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National Support Services - Ireland

National Support Services - Ireland




    Léargas manages a wide range of national and international exchange and cooperation activities. The majority of our programmes are aimed at organisations active in education, training, and youth and community work.

    Léargas is appointed by the Department of Education and Skills and with the Higher Education Authority manages Erasmus+ in the fields of adult education, school education, VET and youth.

    Léargas is a not-for-profit organisation that operates under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills. It has a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills and is Ireland's National Agency for the management of transnational exchange and cooperation programmes in the field of lifelong learning and youth, community and voluntary work.

    The EPALE National Support Service in Ireland is managed by Léargas and placed in the Strategic Initiatives Team, alongside eTwinning, Eurodesk and Language Initiatives. For more information on EPALE and Léargas' other work you can sign up to Léargas' newsletters.

    The Irish National Support Service for EPALE aims to inform the adult learning community about EPALE's purpose and functionality. We also aim to engage wide participation in EPALE among adult education practitioners in Ireland.

    Among our priorities are:

    • Implementing the communication strategy to reach identified target groups

    • Sourcing and providing quality content for EPALE and actively encouraging contributions from stakeholders

    • Developing synergies with Erasmus + and the National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning

    Target Groups

    The target groups are practitioners, researchers and policy makers in the adult education and further education and training field.  Organisations in the fields of vocational education and training, youth and schools will also be targeted where they focus on adult education activities.

    Upcoming activities:

    We're always looking for new ways to support adult educators/trainers in Ireland. If there are trainings or events which you feel would benefit the adult education community we would be delighted to consider them and can be contacted at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @adultlearninginireland to see all upcoming events!

    Irish Content

    We are always delighted to see Irish content shared on EPALE! It's a fantastic way to share your ideas and experience with others. It is also a great way to disseminate information about events and projects.

    You can upload content directly on the EPALE website.

    If you have any questions about sharing content on EPALE – or have any general EPALE questions – please get in touch with us at 

    More Information:

    More information on EPALE Ireland's ongoing work you can sign up to newsletter



    Léargas is the National Support Service for EPALE in Ireland. Léargas' activities connect people in different communities and countries and bring an international dimension to the work of organisations across Ireland. We are the National Agency for Erasmus+ in Adult Education, School Education, VET and Youth. Léargas is wholly owned by the Department of Education and Skills.

    The Team 


    Manika-Nia Dixon is the Coordinator for EPALE in Ireland.

    Manika-Nia is the EPALE Ireland Coordinator since March 2020 and has been in Education Management with Ireland's NSS/NA Organization, Léargas, since 2018. She is from California, has a BA in English, background in project management, writing, video editing, and acting, and uses her versatile background to inform, create, and organize the world around her. She is happiest when she can combine her creativity with her astuteness and endeavours to activate both in her body of work.​

    Contact Manika-Nia by email: or by phone: 00353 (0) 18871247.


    Lucia Iacovone.

    Lucia Iacovone is the Administrator for EPALE in Ireland.

    Lucia is part of the team since October 2019. She holds a BA in International and Diplomatic Studies (Alma Mater Bologna), and a Masters in Comparative International Relations (Ca' Foscari University of Venice). She has a natural affinity for content creation and utilizes it for EPALE Ireland work.

    Contact her by email on or by phone: +353 (0) 1 8871227

    National Policy Context for the field of Further and Adult Education

    The term "Further Education" embraces education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system.  A distinctive feature of further and adult education is its diversity and breadth of provision, and its links with other services like employment, training, area partnership, welfare, youth, school, juvenile liaison, justice, community and voluntary sector interests.  A wide range of Government Departments, statutory agencies and voluntary and community organisations provide services in this area.

    The White Paper on Adult Education: Learning for Life, published in 2000, defined adult education as any "systematic learning undertaken by adults who return to learning having concluded initial education or training".

    The concept includes:

    • re-entry by adults to further education

    • re-entry by adults to third level education

    • continuing education and training and professional development of people in or re-entering the workforce, regardless of the level

    • community education

    • other systematic learning undertaken by adults in a variety of settings and contexts, both formal and informal.

    An extensive consultation process informed the White Paper Learning for Life and marked the adoption of Lifelong Learning as the governing principle of educational policy in Ireland.

    In Ireland, SOLAS  is responsible for funding, planning and co-ordinating training and further education programmes. In 2014, SOLAS published the Further Education and Training Strategy, which places increased emphasis on training for employment and in 2020, the New FET Strategy


    We currently have an EPALE Ireland Ambassador's Network who help to spread the word about EPALE across Ireland.

    Bríd Connolly, Jane O'Kelly, David Pollard, Joe Houghton, Imelda Gaffney, Sarah Lavan, and Patrick Phillips.

    EPALE Ambassadors play an important role in the life of EPALE through:

    • Communicating the existence of EPALE to colleagues and others in the adult learning sector

    • Being an advocate for EPALE and the concept of European cooperation

    • Identifying good quality content that can be uploaded to EPALE

    • Working with the EPALE National Support Service (NSS) to provide feedback on the site and events

    If you feel you would make a good Ambassador, please contact


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