11 January 2023
By Elaine Murphy
John Smith has been appointed as the CEO of South Presentation Centre which operates as Nano Nagle Place. The appointment comes after the departure of former CEO, Shane Clarke.
Mr Smith, a Cork native with over 25 years’ experience in the private and not for profit sectors, spent his early career working with EMC DELL in Ovens, Co. Cork. Having taken time out to study for an MA in Development Education and Community Development, he joined the Development Education Team in Trócaire, the Irish international aid agency. 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. For the past 5 years, he has worked as part of Trócaire’s Executive Leadership Team, responsible for the delivery of their Strategic Framework.
John’s background in areas of social justice, education and community engagement make him ideally suited for Nano Nagle Place, who seek to build on the legacy of Nano Nagle. Nano Nagle 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 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. John says he is “delighted to take up the role as CEO of Nano Nagle Place, South Presentation Centre. 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 focussed book shop. Furthermore, the centre delivers thriving programmes through education, spiritual engagement, and community inclusion. 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”.
Pat Ledwidge, Chair of South Presentation Centre’s Board says; “I’m delighted that John has commenced duty as CEO. As Nano Nagle Place enters its next phase of development, the Board looks forward to working closely with John and his team. 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.”