The following personnel are the co-ordinators for the new CEIST Faith Leadership and Governance Team.
Gerry hails from Dundalk, was educated in St Mary’s College, Dundalk, Trinity College, Dublin & NUI, Maynooth. In 1977 Gerry joined the teaching staff of his Alma Mater, St Mary’s College, where he remained for 25 years before taking up the position of Principal at Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.
Gerry led Our Lady’s through many exciting changes to the educational landscape during his twelve years as Principal and brings this experience to his role as School Leadership Officer – Faith and Governance with CEIST.
Gerry joined the CEIST Team in 2014 and can be contacted on
phone: 087 6826758
Colin Roddy, a native of Galway City, began his teaching career in the Brigidine Convent, Mountrath where he taught Chemistry, Biology, Science and Mathematics for sixteen years.
Colin was appointed principal in the Christian Brothers Roscrea overseeing the amalgamation of the school with the other two Roscrea secondary schools into a Community College.
Following the completion of the amalgamation Colin was in turn appointed principal in Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore during which time the school experienced a period of expansion and building development.
Colin joined the CEIST Team in 2017 and can be contacted on
phone: 086 6008147
Gerry Watchorn has been Principal of Presentation De La Salle College Bagenalstown, Co.Carlow, St. Mary’s Secondary School New Ross, Co. Wexford and St. Fintans C.B.S. Doon, Co. Limerick. He also worked on secondment with the Department of Education and Science School Development Initiative Team for 5 years.
Gerry joined the CEIST team in 2017 and can be contacted on
phone: 087 6429938
Pádraigin Uí Riordain
Pádraigin Uí Riordain from Tipperary, studied English and Mathematics at UCC, where she also received a Higher Diploma in Education and Diploma in Catechetics. During her career she has taken numerous courses in school management and leadership. She is currently involved with CSL as a mentor for new principals. Recently she completed a Higher Diploma in Education Law at Kings Inns .
Her early teaching career was spent at Coachford College, Co. Cork, where she became a Deputy Principal before being appointed as Co. Cork VEC’s first woman Principal in 1992 at Davis College Mallow, a position she held until 2002, when she was appointed as Chief Executive with Clare VEC . She returned to Cork in 2004 when she was appointed Principal at Mount Mercy College.
She has served in a variety of DES, JMB and NAPD committees, committed to innovation and change in the education field. Throughout her career she always remained active in TUI and ASTI at local and national level.
Pádraigin took up her current position as Leadership Officer for Community Schools and Designated Community Colleges at CEIST in 2019 and can be contacted on
phone: 086 8378945
email: puiriordain @ceist.ie
Kate Liffey is a graduate of Mater Dei College, Drumcondra. She completed post graduate studies in Chaplaincy in St Angela’s College, Sligo and Educational Leadership in the area of ethos and Catholic Education through NUI Galway.
Kate taught Religious Education in St. Leo’s College, Carlow and Religious Education, History and English is Coláiste Iognáid in Galway where she also served as a Chaplain to the school. She subsequently worked as Co-ordinator of the Edmund Rice Awards and as part of the Edmund Rice Charter Implementation Team. She moved to Trócaire and from there took up the role of National Director for Catechetics of the Irish Bishops’ Conference and Coordinator of the National Faith Development Team.
As part of this work with the Bishops’ Conference Kate has co-ordinated the Bishops’ work on Religious Education and Relationships and Sexuality Education at both primary and post primary levels, with specific reference over the last number of years on the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum, on the new Specification for Junior Cycle Religious Education and more recently the NCCA’s consultation on RSE.
Kate joined the CEIST team in 2020 and can be contacted on
phone: 086 1385489
Rita McCabe, a native of Co. Limerick, studied Mathematics and Economics in UCC. Rita completed post graduate studies in both Guidance Counselling and Leadership and Management in Maynooth University.
Rita started her teaching career in Loreto Abbey, Gorey before moving on to work both in the Community School and ETB sector. Rita was appointed to the position of Deputy Principal in an ETB DEIS school, Principal of St. Mary’s Holy Faith Secondary School, Killester before going on to spend nearly 8 years as principal of St. Mary’s Secondary School in Naas, a CEIST school with over 1000 girls.
Rita joined the CEIST team in 2020 and can be contacted on
phone: 087 0531986