The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has elected Donegal native John Boyle as General Secretary.
The Mullaghduff man is to replace the current incumbent Sheila Nunan next year.
A former president of the INTO, Mr Boyle secured over 52% of the vote in a context in which he defeated rivals Alison Gilliland who received 28.2%, and Deirdre O’Connor who got 19.3% of the votes cast.
Last September Ms Nunan, who is currently the President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, announced her intention to step down.
Mr Boyle is expected to take up office as General Secretary Designate in March 2019, and will take over as General Secretary in 2019.
He has pledged to hold Government to account, and to lead a union that will grow in membership and influence.
Among his top priorities is higher investment in education, North and South.
He also said he was determined to see the INTO resist the downward pressure on teachers to teach what can be measures rather than what they value as professionals.
Congratulating Mr Boyle on his election, Ms Nunan said it had been the honour of a lifetime to lead the union over the past decade.
She said that while teachers had faced perilous and often grave economic challenges, she was proud that they had stood firm against the worst excesses of austerity-era government.
The post of INTO General Secretary is tied to the ‘Assistant Secretary’ civil service grade, where the first point of scale being €127,623.
Ms Nunan reduced the salary of the role from the Deputy Secretary General level when she assumed office.