About Us


The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. We  use our collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. NYCI’s role is recognised in legislation through the Youth Work Act 2001.

Scale of youth work sector:






to work with


Young People


An Ireland where young people in every community are empowered through excellent youth work to realise their potential and actively participate in an inclusive society.


NYCI is a membership organisation that represents the shared interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses our collective expertise to act on issues that impact on young people.

We do this by:

  • Representing the shared interests of voluntary youth organisations.
  • Building solidarity among our members.
  • Advocating on issues that impact on the lives of young people.
  • Promoting the development of evidence informed high quality specialist youth work practice.
  • Capacity building and professional development.


To represent the collective voice of the youth work sector and build capacity, leadership and influence to deliver better outcomes for young people.


  • We believe that all young people have a right to develop a sense of belonging and empowerment in a fair and just society. We are concerned for young people disconnected from the mainstream.
  • We are an organisation that promotes learning, innovation and forward thinking.
  • We believe that a strong vibrant voluntary youth sector has a critical role to play in engaging all young people.
  • We believe that better outcomes are achieved when young people are involved in making decisions that affect them.
  • We value volunteering and the vital role it plays in a healthy vibrant community.
  • We are an organisation that consults and represents our members with integrity.
  • We value the diversity of the voluntary youth sector and believe that is a key strength


The results of the cost-benefit assessment of the economic value of youth work presented in this study suggest that the public funding provided by the State for youth work services represents value for money.



NYCI is constituted by over 50 member organisations.

DirectorMary Cunninghamdirector@nyci.ie
Deputy DirectorJames Doorleypolicy@nyci.ie
Head of Research and PolicyMarie-Claire McAleerresearch@nyci.ie
International OfficerJean-Marie Culleninternational@nyci.ie
Administration ManagerLisa Hylandlisa@nyci.ie
Administration ManagerElaine Lowryelaine@nyci.ie
Administrative OfficerRosie Boyleinfo@nyci.ie
Administrative Officer / Garda VettingGeraldine Mahongeraldine@nyci.ie
Administrative OfficerAurica Cozneacauricac@nyci.ie
Director of FinanceLaura Geratyfinance@nyci.ie
Communications ManagerDaniel Meister  communications@nyci.ie
Senior Health Promotion Officer / National Youth Health programmeRachael TraenorRachael@nyci.ie
Senior Project Officer / Youth ArtsAnne O’GormanAnneOG@nyci.ie
Youth Arts Development OfficerSaoirse ReynoldsSaoirse@nyci.ie
Intercultural and Equality Project OfficerAnne Walshanne@nyci.ie
Intercultural and Equality OfficerSally Dalysally@nyci.ie
Development Education Co-ordinatorValerie Duffydeved@nyci.ie
Maker Project OfficerBarbara Neabarbara@nyci.ie
SkillsSummary Project Co-ordinatorKatrin Wolschkeskillssummary@nyci.ie

NYCI’s Annual Assembly is its highest decision-making body and takes place once a year. As well as addressing financial, organisational and constitutional matters, elections are held. The Board of NYCI is the governing body of the Council. It is elected at the Annual Assembly. The Board ensures that the work programme and policies of the Council are implemented. Member organisations then decide the nature of participation in NYCI (to include young people, leaders, practitioners, volunteers, managers, heads of organisations) depending on the focus, issue and/or needs by participation in thematic networks.

The Board of NYCI is the Governing body of the National Youth Council of Ireland and broadly represents all member organisations and is ultimately responsible to the Member Organisations.

The members of the Board are the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, the Chairperson of the International Advisory Committee, seven (7) persons elected by the Youth Work electoral college and four (4) persons elected to the Youth Interest electoral colleges.

The Board implements the work programme and policies of the National Youth Council of Ireland and it is the decision making body between AGMs. The Board meets at least six times a year.

Dubheasa Kelly Scouting IrelandPresident
Gordon Hill CrosscareVice President
Shane Doyle No Name ClubTreasurer
Kate Cowan An ÓigeInternational Advisory Committee Chairperson
Lucy O’Donovan Irish Girl GuidesBoard member
Steve Grasham Church of Ireland Youth DepartmentBoard member
Greg Tierney CrosscareBoard member
Niamh Quinn ForoigeBoard member
Derrie Dylan MacraBoard member
Michael McLoughlin Youth Work IrelandBoard member
Mark Kavanagh Young Fine GaelBoard member
Michelle Byrne Union of Students in IrelandBoard member
Garry McHugh Young Irish Film MakersBoard member
Nicola Toughey Catholic Guides of IrelandBoard member
Jack Deacon SpunOut.ieBoard member


The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), the umbrella body for youth work organisations, celebrated 50 years in existence in 2017. From small beginnings in 1967 it has grown to become Ireland’s leading voice on youth issues, representing organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide.

To mark its 50th anniversary the NYCI commissioned ‘50 Voices from 50 Years: an oral history of NYCI’. Through fifty interviews with persons involved in NYCI over the past five decades this publication provides an engaging, insightful and at times humorous snapshot of the history of the organisation and highlights the many changes that both the organisation, and society as a whole have undergone in that time.

NYCI supports Sustainable Development Goals

NYCI Supports Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice

NYCI is a signatory of the Dochas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages

NYCI complies with The Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland

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