About Us

The Art Teachers' Association of Ireland is one of the longest established Subject Associations in Ireland.

It was set up in 1950 by Patrick Heney. It is run on a voluntary basis by and for qualified Art Teachers.We are the formal voice of Art Teachers in Ireland, and have representatives on various educational committees NCCA, SARG, InSEA.

History of ATAI

From little acorns do mighty Oak trees grow…The Same could be said for the ATAI. From its beginnings in a living room in Clontarf in 1950, where discussions that centered on the promotion of Art, Craft & Design Education and the improvement of the positions of Art Teachers, the ATAI has evolved into a national force.

We still face some of the issues that the founders aimed to overcome. In the summer of 1951, the formulation of ways and means of founding an Art Teachers Association was brought forward a step further.

Permission was granted from the then Director of the National College of Art & Design, to place a notice in the hall of the College. This note was for the attention of all qualified art teachers (and teachers in training) of a proposal to form an Art Teachers Association. In addition a letter was printed in the morning and evening newspapers explaining points in support of the formation of an association, and inviting art teachers interested to attend an inaugural meeting to he held on Saturday 27th September, 1952 in Jury's Hotel, Dame Street, Dublin.

An extract from the minutes of this inaugural meeting reads as follows:

“It was decided that the purpose of the Association should be, to foster art teaching in all schools, to work for improved conditions of teaching and equipment, and to co-ordinate the working of art classes in general”

A Committee was formed by the following people:

  • President: Patrick Heney
  • Vice-President: Sean Pearse
  • Hon. Treasurer: Mary Mc Mahon
  • Hon. Secretary: Reginald J. Hobbs

The Committee was instructed to meet, as soon as possible, to draw up a Constitution and to present the same to the next general meeting fixed for Wednesday 1st November, 1952 at Jury's Hotel, Dame Street.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.