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Alison Gapert named as National Learning Network manager for Wicklow


Alison Gapert with Bray National Learning Network users Lee and Aaron.

Alison Gapert with Bray National Learning Network users Lee and Aaron.

Alison Gapert with Bray National Learning Network users Lee and Aaron.


A Bray-native who became involved with the National Learning Network (NLN) due to a life-changing accident has been named as the area manager for South Dublin and Wicklow.

Alison Gapert succeeds Deborah Coughlan who stepped down from the role in April after 16 years at the helm overseeing the centres in Bray, Arklow and Park House Stillorgan.

"I am absolutely delighted to take up this new position," Alison says. "After almost 15 years in the company, this is the culmination of a fantastic career so-far with NLN.

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"I am very much looking forward to working with the teams in Bray, Arklow and Stillorgan and I would like to pay tribute to the excellent work Deborah Coughlan did before me and wish her well for the future."

Former architectural technician Alison, whose surname before her marriage was O’Leary and who still lives in Bray, was previously Head of Department in NLN Roslyn College in Sandymount and Cathal Brugha Street.

Alison started working with NLN while recovering from being hit by a car in Stillorgan in October 2002 which saw her spend over six months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

“While I was attending an outpatient physiotherapy appointment in 2006, I noticed an information stand for NLN in the hospital. One of the courses it offered was Computer-Aided Design (CAD) which is something I was familiar with from my architectural work,” Alison continues.

“I asked if they needed anyone to help out and after meeting with staff in Roslyn College, I was offered a teaching assistant position. After some time, I left architecture completely and took over as the full-time CAD course instructor. I believe that I am the living embodiment of #Think Possible - which is the defining mantra of NLN and I hope my story can inspire other people who may have challenges in their lives.”

Married with a young daughter, Alison previously lived on Novara Terrace, is a past pupil of Loreto Secondary School and a graduate of TU Dublin, BIFE, NUI Maynooth, UCD, and is currently studying at DCU.

NLN provides training and specialist support to people who, for a variety of reasons, may find it difficult to gain employment or access training and further or higher education. It is the country's largest non-governmental education and training organisation.

“We empower people to undertake positive learning pathways through inclusion in training, further education, higher education, and working life,” NLN says.