Major college role for accomplished Kerry educator

Cahersiveen’s Emer is new Dean of Mary Immaculate

Dr Emer Ring
Dr Emer Ring

Tadhg Evans

Kerry's links with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick have been strengthened further with the appointment of Cahersiveen woman Dr Emer Ring as the college's Dean of Education.

Dr Ring, who took up the post on Monday, said she was humbled at her appointment and has vowed to continue to work with her colleagues at the college, nationally, and internationally, to build on the college's contribution to early-childhood and teacher education.

Her credentials date back to teaching mainstream classes at national schools in Aghatubrid and Foilmore, and she then went on to work as a learning support teacher at Scoil Dar Earca in Valentia and as a resource teacher at Presentation Convent, Cahersiveen.

And she was quick to point to those days before explaining to The Kerryman that Kerry's strong links to the college make this an even prouder achievement for her.

"I'm a very proud Kerry woman, and I'm conscious that Kerry has strong links with Mary Immaculate College," she said.

"I have very strong Kerry grassroots behind me as well having started my career in 1981 in Aghatubrid. I've dedicated much of my life to education, and I have a passionate belief in education's ability to transform lives.

"I'm very humbled. My son is Gavan [an accomplished Baritone], and I always get asked if I'm Gavan Ring's mom! Maybe now he'll be asked if he's Emer Ring's son!

"I'm equally proud of my daughter, Iseult, who is herself a teacher at post-primary."

She is also part of a steering group behind the LINC programme, offered free to people working in early years education, with graduates qualifying as Inclusion Co-ordinators.

She passionately advocates for early childhood teachers and greater inclusion in education for children with additional needs.

"I have great concerns for the status of the early-childhood teacher, and it is the one piece of the educational jigsaw that needs to be worked on," she said. "I'm very proud of the part Mary Immaculate has played in addressing this, and this will continue."

She has previously worked on a wide range of national research projects on topics such as early childhood, inclusion, autism, and both primary and post-primary education. She is currently the joint-principal investigator on a National Council for Special Needs-commissioned research team which is looking into the in-school therapy demonstration project across early years, primary, post-primary and special school settings.

Her CV also includes formerly working as a senior inspector at the Department of Education and Skills, and she has worked on a wide range of published works.