in Coláiste Dhúlaigh in Dublin.

David Heylin, Treasurer
David Heylin is a chartered accountant and he is currently Finance Director and an Executive Board Member of Comex McKinnon, which specialises in the supply of agri-commodities. Prior to joining Comex, he worked as an auditor with KPMG's consumer and industrial markets department advising clients across a wide variety of industry sectors. He holds a Business and Law degree and a Masters in Accounting from UCD. David joined the board of NALA in 2018 and was appointed Honorary Treasurer.

Sinead Ryan, Secretary
Sinead Ryan has over a decade of practical experience working as a Pharmacist and Optometrist in both the UK and Ireland. She is a part time lecturer in Therapeutics and Pharmacology in Technology University Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. She is currently completing an MBA in UCD Smurfit Business School. She serves on the committees of the Irish Pharmacy Union, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, CORU and the Irish Medical Council. 

Members of the Board

Pat Ayton
Pat has been involved in adult literacy since 1980 when she completed tutor training with the City of Dublin Adult Literacy Service. She worked as a volunteer tutor and later as a group tutor, delivering classes in literacy and numeracy in Colaiste Dhulaigh , Coolock. In May 1991 Pat was appointed Adult Literacy Organiser on a fulltime basis, with responsibility for adult literacy provision for the greater Coolock/Darndale area. She continued in that role until November 2016, when she took early retirement from the City of Dublin Education and Training Board ( CDETB), in order to pursue other things. Pat holds a BSc in Education and Training and an MSc in Education and Training Management from DCU. Pat has lectured on the Education and Training degree programme in DCU. She has been committed to adult literacy and improving services offered to adults returning to education in order to improve their skills and their life chances for 36 years. On retirement her passion has not waned at all and it is for that reason that she continues to be actively involved in NALA.  

Louise Canavan
Louise is Communications Officer with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), the pharmacy regulator, whose role is to ensure public health and safety by setting standards for pharmacists and pharmacies. Louise has worked with the PSI since 2012 where she began engaging with NALA in order to promote plain English principles across the organisation. She has also had a role in meeting the PSI’s corporate governance responsibilities. She holds a Masters in Public and Political Communications and a Corporate Law degree.

Hazel Cryan
Hazel is a a chartered accountant and she is currently a Director in KPMG's Corporate Finance practice, which specialises in advising on transactions of national and international significance. She holds a Business degree and a Masters in Accounting from UCD. She has been a guest speaker at many conferences and events including Going for Growth, National Digital Week and Cork IT's cryptocurrency forum. She was also a judge and mentor for Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Michael Duffy
Michael is a literacy student from Cavan and Monaghan ETB. He is also chairperson of NALA's student subcommittee. Michael has featured in many media interviews and taken part in many events to raise awareness about adult literacy.

Anna Tuohy Halligan

Noel Phelan
Noel is from Callan in Co. Kilkenny. He left school at 13 and went on to work and rear a family. However, as a father, his literacy problems and lack of education began to have an impact on family life so he went back to education to improve his skills. Noel has also served on NALA's student subcommittee and he has helped raise awareness of adult literacy at numerous events over the last few years including our student days and at the ploughing championships.

Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly is an Adult Literacy Organiser in Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB). He has previously worked as as a literacy, numeracy, computer and ESOL tutor. He has liaised on various projects with NALA over the years and has frequently given workshops at NALA conferences. He has also helped with NALA's Student Days and helped to organise GRETB and NALA radio advertisments featuring local learners. He was also involved in literacy and numeracy research projects with NALA and on Erasmus+. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Economics from National University of Ireland Galway, a postgraduate diploma in post-primary education from Hibernia College, Dublin and a Certificate in English Language Teaching. He has also completed literacy modules at Waterford Institute of Technology. He wishes to see more collaboration between NALA and the ETBs and is looking forward to the opportunity to foster further co-operation through his role on NALA Board.

Maria O'Gorman
Maria O'Gorman is from Listowel in County Kerry. For many years she worked as an accountant for a manufacturing company. She does a lot of work in the adult education sector and represents adult learners on a variety of committees and she is on the board of Kerry ETB. Maria is also on the board of Irish Rural Link, which is the national network representing rural communities.

Lee Mitchell
Lee Mitchell is a student at Bray adult learning centre. Lee is also on NALA's student subcommittee and he has helped raise awareness of adult literacy at numerous events over the last few years including our student days and at the ploughing championships.

Liz O'Sullivan