Cork native John Smith has been appointed as the new CEO of Nano Nagle Place, following the departure of former head Shane Clarke.
Mr Smith has over 25 years’ experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors, and spent his early career working with EMC DELL in Ovens.
After completing an MA in Development Education and Community Development, Mr Smith joined the Development Education Team in Irish international aid agency, Trócaire.
During his time there, John led teams responsible for delivery of the Development Education Programme, Advocacy Campaigns, Church Community Engagement, Digital and Traditional Communications and Policy and Advocacy and Volunteer Programmes – and for the past 5 years, he has worked as part of Trócaire’s Executive Leadership Team.
The South Presentation Centre, which operates as Nano Nagle Place, builds on the legacy of Nano Nagle, who founded schools for the Catholic poor in Cork at a time when Catholic education was illegal under the Penal Laws.
Today, the site continues the same mission into the 21st Century, providing support and care for people in need. Opened by former President, Dr Mary McAleese, in 2017, the multi-award-winning Nano Nagle Place celebrates Nano Nagle’s vision of empowerment through education and social justice and it has become a hub for culture and community in Cork.
Mr Smith said he is “delighted to take up the role”.
“Nano Nagle Place is an oasis in the heart of Cork City. Visitors to the complex can enjoy a warm welcome to a museum, heritage rooms, beautiful gardens, the Good Day Deli Cafe, both a design and gift shop, and a Cork focused book shop. Furthermore, the centre delivers thriving programmes through education, spiritual engagement, and community inclusion,” he said.
“I am looking forward to working with the talented and passionate Nano Nagle Place team, Board, and stakeholders as we look ahead to the future with ambition and optimism,” he added.
Pat Ledwidge, Chair of South Presentation Centre’s Board said the board looks forward to working closely with John and his team, as Nano Nagle Place enters its next phase of development.
“Post Covid, Nano Nagle Place now operates in a changed environment. The challenge is to continue to operate sustainably whilst continuing the legacy of Nano Nagle in the areas of education, community development, social justice, and spirituality,” he said.