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  • The following are the member organisation of ReferNet in Ireland:

    Bord Iascaigh Mhara - Irish Sea Fisheries Board
    BIM is the state agency with primary responsibility for the development of the Irish seafish and aquaculture industry. It provides a range of services including advisory, financial, technical, marketing and training supports to all sectors of the seafood industry.
    Contact: John Connaughton (Tel. 353-1 2144100) Email

    Fáilte Ireland
    Fáilte Ireland is the National Tourism Development Authority. It provides strategic and practical support to develop Ireland as a tourist destination. It delivers services in the area of industry development, education and training and market development.
    Contact: Seán O'Malley (Tel. 353-1 884 7816) Email:

    SOLAS Further Education and Training Authority 
    SOLAS is the new Further Education and Training Authority in Ireland. It is responsible for funding, planning and co-ordinating training and further education programmes.  SOLAS was formally established on 27th October 2013 by Ruairí Quinn T.D., the Minister for Education and Skills.  Contact: John McGrath
  • (Tel. 353-1 533 2458)
  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) was established in November 2012 as a new integrated agency (replacing the Further Education and Training Awards Council, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland and incorporating the functions of the Irish Universities Quality Board). It is responsible for the external quality assurance of further and higher education and training (including English language provision) and validates programmes and makes awards for certain providers in these sectors. QQI is also responsible for the maintenance, development and review of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).  Contact: John O Connor (Tel. 353-1 9058100).

    Irish Business Employers Confederation - IBEC
    The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) represents and provides economic, commercial, employee relations and social affairs services to companies and organisations from all sectors of economic and commercial activity. IBEC represents members' interests to Government, state agencies, the trade unions, other national interest groups, and the general public. It is a member of the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe - UNICE. Tony Donohoe is the Irish employers’ representative on the Governing Board of Cedefop.
    Contact: Tony Donohoe (Tel. 353-1 605 1613) Email:

    Irish Congress of Trade Unions - ICTU
    ICTU is the central authority for trade unions in Ireland, functioning both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. It represents the interests of workers in respect of economic, employment, taxation and social protection issues, especially with government. Congress plays a major role, along with the other social partners, in influencing the Government's economic and social policies through direct contacts and via the National Partnership process. Congress is the sole Irish affiliate of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the representative body for trade unions at European level. The ICTU representative on ReferNet, Peter Rigney, is a former Chairman of the Governing Board of Cedefop.
    Contact: Peter Rigney (Tel. 353-1 889 7750) Email:

    Léargas is the National Agency in Ireland for the management of national and international exchange and cooperation programmes in education, youth and community work, and vocational education and training. European programmes managed by Léargas include: Comenius (schools), Grundtvig (adult and further education), Leonardo da Vinci (vocational education and training), Study Visits (for professionals in the education and vocational training fields) and Youth in Action (youth, community and voluntary work). The National Centre for Guidance in Education ( operates under the aegis of Léargas.
    Contact: Fionnuala Broughan (Tel. 353-1 873 1411) Email:

    Teagasc - Agriculture and Food Development Authority
    Teagasc provides integrated research, advisory and training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. It provides a full range of training courses for the agricultural sector from certificate to degree levels in training centres and colleges.
    Contact: Tony Pettit (Tel. 353-51 644400) Email:

    Trainers Network
    The Trainers Network brings together trainers and learning facilitators from all sectors, public and private, specialist and mainstream, to share learning and experiences in relation to best practice, recent innovations, quality standards and continuing professional development. Network members have contributed to and participated in over 50 local, regional, national, and European networking and learning opportunities.
    Contact: Nora Byrne (Tel. 353-1 462 2281) Email:

    Research Organisations:

    Economic and Social Research Institute - ESRI
    The mission of the ESRI is to produce high quality research, with a core focus on Ireland's economic and social development, in order to inform policy-making and societal understanding.
    Contact: Seamus McGuinness (Tel. 353-1 863 2000) Email:
    Employment Research Centre, TCD
    The Employment Research Centre (ERC) comprises researchers at Trinity College Dublin with backgrounds in sociology and economics. The Centre's research is focused mainly on employment policies and practices in Ireland and Europe.
    Contact: James Wickham (Tel. 353-1 896 1875) Email: